How To Set Monthly Goals (15 Easy Steps for a Better Life)

Setting Monthly Goals Is Key For Long-Term Success

Today I want to set you up for immediate success by addressing monthly goal-setting. More specifically, I will discuss how to set monthly goals.

Enough said. Let’s get on the move so you can improve one month at a time!

How To Set Monthly Goals In 15 Easy Steps

Setting monthly goals involves the following steps:

  1. Establish a long-term vision
  2. Assess your current state
  3. Ensure goals align with your vision
  4. Create a theme for the month
  5. Think big but prioritize
  6. Write your monthly goals down
  7. Create SMART monthly goals
  8. Share your monthly goals with someone
  9. Make an action plan
  10. Make your monthly goals visible
  11. Keep a positive mindset
  12. Utilize time blocking
  13. Take decisive action
  14. Assess your progress weekly
  15. Celebrate your successes

Next, I will describe each of these steps one at a time.

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1. Establish A Long-Term Vision

When setting monthly objectives, first think about the big picture. Then, ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish over the next several years with your life goals.

Work, career, relationships, money, and personal growth are several areas to consider. Finally, craft a vision in your mind of the perfect you.

Reflect on your vision of success often. Then, fine-tune the long-term view of the future when required.

2. Assess Your Current State

Now, bring yourself back to today’s reality. Think about the short term and ask yourself where you stand. Be brutally honest with yourself.

Then, determine what 30-day plans and activities will make your long-term vision a reality. From here, think big and brainstorm a list of possible things you want to accomplish.

Come up with as many good ideas as you can at this stage. We will narrow them down later in this how-to-guide about monthly goal setting.

3. Ensure Goals Align With Your Vision

Next, step three will quickly fall into place after completing steps one and two. However, it always helps to do a process check to make sure.

To emphasize step number three, align monthly goals with your long-term vision.

Let’s say your long-term vision is to retire a millionaire. That is a lofty goal, for sure.

Thus, good monthly financial objectives may include the following:

  • Reduce expenses by 5%
  • Invest $100 in the stock market
  • Contribute to your 401(k)

4. Create A Theme For The Month

One of the things I like to do is create a theme around my monthly plans.

For example, let’s say I gained some weight over the holidays. So the theme for January is returning to my desired weight and fitness level.

Thus, here are potential examples of objectives for January:

  • Lose 5 pounds
  • Exercise 3 times per week
  • Eliminate snacking on cookies

Problem-solving is another good way to build a theme around your monthly goals. For example, perhaps the yard around your house is a mess, and a neighbor has complained.

Therefore, some examples of objectives that solve this problem include the following:

  • Rake and dispose of the leaves
  • Mow the grass
  • Fertilize
  • Trim the hedges

To summarize this step, build strength and commitment by stacking your monthly objectives around a specific theme. Make sure the area either fits with your long-term vision or serves to solve a problem.

5. Think Big But Prioritize

I’m a big believer in not being limited by your thoughts. So, on the one hand, I encourage you to think big and challenge yourself when goal-setting.

On the other hand, be realistic. First, prioritize what is most important to you for the month. Then, be practical and choose only a limited number of items to tackle.

Okay. This step-by-step guide about how to set monthly goals is just getting started. So, let’s keep rolling.

6. Write Your Monthly Goals Down

According to an article by Inc., you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

This point is essential for setting goals.

However, what should you write? That topic is next.

7. Create SMART Monthly Goals

Use one of the proven goal-setting systems to document your plans for the month. For example, I use the SMART system.

SMART stands for the following:

Specific. Be as detailed as possible when writing out a 30-day goal.

Measurable. Determine exactly how you will measure the achievement of the goal.

Achievable. Stretch yourself, but select only those objectives you can reasonably achieve.

Relevant. Following the earlier steps will make your goals relevant to your situation. They will either fit with your long-term vision. Or serve to solve a problem.

Time-bound. By nature, 30-day objectives are time bound. You have precisely until the end of the month to complete them.

8. Share Your Monthly Goals With Someone

Next, discussing your goals for the month with someone is a good idea. However, it is essential to pick someone you trust, such as your spouse, partner, close friend, or coworker.

Discussing your 30-day plans with someone serves three purposes.

First, your resolve increases when another party knows you have committed to something meaningful.

Second, another person may have ideas for improvement or modification.

Third, speaking about your goals may give you some different ideas. Or shake out some things in your head that didn’t initially come to you.

As a result, modify your objectives and plans as you see fit. Then move on to the next step in today’s monthly goal-setting journey.

9. Make An Action Plan

Most monthly goals do not require a detailed action plan. Think back to the example I used about cleaning up your yard.

Do you need a detailed plan to rake, mow, fertilize, and trim the hedges? My guess is no. Just do it!

Conversely, some of your objectives for the month may be a little more complex. Thus, sometimes breaking down a monthly goal into planned steps is required.

Back to another monthly goal example I previously mentioned – reduce expenses by 5%.

To accomplish this objective by the end of the month, perhaps these action plan steps will lead to your success:

  • Update monthly budget
  • Itemize last month’s expenses
  • Identify areas to reduce expenses
  • Eliminate coffee out
  • Brown bag lunch
  • Carpool to work
  • Eat all meals at home
  • Defer purchases of new clothes

So, it’s up to you to decide whether you need a detailed 30-day action plan.

10. Make Your Monthly Goals Visible

Next, take your written goals and summarize them into brief bullet points. Then, put them on an index card.

Keep that card with you at all times. Or, put it somewhere you will see it every day.

Look at it frequently to remind yourself what you have set out to accomplish. Doing so is one of many great habits to adopt.

11. Keep A Positive Mindset

Rest assured, you will encounter good days and not-so-good days every month. The critical thing to remember is to keep a positive attitude daily and weekly.

Don’t let negative thoughts creep into your mind.

When they do, try to think of something positive. Then, sit up and stand up straight. Act cheerful and allow your thoughts and emotions to follow your physical actions.

For more on this topic, I recommend this online course:

Creating a Winning Mindset

12. Utilize Time Blocking

Time blocking is a time management strategy where you block out chunks of time to focus on a task. Thus, set aside at least 30 minutes daily to work on your monthly plans.

13. Take Decisive Action

Take action during the time set aside daily for goals. Accomplish something, no matter how big or small.

If you need help with this, my advice is just to get started. Don’t worry about the goal or result of your action. Instead, follow the plans you have created.

Get busy to release your creative energy and sense of accomplishment. Hold yourself accountable.

14. Assess Your Progress Weekly

Monitor your progress. Doing so is critical.

Think back to step number seven, where you created SMART monthly goals. But, more importantly, where you decide exactly how to measure progress toward achieving a goal.

Thus, make an honest assessment of how you are coming along. Then, make adjustments as you see fit.

15. Celebrate Your Successes

Lastly, number fifteen in today’s list of how to set monthly goals may be the easiest.

Celebrate and build upon your successes. Also, analyze and improve upon any failures.

Finally, rinse and repeat for a new month with new monthly goals and another 30-day challenge. There is no need to wait for a new year.

That’s what being a goal-getter is all about. Your personal development depends on it.

Before we wrap up, please let me provide a few more examples of monthly goals.

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Good Monthly Goals Examples

Monthly goals can be of many different types. For example:

Monthly personal goals:

Some goals of a personal nature include the following:

  • Get up early
  • Meditate three times per week
  • Read a new book

Monthly wellness goals:

  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Work out every other day
  • Eat more fruits and vegetable

Relationship goals for this month:

  • Have a weekly date night with your partner
  • Spend an hour every night with your child
  • Reach out to an old friend

Monthly financial goals:

Most of us set goals related to money. Some examples include the following:

  • Add to your emergency fund
  • Make an additional payment on your debt
  • Review your insurance coverage

Monthly career goals:

Reasonable career goals can be important for many of us too. Such as:

  • Update your resume
  • Make a new business contact
  • Create a career plan

That’s just a few examples of possible goals to set monthly off the top of my head.

Do you need some more?

If yes, here you can find a more robust list of potential monthly goals.

Okay. That’s all I have for today.

So, please allow me to close with a few parting thoughts.

Now You Know How To Set Monthly Goals

Accelerate your personal growth with monthly goals. You can accomplish good things more quickly by breaking your long-term vision into smaller pieces and tackling them each month.

Just be sure to align your monthly goals with your long-term vision and start making progress today!

Finally, if you are hungry for more about personal growth, check out our:

Archives of Goal-Driven Self-Development Articles

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Author Bio, Disclosure, & Disclaimer: Please join me (Tom) as I try to achieve my goals, find my next place to live, and make the most of my money. However, I am not a licensed investment adviser, financial counselor, real estate agent, or tax professional. Instead, I’m a 50-something-year-old, early retired CPA, finance professional, and business school teacher with 40+ years of DIY dividend investing experience. I’m here only to share my thoughts about essential topics for success. As a result, nothing published on this site should be considered individual investment, financial, tax, or real estate advice. This site’s only purpose is general information & entertainment. Thus, neither I nor Dividends Diversify can be held liable for losses suffered by any party because of the information published on this website. Finally, all written content is the property of Dividends Diversify LLC. Unauthorized publication elsewhere is strictly prohibited.

Monthly Goal-Setting Explained