PRODUCTIVITY SERIES: 5: The Goal Funnel – How to set and smash goals every single day.
For the final post in the Productivity mini-series, I want to share the one method for setting goals that will help you absolutely smash it every time! I call this method ‘The Goal Funnel’, and it might take a second to wrap your head around this method, but I promise you, this is the only way to make sure you hit every target well before schedule!
Of course I want to give you all of the series freebies first, so if you haven’t yet, fill out the form below and grab them all!
Through this series so far, I’ve emphasized the need to set specific, quantitative goals. When we set vague goals, such as, “I’m going to be wealthy this month,” or, “I’m going to be healthy and skinny,” it’s honestly just a waste of time and effort.
You see, our minds have been conditioned to think in terms of relativity. So when you say you’re going to be “wealthy”, your mind says, “Well, look at all the people with no homes. I’m already wealthy!” And it’s true; simply being able to read this post means you have electricity, an internet connection, and a desktop or hand-held device – clearly, you’re a lot wealthier than a portion of the world’s population! However, you’re likely aiming for much more – a private jet, for instance (yup, I’m totally aiming for that too) – and your mind needs to know that! If you don’t give your subconscious a standard to measure your success by, it won’t even know what it’s working towards!
Thus, the first step is simple – set a quantitative goal, so that you will undoubtedly know when you achieve it.
Speaking of when, another very important feature of effective goal-setting is a time constraint. If you aim to own a private jet one day (yup, we’re still talking about that), but you don’t really know when that “one day” is, there is no sense of urgency! Compared to this undated goal which you’re hoping to achieve at some point in the future, there are a million other things that your mind considers way more urgent, and it will put those things first. Result? Your big dream will forever be just that – a dream.
So step two – set a “finish by” date for your quantitative goal!
The next part is easy, we did it as children all the time. Take your goal and make it double! What ever your goal is, aim way higher for the same time period! You’ll automatically put in twice as much effort, meaning that not only will you achieve your original goal in way lesser time, you’ll fly right past it and do things you never knew you were capable of doing. Sounds good, eh?
The Goal Funnel
Now that we’ve got our goals laid out in plain quantities, let’s talk about fitting them into our lives. This is something I like to do at the start of every year, but it can be done at any point!
Here’s the three-layered goal funnel that will honestly help you smash all of your goals!
1. Yearly Goals
The first thing you want to do is ask yourself this question:
Who do I want to be at the end of the year?
That doesn’t just mean financially, or professionally, you need to decide who you want to be mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. How do you want to react to any situation by the end of the year? How would you like to handle stress and losses, but also wins?
By setting a target mindset rather than a target number for your year, you’ll internally begin to become the person you need to be, in order to achieve your external goals.
Let’s work with that private jet example, to understand this point better. At the start of the year, I don’t decide that I want a private jet within a year. Instead, I think of who I would be if I did have a private jet a year from now. First and foremost, I would only buy a private jet if I planned to travel long distances at a short notice, which means, I would be an active, confident explorer. Right away, this challenges my current obsession with security and stability, so that would be one obstacle I’d need to work through – I already have my first action step!
Deciding who you want to be at the end of your year will show you all the internal growing you need to do in order to get there.
2. Monthly Goals
Now that we have our big, super-sized personal development goal in place, let’s break it down just a little bit. At the start of the month, you will ask yourself this question:
What do I want to see at the end of this month?
This could be a sales target being achieved, a project reaching completion, your students all getting As – this is the result you want.
Don’t worry about how you’ll get to your monthly goal just yet, simply think this: which part of aspect of your year’s personal goal will this month complete? How much of that private jet money would you need in your savings this month?
Personally, I like to set three or four goals each month, since it makes each goal a lot simpler than having one large complex goal, and it also gets me twice or thrice as closer to achieving my yearly goal. You can totally set as many goals as you want or need, but I strongly recommend no more than five or six, because then you’ll just be spreading yourself too thin!
As an example, I set four goals for Bulleting Bird in November:
- 2,000 Instagram followers
- 50 newsletter sign-ups
- Over 500 page views on my blog
- 30 sign-ups for my Winstagram course
I also set some target dates for these, and guess what! I’ve already smashed two of these well before time, and way above target! While setting these goals, I didn’t let myself get caught up in the nitty-gritty details of how I’d achieve them, but rather decided on the end result that I wanted from this month.
3. Weekly Goals
This is where we make serious leaps towards our targets. At the start of the week, ask yourself:
What do I need to do to achieve my monthly goal?
Think about all the action steps that need to (and can) be taken through this week, that will inch you closer to your monthly goal. This is the usual method of goal-setting that we’ve all been using, but there are a couple of reasons why I like to keep this at the bottom of the funnel.
Because we have our yearly personal growth goal in place before we think of anything else, our brain gets the clear message that every action we take through the next year must be a step towards who we want to be. This shift in our mindset then allows us to explore options we normally would. You’ll constantly find yourself asking the question, “What would future me do in this situation?”
Once you put yourself in the shoes of future you, it’s a lot easier to see the world through those lenses, giving you a clear picture of what you need to surround yourself with in order to get there. Cue the monthly goals!
Then – and only then – can we begin to think about what needs to be done to take us from where we are to where we want to be! Trying to decide on action steps before even having a clear picture of who we want to become is like trying to make a sandwich by blindly reaching into the refrigerator and just praying that it will be edible – you’ll probably just end up with a mess!
Working your way back up the funnel
Now that we have our goal funnel in place, the next step is to focus simply on the weekly goals. Learn to trust that the system works, and that you don’t always need to worry about checking in with your goals every single day! Not only will this free up your mind to actually work on your action steps, it also keeps you from obsessing over every tiny detail that you may have missed.
Always remember, your target is set way higher than you need – yes, you can relax and focus on enjoying the process of getting there! However, once you’ve got your action steps in place, I want you to forget all about the whole target-higher-than-you-need business. Simply throw yourself into the daily grind and cross your weekly goals one step at a time. Before you know it, you’ll be a whole different person with a massive amount of growth to show for it!
Again, I highly recommend reading this post over at least one more time, because the concept of The Goal Funnel can take a few tries to completely understand – but once you do, you’ll totally get it!
To make your life easier, here’s a super easy little workbook to help you create your very own goal funnel! It will guide you through all the necessary steps for setting your yearly, monthly and weekly goals, and it’s totally FREE! Cick the banner below to grab this workbook – no signup needed!