How to Plan Your Yearly Goals (step by step guideline)

February 14, 2020 in Career, Career Advice - No Comments - 4 min read
yearly goals


It is said that a goal with a plan is that a wish. This is why it is important to set goals and to make a plan on how to achieve them, else they will just be wishes. This article shows a strategic process that allows you to plan your yearly goals in a way that makes them easier to achieve. If you follow these simple 7 steps to planning out your goals, you will soon be living your dream life.

Goal Setting Step 1: Visualise

The starting point of this exercise is to get yourself to visualise what you want your life to look like 3 years from now. Go into details with this visualisation, really describe the kind of person you would be, where you would live and what your typical day would look like. 

Once you have pictured your life in 3 years, bring it back to a year from now. What goals do you need to achieve by the end of the next 12 months in order to achieve the life that you just visualised? 

Goal Setting Step 2: Write About 10 Yearly Goals

Now the next part is very important. Write down these goals. This makes them seem real. Write 5 goals (you don’t have to be specific at this point or to know how you’ll achieve these goals) in each of the following categories: 

  • Personal Goals
  • Professional Goals

Examples of your personal goals include relationships, family, health, hobbies and personal development. Professional goals are related to career and business goals.

Goal Setting Step 3: Specify Your Q1 Goals

In this step you go into the specifics. Write down the personal and professional goals that you need to achieve by the end of the first quarter of the year (3 months). This exercise breaks down these massive yearly goals into just what you need to focus  on in the next 3 months. Since each quarter will be planned one after the other, when you plan for Q2, for example, first evaluate how Q1 went and make adjustments as necessary.

Goal Setting Step 4: Set A Success Criteria For Your Goals

In school it was easy to tell if you have passed or failed because we had grades. In this step you ave to predetermined how you will be able to measure if you have achieved your goals at the end of the quarter. This makes the end point even clearer for you. You determine where you have to be by the end of the quarter in order to consider yourself as having succeeded in your goals.

Goal Setting Step 5: Set Monthly Goals

Zoom in even further. Now that you know the goals that you need to achieve in 3 months, what do you need to achieve per month to make sure that by the end of the 3 months you have succeeded in your goals? For example, if you want to lose 9 pounds in Q1, you should probably aim to lose 3 pounds a month.

Goal Setting Step 6: Determine High Impact Tasks

Now that you have a clear picture of the goals that you want to achieve at different timelines, you need to determine the high impact tasks that will help you achieve each goal. This are tasks that will actively facilitate the achievement of your goals. They are also known as needle-moving tasks. They get you a step closer to achieving your goals every time that you do them. 

Goal Setting Step 7: Plan Out The High Impact Tasks

Determine through your weekly and daily plan how you will execute these high impact tasks to ultimately achieve your goals. You can use these digital planners which help you plan out yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals.

Goal Setting Example

3 Year Visualisation:

  • Healthy
  • Successful business
  • Happy
  • Good relationships

1 Year Goals:

Personal Goals

  • Be healthy
  • Improve relationships
  • Prioritise self-care
  • Read self development books

Professional Goals

  • Get a promotion at work
  • Improve sales of my product
  • Attend business seminar
  • Network with people in my field

Q1 Goals:

Personal Goals

  • Lose weight
  • Visit family and friends
  • Read self-development books

Professional Goals

  • Generate marketing strategy for my product
  • Position myself for a promotion at work
  • Save up money to attend business seminars

Success Criteria:

Personal Goals

  • Lost 9 pounds
  • Visited each friend at least 3 times
  • Read 5 self development books

Professional Goals

  • Marketing strategy generated and executed
  • Getting recognition for my work
  • Saved enough cash to attend at least 1 business seminar

Monthly Goals:

Personal Goals

  • Lose 3 pounds
  • Visit each friend at least once
  • Read 2 self development books

Professional Goals

  • Marketing strategy version 1 generated and being tested
  • Working an extra hour to receive recognition at work
  • Saved 30% of what’s required to attend 1 business seminar

High Impact Tasks:

Personal Goals

  • Exercise for 1 hour, 3 times a week
  • Keep in touch with friends and family
  • Read 20 pages daily

Professional Goals

  • Research and generate best marketing strategy for my product
  • Work harder and get recognised
  • Consciously reduce unnecessary expenses so I can save more money

Plan high impact tasks into your daily, weekly plans using these digital planners.

Take Home: Setting Your Yearly Goals

Setting your yearly goals can be easily done in 7 simple steps. Thos strategy allows you to break down your massive yearly goals into simple bite sized high impact tasks that you ca do daily. This will ensure that you are not overwhelmed why your goals. The strategy is also great because it allows you to re-strategise every 90 days in case things are not working out well. Remember that it it not too late to start planning for your goals. A pro tip is to create a vision board to help you visualise your goals everyday which will keep you focussed. 

Have you ever successfully set goals and achieve them? Which method did you use? Did it work? Let us know in the comments section below.

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