New Month, New Goals: 14 Tips for Setting and Achieving Monthly Goals
Setting new goals for every new month is an amazing way to gradually work towards your dream life without feeling overwhelmed or allowing self-doubt to get in your way.
It helps you break down your larger, long-term goals into smaller, “bitesize”, short-term goals that feel much more realistic and achievable.
Essentially, setting new goals each month gives you a clear plan – a roadmap, if you will – to achieve your dream life.
They also give you consistent, renewed drive and motivation to work towards what would ultimately make you content and fulfilled.
You take it step-by-step, reflect on your goals for the past month before setting new ones, and before you know it, you’ve almost reached the life you want.
Why should you set new goals each month?
Setting new goals for a new month is a beneficial for a few reasons.
Firstly, it helps you break down larger goals into smaller ones.
By doing this, the larger, long-term goals appear much more achievable.
While it’s motivational to set massive life goals, the problem with this is that sometimes they are SO massive that they can be intimidating. They seem too out-of-reach and so far away from our current reality, that we don’t believe we can get there.
Therefore, we don’t start actually taking action towards them. We would rather never try, than try and fail. We procrastinate and tell ourselves that we’ll get there ‘some day’, but that day never comes.
By breaking down your yearly goals into monthly goals, we discourage imposter syndrome and self-doubt, and give ourselves stepping stones to get to our dream life in a realistic way.
Secondly, setting new monthly goals gives us motivation and something to strive for each month. A purpose and a direction to work towards.
A lot of the time, we find ourselves drifting through life; simply getting up in the morning and going to bed. Rinse and repeat.
Long-term goals can feel so far away that attempting to reach them almost becomes boring and we lose our enthusiasm.
By setting short-term goals, we give our life intention and drive.
This is particularly good if you struggle with motivation and feeling inspired.
Lastly, setting monthly goals means we’re always working towards something positive and teaching ourselves new habits.
When we have goals, we’re focused towards something that’s going to bring us closer to the life we want to live – a life that would bring us happiness and contentment – while we also enjoy the ride.
It teaches us to live in the present and smash our goals now, rather than in the future.
How to set new monthly goals
It’s easy to tell someone to just set new goals every month, but actually setting goals is another step.
Here’s how you can do that.
#1. Slot goal-setting into your monthly routine
A good habit to get into when it comes to setting new goals for a new month is to slot it into your monthly routine.
At the end of each month, set your goals for the next one so that you can go into the month with a clean slate and real intention.
#2. Reflect on last month
Before setting new goals, it’s important to reflect on the goals you set last month.
Questions you may want to ask yourself are:
- What were last month’s goals?
- Did you achieve your goals?
- How did you find reaching these goals?
- Is there anything you would have done differently?
- What are the next steps towards achieving your bigger goals?
- What did you learn last month?
Your journal is a great place to do this because you can get everything down on paper; this makes it easier to be analytical, as well as intentional.
Reflecting on what goals you want to carry forward into a new month, as well as celebrating what you’ve achieved, will help when setting new goals.
#3. Think about your yearly, long-term goals
Thinking about your larger, long-term goals helps massively when it comes to setting smaller, monthly goals. It gives you a direction and area of your life that you want to focus on.
When you think about your dream life, what does that consist of?
What areas of your life are important to you? What do you want to work towards?
Getting clear on your long-term goals can help focus your energy and get clear on what actionable steps you need to take next to get to your dream life.
I would invite you to write down what your dream life looks like. Then, from there, get clear on five massive goals that you want to achieve in your lifetime.
You can even get more specific than that and break this down into 10 and five-year goals.
#4. Break down big goals into new monthly goals
Once you have your bigger life goals written down, break this down into yearly goals.
Then, break your yearly goals down into smaller monthly goals.
You can then look at setting weekly goals.
They should be realistic and intentional. They’re stepping stones to much bigger life goals, but this doesn’t make them any less worthy of celebration when you achieve them.
Another tip I would give from personal experience: I wouldn’t recommend being too rigid with your weekly goals.
I know it can be tempting to break your goals down even further into daily goals and basically plan out each day for the next six months, but doing this too far in advance doesn’t account for any flexibility. You want to enjoy your life and not purely live to smash goals. You need time for relaxation and self-care.
Plans change and some things you can’t predict. You might get sick, feel burnt out, or experience a huge life event and have to miss working towards your goals for a few days or weeks. If you’ve already planned out your entire year down to the day, missing just a few days can start a massive ripple effect and, before you know it, you’re overwhelmed and back to square one.
Breaking down your goals is a tool to relieve stress, not pile more on.
So plan, but be flexible and open to change.
#5. What’s important to you?
When setting your monthly goals, try to keep in mind what’s important to you.
What do you want to prioritise at this moment in time?
The good thing about setting new goals for a new month is that you can switch things up pretty quickly. What’s important to us can change on a month-to-month basis.
Setting monthly goals gives you flexibility in your life and where you want to go.
What types of goals are there?
When we talk about setting goals, a lot of our minds automatically jump to money or career-related goals because these are often important aspects of our lives. However, there are tons of different types of goals you can set in different areas of your life.
Different types of goals you might want to set (other than career and money-related goals) are:
- Spiritual goals
- Family goals
- Relationship goals
- Health goals
- Hobby/passion goals
- Educational goals
- Personal development goals
- Mindset goals
Figuring out what’s important to you and what types of goals you want to prioritise will help you set monthly goals that motivate you.
#6. Set SMART goals
Setting SMART goals, whether they be monthly or more long-term, is a handy technique to maximise your chances of success.
The SMART method encourages you to hone in on what it is you want and how to get there.
SMART is an acronym. It stands for:
- S = Specific: Get specific about your goals. What is it EXACTLY that you want to achieve? For example, how much money do you want to earn? How many minutes do you want to be able to run a mile in? How much traffic do you want to your website?
- M = Measurable: Make sure the goal is trackable. This way, you can measure your progress and celebrate success where it’s due.
- A = Attainable/Achievable: Your goals need to be within your grasp. If they’re not attainable, you’re not going to believe you’ll achieve them and may not even attempt them. This will only demotivate you. However, if you can SEE yourself crushing this goal, you’re going to be super-motivated and excited to start. For example, if your monthly goal is to earn $1m from a business you’ve not even started yet, this is probably going to be really difficult. Whereas if your goal is to get two new clients from your existing business, this is achievable as it’s within your grasp. This isn’t to say you can’t dream and have long-term aspirations, but when it comes to monthly goal-setting, it’s sensible to make sure they’re attainable and realistic.
- R = Relevant/Realistic: Be brutally honest with yourself. Not only should your goal be attainable, it should be realistic. It should be challenging, but possible. Going back to the new client example, if you only get a new client every three months, getting 10 new clients in one month might be unrealistic at this moment in time. Therefore, perhaps you may want to aim for one new client for this month. Then, if you achieve that this month, you may want to aim for two next month and so on.
- T = Time-Bound/Time-Based: Giving yourself a clear time-frame to achieve your goal within – in this case, one month – can light a fire under you and motivate you. It also gives you parameters to work within so that you can fully focus on what you need to do.
Setting vague goals can hinder your progress, whereas getting specific and setting SMART goals gives you a clear road-map towards your dreams.
How to achieve new monthly goals
Setting goals is only half the process.
Now that you’ve set your new goals for the new month, you need to work towards achieving them.
Here are some more tips. This time, on how to achieve your new monthly goals.
#1. Harness your ‘why’
When you’re setting your goals, make sure to think about – or, even better, write down – your ‘why’. The reason why you want to crush this goal this month.
Your ‘why’ usually refers back to what’s important to you. For example, if your health is important to you, your goal might be that you want to go to a yoga class 10 times this month. Your ‘why’ might therefore be that you want to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Harnessing your ‘why’ and keeping it at the front of your mind whenever you’re feeling self-doubt or demotivated towards achieving your goal will give you that little boost you need to continue and smash it.
#2. Plan your month in advance
Forward planning is key to sticking to your monthly goals and beyond.
By laying out exactly what you need to do and when, you provide yourself with a clear road-map of instructions.
It adds intention to your day; relieves stress, as you’re not sitting there wondering what you have to do; and saves you time.
At the end of each month, sit down and plan out the next one. Set weekly plans, and then at the beginning of each week, plan the days out in more detail. This gives you some wiggle-room if things don’t go to plan, while also giving you a direction to head in.
#3. Track your progress
It can be helpful to track your progress when working towards your monthly goals.
This is because it holds you accountable and ensures you’re mindful about where you are in your journey. It allows you to assess where you are and where you need to go.
It helps you not only stay motivated in the present, but motivated towards your future.
#4. Focus on one goal at a time
While it’s entirely possible to set more than one big goal at a time – and people do it successfully all the time – if you find it difficult, it might be a good idea to focus on one goal at a time. Or, at least focus on one area of your life at a time.
A lot of people find it hard to stick to habits and complete tasks that help them towards reaching their goals. They can find it overwhelming and the pressure causes them to procrastinate.
We all know that feeling, right?
We’ve got a to-do list of 100 things – we don’t know where to start – so we just stare at it and get none of it done.
However, if we focus on one goal at a time, being productive becomes a lot easier.
It’s also important to prioritise and get your most important or hardest goal completed first. This is referred to as “eating that frog”; you get your most dreaded or important task out the way first so that you don’t procrastinate on it and let it stress you out all day. Again, this comes back to what’s important to you.
#5. Practise self-care
If you’re not taking care of your mental, emotional, and physical health while trying to reach your goals, you’re going to have trouble reaching them every month.
I invite you to make sure you’re practising self-care every day – even the most basic self-care.
Self-care is personal, but maintaining a basic level of self-care is really important.
Basic self-care includes:
- Personal hygiene
- Getting enough sleep (taking naps if your body feels like it needs it)
- Eating enough nutritious food that you enjoy
- Drinking water
- Moving your body in a way that brings you joy
As the saying goes, “health is wealth”, and when you start to taking care of health, achieving your other goals will start to feel easier.
#6. Practise gratitude
Wanting to achieve your goals and working towards them is easier when you have a positive mindset.
One way to help improve your outlook and approach to life is to practise gratitude.
Being grateful helps you focus on what you already have, rather than on what you don’t have.
It encourages you to live in the present instead of stressing about the future and wishing you were already there.
Of course, it’s great to have goals and aspirations – that’s the whole point of this post – but appreciating what you have NOW is a great mentality to have and will only help you attract more positivity your way.
Speaking of attracting more positivity your way, if you’re working with the law of attraction, you may want to use it to help manifest your goals.
Manifesting is when you attract a goal or idea into your reality. The theory is that by intentionally visualising your goal, you can bring it into existence. You just have to align yourself with the ‘you’ that’s already achieved your goal or manifestation.
Most people manifest by writing down their goals in a journal. If you decide to do this, focus on how you would feel if you achieved your goal tomorrow. Harnessing this feeling is what’s important.
A few other manifesting techniques you may want to try out are:
- Scripting: Writing down a snapshot or ‘scene’ from a moment where you’re living out your dream or goal. Focus on how you feel; the sounds; the smells; what you can see, etc.
- Living ‘as if’: Dressing and conducting yourself as if you’ve already achieved your goal.
- Visualisation: Visualising how your life would look if you’d reached your goal. This is apparently really effective if you do it as you drift off to sleep.
The Law of Attraction isn’t for everyone, but it can help you focus and stay motivated towards your goals.
#8. Take massive action
You have to take massive action towards your goals if you want to achieve them.
It sounds simple, but a lot of the time, especially with the law of attraction, people write down their goal and then just expect it to just fall into their lap. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. At least not usually.
In order to crush your goals, you need to actually take massive action towards them. This means taking intentional steps in the right direction.
Passive action is still action, but it doesn’t actually help you towards reaching your goal in a massive way.
For example, if you want to get fit, massive action would be paying for your gym membership and physically going to the gym. You’re literally working towards your goal.
Passive action would be watching YouTube videos on different workouts.
With passive action, you’re still learning new workouts that are going to help you while you’re at the gym, but you’re not physically working towards your goal.
New month, new habits
Learning new positive habits and achieving goals tend to go hand-in-hand.
While reaching your monthly goals tend to require temporary motivation, habits are more long-term. They rewire your brain and way of living. They put you in a strong position and improve your mindset so that you’re in the right place mentally and emotionally to be successful and intentional.
Therefore, while forming habits and working towards goals are different actions, creating positive habits definitely helps your chances of success, and both are beneficial for your mindset.
When you’re setting new goals every new month, forming helpful habits that improve your mindset, productivity, time-management, and self-care can supercharge your ability to work towards your dream life without feeling overwhelmed or demotivated.
Some positive habits are more actionable than others. For example, getting into the habit of flossing every night before you brush your teeth is pretty cut-and-dry. You either do it or you don’t. It’s easily trackable and tangible.
However, some habits are more internal. For example, replacing negative self-talk with a positive affirmation. This can be tracked, but not as easily, and isn’t as tangible, as it’s happening inside your own mind.
This doesn’t make it any less of a positive habit though.
Some positive habits you might want to incorporate into your life in order to reach your goals with ease are:
- Replacing negative self-talk with a positive affirmation (I’ve already mentioned this, but it warrants repeating)
- Moving your body in some way at least once a day
- Daily self-care (hygiene; drinking enough water a day; eating fruit and veg)
- Journaling in the morning and/or evening
- Repeating affirmations
- Reading before bed
- Getting eight hours of sleep a night
- Stretching for 10 minutes as soon as you wake up
- Tidying your living or work space for five minutes each day
- Breath work (e.g. the Wim Hof method)
A lot of the time, once you’ve formed one or two positive habits and see how much they benefit your life, you’ll find it’s easier to start setting more.
Journal prompts for new month goal-setting
Journal prompts are a brilliant journaling tool, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran.
They quite literally prompt you with what to write, so that you don’t have to spend time and stress worrying, and give you intention with your practise.
What’s more, they can help when goal-setting, as they help you get clear on what you really want. They also boost self-awareness and can coax out emotions you didn’t know you even felt about certain goals.
Here are 20 journal prompts for setting your monthly goals.
- What do you want to achieve by setting goals?
- What areas of your life do you want to improve? How do you plan to do this?
- What does your day-to-day schedule look like? What areas do you want to change and why, if any?
- Describe your dream life; include how living this dream life would make you feel?
- What goals have you achieved in the past? What did you learn from them?
- How does smashing your goals make you feel?
- What’s the biggest goals you’ve achieved recently?
- What are five long-term goals that you want to reach? Be specific.
- What are five short-term goals that you want to achieve? Get as detailed as possible.
- How does thinking about achieving your ultimate goals make you feel?
- What are three things that you’ve achieved that make you feel grateful?
- Write a detailed plan of action for how you’re going to achieve one of your biggest goals. Break it down into small steps and map it out.
- What’s one goal you can set for yourself today that will put you in a good mood?
- What are three self-care goals that you can set today?
- Who do you look up to and why?
- What would you tell the ‘you’ from five years ago?
- What does your perfect morning routine look like? How can you go about implementing that?
- What are five intentions that you want to set for this month?
- Where do you want to be in a year’s time? What does your life look like?
- What do you feel is holding you back from achieving your goals?
These prompts don’t just help you when setting monthly goals, they also help when assessing former goals, and unpack why they’re so important to you.
Affirmations for new month, new goals
Another tool I love to use (and talk about) is positive affirmations.
They can boost your mindset, motivation, and confidence in yourself to achieve whatever you set your mind to.
My recommendation when using affirmations is to choose only one or two that resonate with you so that you can fully focus on what you want to achieve; repeat the affirmation out loud, in your head, or in your journal (or all three); and really feel the affirmation as you say it. Repeat it with conviction.
Here are some of my favourite affirmations for goal-setting.
- I crush my goals with ease
- I deserve my dream life
- I am worthy of total happiness
- I learn from mistakes; they make me stronger
- I embrace challenges and overcome hurdles
- I embrace change and face it head-on
- I am confident in my abilities
- Turning my dreams into reality is easy for me
- I can do anything I set my mind to
- I choose to release what doesn’t serve me
Whenever you’re feeling as if you can’t achieve your monthly goals, I invite you to choose one of these affirmations to repeat.
Replace negative self-talk with positivity and watch your mindset change.
Inspiring quotes for achieving new goals
Motivational quotes can be super-inspiring, especially if you need a little extra motivation.
You can copy them into your journal; get them printed on wall art; print them out and stick them to your vision board; or simply read them out loud to give yourself a little pep in your step.
Some of the best quotes I’ve ever heard on setting new goals are:
- “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
- “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
- “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
- “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
- “The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting and achieving goals.” – Augustine ‘OG’ Mandino
Setting new goals each new month helps you live intentionally and gives you direction.
By reflecting on old goals; setting new ones that are important to your life; learning to prioritise; making sure you’re setting SMART goals; breaking down your bigger goals into smaller ones; and keeping yourself motivated, you begin to realise that reaching your dreams is more than possible.
It can be empowering and you may learn that you’re closer to reaching your dream life than you thought.
A witchy ray of sunshine who loves to help others on their journal journey. I’ve been journaling since childhood and have since gone on to earn a degree in English and a diploma in Shadow Work. I love my plant babies, yoga, and anything spooky. Find out more on my about me page.