Setting goals doesn't have to be complicated or take months to reach your desired outcomes. Today let's talk about setting mini monthly goals you can do in a day to increase your joy, energy, and life outlook.
If you want a boost in your confidence, self-efficacy, and want to celebrate some wins, this episode is for you!
Let's get into it!
Check out my Monthly Mini Goals & examples in the show notes here -->
Grab your free Monthly Mini Goals Printable here -->
Tag me on Instagram @sarahsteckler or on Twitter @sarahrsteckler and show me what your mini goals are for the month ahead!
Find more resources, episodes, and planners over at SarahSteckler.com
Find more resources over at SarahSteckler.com
Come say hi on Instagram @sarahsteckler
Grab your Free Planner Publishing Guide -->
Hello. Hello. You are listening to episode 197 of the Mindful Productivity podcast. I'm your host Sarah Steckler, and this week we're talking all about setting monthly mini goals in your life and business. If you've been feeling like you've need to get going and build your confidence and selfefficacy and start moving the needle towards having more fun, joy, and productivity in your life and business, then this is the episode for you. We're not going to over complicate goals or set goals that are super complicated and take lots of time. We're going to talk about how you can set fun monthly mini goals to accomplish every month and how this practice can get you reinvigorated and re excited about everything that you're doing in the world right now. Let's go ahead and jump into it. Welcome to the mindful productivity podcast. I'm your host Sarah Steckler and this is the place to be, to live a more mindful and productive life. If you're ready to turn daily chaos into calm and start your days with intention, then get ready to join me. As we dive deep into mindful living and personal productivity, it's time to connect with your true self so you can live the life you want to live. And it all starts now. Welcome back to the show, friends. I am so excited to be here with you today and have a brand new episode talking about something really fun. And I just want to share that the past two months it's been really hard for me to create a sick all of June. All of June. And July was kind of awash too. And we're at the end of the month and I was like, you know what, I want to make August different. But I also found myself lacking creativity. It's been a really slow summer in my business and I just wasn't feeling like creating anything. And then the more I rested, the more I took time to relax and listen to my body and listen to what I needed and take more naps. Then my creativity started slowly coming back and that was a good reminder, right? Something I talk about when I talk about cozy creative nesting. You could listen to the podcast episode about that as well. Link to it in the show notes. But taking time to rest is a great way to reinvigorate your creativity. So today we're going to be talking about setting monthly mini goals and you're going to want to check the show notes of this episode. Wherever you're listening, there should be a link below here and that is going to allow you to grab this free new printable that I've made. There's two different versions of it you'll get access to and they are the monthly mini goals PDF printables. And these are really fun. One is super colorful and it has flowers and all different kinds of colors. And then there's a simple minimal black and white one if you would prefer that I've got mine printed out and I've actually filled them out already. But you'll be able to grab those yourself and you could either use them printed out or if you're not a printer person, you could easily open them up with good notes on your iPad or tablet and use them with your Apple pencil or that way. So I wanted to talk a little bit before we get into what this is and how you can kind of set this up and get some inspiration for many goals and talk a little bit about what goals actually are. So I was looking at the definition of goals because oftentimes when I think about goals, I think about these huge projects, right? And I think there's a big difference between what goals are and what projects are, what sprints are. In your business, you can really fine tune all these steps. And I'm a big fan of that, right? Like when I help my students map out focus projects, we get really nitty gritty into all the little things that they need to do to reach their objectives and their KPIs and all that stuff. However, I think sometimes we can get caught up in trying to over plan or overcomplicate our goals and forget that goals can also be tiny little micro things that we do throughout the day, the week, the month, and it can be really fun to set some time aside and set some intentions about what you want those things to be. So there's two definitions of goals that I really liked and these are very simple. And the first one, and these are just on Google, right? But the first one is that a goal is defined as the object of a person's ambition or effort, an aim or desired result. When you think about a goal that way, it becomes less about having this huge agenda or trying to be a specific person in your life or reach this huge end goal. Instead, it can be what do you want to put your effort towards, right? What is your aim or your desired result? And your desired result with goal setting can be something as simple as I want to have more energy, or I want to feel happy, or I want to have more fun, or I want to make more time for myself. And there's so many things that can get you there, right? So it becomes this really fun thing when you think about goals in this different way. A goal can also be defined as an idea of the future or desired result that a person or group of people envision, plan and commit to achieve. People endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines. So these can be goals that you're doing within the next given month. And whenever you're listening to this, don't wait until the next month, right? If you've got a couple of days left in your current month, or whatever, you can set mini goals for the day that you're in or the week that you're in. The key is to set things that are both a little bit challenging and mostly fun and totally doable so that you'll want to do them. And I'm so excited about this printable, too, because this is something that you could put I'm going to put it up right by my computer on my desk, but you canva put this on the fridge and then it's kind of front and center your whole month. So another couple of things I wanted to bring up about goals, just some important points to touch on when you're thinking about this, is the goals don't have to be complicated, right? Like we just talked about, right? Goals don't have to take the entire year. They don't have to take months. A goal could be something as simple as saying, hey, I want to read 20 pages of that book that I bought like six months ago. I want to read 20 pages this week. It can be really little. And what's so cool about doing this is that when you set mini goals each month, it's a really great way to build that self trust and selfefficacy and confidence in yourself. Because when you know that you can trust yourself, right, when you know that you canva trust in your ability to take action. And I'm pretty sure this is something James Clear talks about in his book Atomic Habits. But when you can really trust yourself to do something, that is such a great feeling, right? And you build up that self efficacy in yourself over time. So if you say that you're going to read for ten minutes today and you do it, it feels really good. And then you feel even more capable of setting other goals and reaching other milestones in your life and business. So, again, start small, right? Start from where you are. But these things can be really powerful. And mini goals are tied to all areas of your life. So in this list that you're going to make, in this PDF that you're going to download and take a look at, I want you to think about all different areas of your life. So not just work, not just productivity and getting things done, but also fun, right? So I encourage you to have some of these categories. Be fun and adventure, relaxation and rest. Like, what are the things that are going to bring you closer and allow you to experience those things? And also, many goals don't have to be this agenda to quote, unquote, make you a better person, right? They can simply be things that you enjoy. They can even be things that you already do and you say, I want to keep doing them, or I want to do them again. Your happiness and your joy is a goal worth pursuing daily, right? Even if it doesn't make you more money even if it doesn't make you more productive. Whatever. These many goals are focused on bringing joy into your life. So let's talk about how to do it right. How can you start breaking down your goals? And what are some inspirational ideas or categories that you can get into? So the way that I've made my kind of mini goals bucket list here is that I have broken them down into a list of kind of different life areas. But then also I have a couple of different sections that are actually more of like an ongoing bigger goal. And then the bullet points under that are the steps to achieve them. So this PDF has nine squares, and within each nine of the squares, there's four checkboxes. So that allows you four different things for each area. You don't have to fill all of them in, and you certainly don't have to do all of them. But the fun of this is that you get to kind of set these intentions for your month ahead. So I also want to reference in the Show notes of this podcast, I have this image of my bullet journal. I think this was back from August 2017, or 18 maybe. But I basically had this page, and I just wrote August in the middle of the page. And then I wrote with a highlighter. Let's see here. Seven different sections. And I had financial mind, health, work, social, fun and adventure and selfcare. I just want to share some of the things I wrote in here. And anytime I've shared this post, it's been really popular because it's just such a fun way of breaking down some of your goals. But at the time of this bullet journal entry, I wrote for Financial goals for the month of August, I wrote Pay off PayPal, revamp my Excel sheet. So at the time, I was using Excel for my budgeting. I know you use Google Sheets for mine. I had read three books and Sudoku puzzles for health, I said I wanted to go to the gym at least four times, batch cook on Sundays and do yoga four times. For selfcare, I wrote get a massage daily, gratitude, meditate three times a week. I have not meditated in so long you guys. And then regular journaling for work. My list. Here was course workshops and outline membership site. That was back when I launched. I had a membership site way back in 2017. And then Social. I wrote Game Night and a coffee date. And then Fun and Adventure was Paint Night, go to the movies and go out to a restaurant. So those were just some of my ideas, right? But I want to list and I'll have this available when you download the printable as well on the blog Show Notes for this. But you can break down these mini goals into categories to get you started, right? To start brainstorming. So some of your categories could be things like financial what are your financial goals for the month? Whether it's saving money or paying off a credit card or maybe you have a day every week that's no spend, right? So what are your financial mini goals for the month? Work. What are your work goals for the month? And these don't have to necessarily be things you're doing. These could be things that you're saying no to or you're receiving. So maybe you're like getting additional help or you're outsourcing something. You could also have a category for your mental health or well being or your mind. And I'm going to share my new categories for this month that I wrote down as well. In a minute. Another idea could be a learning category. This is always really fun for me. I'm a type five on the enneagram and I love learning so much. I'm always wanting to just watch documentaries and do Google searches and learn more about stuff. So some of your learning mini goals could be reading a personal development book or going on to an online course, community like coursera.org and joining an online course. You can do those for free. You can also pay if you want like a certificate or something. One course that I have been working through slowly over the years is a positive psychology course through Coursera by Martin Seligman. It is so good. So good. It's actually helped my mental health a lot. So definitely recommend checking that one out. I think it's through the University of Pennsylvania, but that might not be it. But anyway, make some learning goals, right? Learning goals could also be something like, hey, you know what, I've always wanted to go buy some succulents and learn how to take care of them. And they seem pretty low maintenance, right? So that could be going to the library and checking out a book about succulents or going to the bookstore and maybe there's a magazine about plants or doing some research or going to Home Depot, looking at the Succulents and talking to somebody in there and being like, can I keep these alive? Right? Those could all be mini goals for that social goals. Right now there's a little more activity going on in the world. Maybe you have some social goals, some things you want to do, and whatever this looks like for you, right, this could be Voxer with your friends. This could be going out on coffee dates, whatever. That stuff is fun and adventure. This is one I always love to have on my monthly goals list. What are you going to do for fun this month, right? Whether that's going somewhere, going on a mini road trip, checking out some new parks, getting outside, playing Animal Crossing on your switch. That's mine. Whatever those things are journaling. What are your hobbies? What are the things you want to get into? Do you have a bunch of knitting stuff in your closet that you haven't touched for years because you're waiting for the right time. Get into that or go to the craft store and give yourself $20 and buy a paint by numbers set. Like do something fun for yourself. Set these monthly mini goals. Like you're going to be amazed at how much happier you feel when you're taking time to set these intentions and do these things. Another couple of categories. Health, right. What are you going to be doing to take care of yourself this month? Whether that's going on a hike, going on daily walks, maybe it's helpful to meal plan or batch. Cook something if you want. Or maybe it's as simple as, you know what, every single Monday, I'm going to start my week off with a green smoothie, right. And I know that if I do that, I'm more likely to make a green smoothie on Tuesday and Wednesday too, right? It could be something super simple, kind of like a trigger action that just gets you excited about something and reminds you like, oh, I feel so good and nourished when I eat this kind of food or when I do these kind of things first thing in the morning. I just had another idea too, as I'm talking to you about how you could even have a section here for routine or like mornings or afternoons or evenings, what are the things that you want to do for monthly mini goals? Like every morning. So I really like that idea. Actually. One of these sections could be morning and maybe it's drink 20oz of water within the first hour of waking up or, you know, get outside, like literally open my sliding glass door, step out onto my balcony and just look at the trees for five minutes. So what are those different things? And that canva be really fun too, for the afternoon or the evening to make tea to wind down. What are your nightly duties that you want to do? Right? Like ours are always like kind of putting in some laundry, cleaning up the kitchen, and setting the coffee for the next morning. That always makes me feel like taken care of and excited for the next day. And then another category you could have is like outdoor. So since we're in the middle of summer at the time of this recording, what are the things that you want to do outside that you're not going to be able to do? Maybe later in the season, right? Or maybe you can't go outside because it's too hot, right. So maybe you're going to close all your blinds and have a movie marathon. Side note, my husband's birthday is this month and my mom's birthday is in August. And my mom got my husband and I kind of like a joint gift. It was for him, but I'm going to enjoy it too. She actually bought us a bluray player. And it's so funny because we don't have one. I think the only way we could actually watch DVDs is through my husband's Xbox or PlayStation. And we have tons of DVDs. But years ago we got rid of all the cases because they take up so much space and we move all the time. And so we put them all in those, like, big binders that used to be able to buy, like, Radio Shack. Gosh, I'm really dating myself here. And we have tons of DVDs, but we never watch those anymore because just about everything is available online now, right? But my mom and I were having this conversation and she's like, every time you go to watch a movie, you might own it, but it's easier to watch online. But then it's like 399 or $10 to buy it or to rent it. And I was saying how this is so silly, but one of the things I want to do this year for Christmas is I'm so big on Christmas decorations. Like, I just go all out. We literally have oh, gosh, I don't even know. Oh, gosh, you're going to totally judge me. Four or five no, five or six fake Christmas trees. They're all different sizes. We have like one huge one that goes in the living room and then we have several others. So I literally have a tree almost in every room. And this is such a big tangent. Thanks for being here. But one of the reasons why we have so many trees, too, is we've moved so many times, and there have been so many times when we haven't had all of our household goods in a new location or we've lived we lived in like a tiny house for a while, so we couldn't use our huge tree. So we had to buy all these different kinds of trees. And I just keep them. I've kept them. So we have a ton of them. But anyway, I digress back to the DVD thing. Back to the other tangent. This year for Christmas, I want to get like a little festive basket with some kind of like red or decorative fabric in it. And I want to buy all of my favorite Christmas movies on like a hard copy version of a DVD. And every year I want to bring them out in a little basket and watch them on a DVD player. I don't know why, I just want to do it. So my mom got us a Blu ray player and it was really sweet because we're actually kind of excited about it to just watch a bunch of different movies on there because sometimes the Internet goes out and you never know when we were overseas. When we lived overseas, we lived in Italy for a while and down in Naples we would lose Internet all the time and power, but mostly Internet. And there'd be sometimes an entire week. It was really hard to run my business, by the way. There'd be like an entire week where we didn't have internet or it'd be so slow and spotty, and I watched a ton of DVDs then. So anyway, the other fun way that you could use these sections is to create a bigger theme or even a bigger goal in your life and business. So maybe you actually are an avid reader or you want to get back into reading. So you could actually have one of these sections just be reading, and then you could even outline maybe the four different books that you want to read this month. Or you could set a challenge for yourself, like read 50 pages a day or go to the library and check out new books, right? So you could have some of these sections be more of a theme in that way. So I thought it'd be fun to go over some of the monthly mini goals that I have for this upcoming month of August. And I will have a photo of this as well. But I'm sharing this to give you some inspiration and some ideas. And if you end up setting some monthly mini goals and if you use the printable, I would love to see it. So if you want to tag me on Instagram, I'm now at Sarah Steckler. I updated that. My website is updated now too. I can't even remember if I've talked about that. But anyway, if you want to tag me at Sarah Steckler on Instagram or at Sarah Steckler on Twitter, I would love to see what your monthly mini goals are if you want to show me a photo or just list them out. But here are my themes for the month. So I've got nine different sections on here. The first one is relax. And some of my mini goals are to listen to ASMR I do this pretty much every evening anyway, but it really helps me calm down. One of my other goals here is to take a really big nap. There's not really a week that goes by where I don't take a nap, but I would love to give myself full permission to take a big nap. I have a day where it's just like, you're going to really nap today, and then I have bubble bath. Another one of my themes is outdoors, since we're having a little bit of a heatwave here now, but it's going to actually be a little bit cooler in August. And so I wrote that I want to go to two new parks because we're going to be moving into a new state in the next few months. I don't know when yet. And I want to take advantage and make sure I'm seeing all the parks here that I can. I also have I want to go on a planner picnic, so that's something I love doing. I bring an outdoor blanket. I bring Bella, she rolls around in the grass, and I bring my planners and some snacks and just lay out and enjoy all of that. I also want to go spend some time reading outside in the evening. Once it gets a little cooler and it's not as sunny, I love to just go lay in the grass and read. And then I also want to try to go to an outdoor concert series so they're finally bringing those back, and I think that would be really fun. Side note, I'm one of those people that I love to go to those things, but I hate crowds, so I actually love going to parks that do those. And I actually will go sit quite a ways away from where the concert is, but I can still kind of hear it in the background. And I love just kind of being a part of things to the side a little bit. My other category is I just wrote Fun Times, and so some of my mini goals are I want to redesign my entire island in Animal Crossing, New Horizons, and I've actually been having fun. For any of you that love Animal Crossing, I've been having fun. I decided to start going to some treasure islands. So if you want to find those, it's basically like where you can go to other people's islands, and they have there's some kind of thing they've modded, right? So if you're like a purist and you never time travel or anything in Animal Crossing, then this isn't for you. But there's Treasure Islands you can find on Twitch, and I've been going to those, and I've been getting some new furniture items and outdoor things. And I want to really redesign my island on Animal Crossing. I'm thinking I want it to be kind of like almost like a national park feel. So we're going to do that. Another one of my goals is I want to get back into my hobaneti planners and do some memory keeping. Hobanji, if you don't know, are one of my favorite planners. They're a Japanese planner, and they have Tama River paper. It's like the gold of paper. And I have a whole blog post on my website that outlines all the different journals they have, if you're interested. And then I also want to watch Interstellar again. It's been so long since I've seen that gosh. When did it come out? I feel like I saw it when we were living in Maryland. I think it was like, I want to say 2014 or 15. And we saw it in theaters, and it blew my mind, and I loved it and hated it all at the same time because it's so weird at the end. But with all this stuff going on with the James Webb telescope not that the Interstellar is completely super accurate with everything, but I've just been getting really fascinated about space and time and all that stuff again. So I really want to watch that movie again. Get Organized is another theme I have that I want to make some more goodwill donations I am still working my way through so much stuff that I have accumulated over the pandemic and really want to get rid of more stuff before we move. There's nothing like knowing that movers are going to come, pack your stuff and literally look at everything you own to make you want to get rid of things. I also want to declutter my office. That's always a goal. Maybe someday I won't have so much stuff, I don't know. And then I want to clean out our fridge. It is a little messy. There's a lot in there and it's kind of to the point where I threw some romaine lettuce in there the other day and it kind of went to the back of the fridge and then it kind of got frozen and I'm like, what is happening? So I need to clean it out and figure out what's going on with that. And then I want to establish a cleaning schedule. I am really ready to hopefully when we move, we're going to probably be moving into a house when we move, which will be my first time. No, that's not true. We lived in a house when we lived in a tiny house in Annapolis but it was like 500 sqft. But we didn't really have like a fenced in yard. We are going to have a fenced in yard for Bella and I'm so excited and I'm hoping that we can at some point hire a house cleaner. Like once a week we'll see just with the pandemic and trying to save money. We haven't been doing that. We haven't done that yet, but that's a goal. But anyway, right now I want to establish a cleaning schedule. I feel like every time the seasons change, the cleaning schedule changes. Just kind of with what the pets bring in and all that kind of stuff. We have four more categories to go if you're still interested. So the next one is mine. I want to read two books. I am still really struggling with checking out books from the library and then like not reading them. I really struggle with my attention span with reading and I actually saw this thing on TikTok while back oh my gosh, I can't remember the name of it, where they bold certain letters in each word to help you read faster. And I was able to read and comprehend so much easier and so I'm just like I wish every book could actually have that. I can't remember what it's called. But anyway, I really want to read two books. I want to do like a weekly gratitude list where kind of incorporated into my either Friday or Sunday planning routine where I'm sitting down and making kind of like a list of everything that I'm really grateful for. I kind of like that better than daily gratitude. I don't know why. And then I want to get back into daily brandoms. I have not been doing. Them daily and I do them always once a week. But when I do daily brain dumps, my brain, my productivity, everything just works way better. And then I want to limit social media. I just wrote limit social on here definitely means social media. And I've been kind of doing that with my summer sabbatical. I've given myself permission to not have to post on Instagram if I don't want to. And that's been really nice. Financial. I want us to pay off our Amex card that we've been putting a little bit of money on and then I want to start saving for a washer dryer. We are going to need that when we move because they won't have one for us. And then I also have some more themed mini goals. One of my squares is the podcast. So within that, each mini goal is I want to content plan for the podcast, make a title list, and that's a good way to kind of get inspired. Again, I want to batch some episodes. I really want to get to a point again where I've got at least four or five episodes ready to go because if I've learned anything over the past couple of months, it's that if I get sick, not only does it make me not able to do anything, but it also just depletes my creative brain and I just was zapped of caring about anything. There was definitely a couple of weeks where I was like, I don't know if I ever want to do the podcast again. And I want to make sure that I have myself prepared. And then I want to make some quote graphics for more episodes. Okay, last two time with mom is another square and I have day at a park with her. I have these really cute little camping chairs and basically have a planner picnic with her. I want to cook her dinner. Her birthday is in mid August, so I want to celebrate her birthday with her. And then I want us to also we've been talking about going on like a long drive, maybe like out to the ocean or something with Bella and get some iced coffees. Spending as much time with her as possible before I moved heres because that's going to be tough. And then the last one is work. So while I do outline more of my work projects more in depth inside of my daily dash in notion, I did want to have a section here because I'm going to have this like put up on my wall next to my computer. So I'm going to be doing more pretty productive life updates. The curriculum for this. Oh my gosh, it's so much work, but it's going to be amazing. I wasn't going to share this with you, but I guess I am. I'm working on a template shop with some Notion templates and other things. And if you're a pretty productive life student, there's some fun news about some specials that you'll get with that. I am thinking about bringing back my Get Organized with Google Workspace course. I've had a couple of people ask about it and I don't know, I'm thinking about it. And then I'm also working on our fall launch plan for published with purpose. We're going to do our next live round starting at the end of September. And that's another thing, too, is that I want to start setting specific dates for when we do those live rounds every year. Because so far this course has been running since 2019. And every year I kind of just decide on a whim a couple of months out, like, oh, we're going to do a 60 day round here. But I want to get into a habit of actually setting a date, like a couple of months. Like, we do it in fall and we do it in spring, you know what I mean? So anyway, that is my monthly mini goals. I hope this podcast episode was inspiring. It was a lot of rambling and just sharing kind of what's going on. But I find it really helpful to hear what other people are doing and planning and scheming and stuff. So if that's helpful, let me know. I'd love to hear from you if you want to shout out to me on Instagram. Again, I'm @SarahSteckler and I really hope you have an awesome week. I hope you have a really good month. And just remember to make sure to take care of yourself, make sure to vote. We have all that kind of stuff coming up here in our local elections. But yeah, make sure you're voting, make sure you're staying aware, but also taking care of yourself. And I hope you have a really lovely week ahead and I will be back here next Monday with a brand new episode itself. Thanks so much. As always, you can find more resources and more podcast episodes by going Sarah Steckler.com and I will see you back here next Monday. Toodaloo!