So you’ve decided to set goals for yourself. Thats the first step! Congratulations, you are on your way to making the best version of you that YOU can be.
I call this the 4:3 technique for goal setting. I break down my goal into four steps and then each of the four steps are broken down into three smaller, more manageable steps. By breaking your big steps into smaller steps, you are able to manage the task more effectively and you can celebrate milestones. Note…it’s extremely important to celebrate the small things (milestones).
Lets start with an example.
Lets say I want to take a trip that will be very expensive ($5000) in December next year. I need to plan out how to save this money in time to buy my plane ticket, reserve my lodging, and any activities I plan to do while there. The first step will be to divide it into Four Milestones (The Big Four). My milestones will be major steps that will get me to my end goal or destination in this example. While creating my Big Four, I must also place deadlines (realistic ones) to ensure my success in achieving them.
Twelve months divided by four milestones equals three month intervals. Therefore, the four large goals (steps) I set need to be completed in March, June, September, December. This means that most of my financial burden needs to be completed by September. Any additional funds needed (food, fun, trinkets) will be gathered during the last three months of my goal setting season.
So let’s assume we’ve decided on our four large steps to have been nailed out. Awesome! Now what? We break each large step into three manageable steps. What do I mean? We decided that we need $5000 for this trip in which $4000 needs to be collected by September. For the sake of this example, we need to save around $1335 for our first milestone. We need to map out three steps to get this done. One suggestion could be to divide that total by three and we think of ways to put that money aside each month. Looking at our monthly expenses to see how we can put aside $445 by the end of each month. That could be doing extra overtime at work, cutting back on a luxury we extend ourselves (going out, drinking, hair/nails, shopping, etc.) or picking up a hobby that brings in a little extra money.
Here are the beginning stages of setting your goal. I’ve provided a document for you to help with the beginning stages of your planning process. Check back for more tips and help with celebrations of milestones.