Goal Setting

January has arrived and almost gone; we’ve created an ideal list of what we want to achieve by the end of the year. We were excited writing it and simply kept adding and adding to the list until we started to feel overwhelmed. We look at the list every day at first, then every second day, then every week, month… Suddenly, it’s December 2020 and we’ve realised we didn’t do anything that we wanted to do!

Does that sound familiar to you? It is most certainly the trap I seem to fall into every year. For the last year and a half, I’ve wanted to create an online side business but I kept putting it off saying I don’t have time, I’m too tired, I can’t get started now because I need to put aside hours to do it. I had more goals in relation to hobbies and interests but roll on end of year and very little had been achieved.

This year, I decided it will be different. Already January has been much more productive.

So, what have I done different this time to make me more confident? I started by making my goals SMART, I wrote them all down and I split them into much more manageable everyday tasks. I made a list of what I need to get done and prioritised it using the below methods:

1. I made my goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely)

a. An example of an unachievable goal would be “I want a successful online business in the next couple of months” – This is too broad and not realistic. Change this to SMART. “I want to set up my online business by the end of the year. I want to begin by having 5 paying clients by the end of the year.”

This changes the goal to be in your reach. Now you need to split this into smaller tasks:

“Week 1 – 6 I want to research my business and make a business plan. Who will be my target market etc?

Week 6 – 12 – what is my pricing model, build a website, identify my brand”

b. Another example of an unachievable goal – “I want to learn the guitar in 3 months” Make it SMART. “I’m going to learn the guitar by the end of the month. I am going to practice everyday and learn one song by the end of my second month”

2. I changed my mindset around my goals. Doing a little every day, goes a long way. Instead of panicking and dismissing doing a task in the evening thinking “I don’t have enough time” I said to myself just spend 15 minutes a day on task X. That would really motivate me to get started, thinking it’s only 15 minutes. More often than not, I’d end up spending the hour at it because I actually enjoyed it! The thought of something is always worse than actually doing it. Same goes with gym etc.

3. I stopped being so hard on myself if I felt like I haven’t done enough in day. Those days I really am too tired to do something and want to take a break, I allow myself to take that break. I stopped feeling guilty about it. You’re allowed to chill out which leads me to…

4. Taking the necessary breaks. To my previous point, I planned one evening a week for my “chill out, do nothing” evening. I’ve learned the hard way that when I work on ultra-fast mode and extreme schedule, I burnout.

5. I committed. I picked the goals I truly wanted to achieve. Not the ones I thought I wanted, asked someone’s opinion on or someone else’s goals. I dug deep and have goals I’m truly passionate about.

Remember to spend time on your goal setting and planning, and don’t be afraid to fail. With every failure comes an excellent learning experience.

If you need help setting goals and don’t know where to start, get in contact alwaysaisling@gmail.com and/or comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading,


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