Effective goal setting, as part of my annual and quarterly planning process has been the biggest contributor to my success over the last two years. It has resulted in me having significant growth and progress in all areas of life – my career, finances, family and social relationships, personal development and my life purpose.
As Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
If you want to live the life of your dreams, then you need to be intentional. Anyone who has achieved anything worthwhile in life has been focused on what they want, and actively worked to achieve it.
That starts with being clear on what success looks like. And that’s not just your career, or money. It should include personal, family and social relationships, how we grow mentally and spiritually, and our physical and mental wellbeing.
For the last two years I have spent New Years Day, and a few days following, doing annual planning and goal setting with my partner. The result is 8-10 goals for the next 12-36 months. We then choose 2-3 goals to focus on for the next 3 months, and this forms the basis of our weekly and daily goal setting. We then revisit our goals every 3 months, and reset for the following quarter.
Prior to that I’ve had some years with no goals at all, and finished the year feeling a little flat and unfulfilled. A year had passed, and I felt like I had not progressed.
Other years I set goals however they were skewed towards university, and ignored all the other areas of life. I achieved the university grades I wanted but my physical and mental health suffered, and wasted time in toxic relationships that did not serve me.
It’s easy to do. Life is busy, and we all get caught in the minutiae of day to day life, and we don’t take the time to consider what we want from life.
I’ve had many people ask me how I have achieved so much in the last few years, so I wanted to share what I’ve learned around effective goal setting in this episode of The Females in Tech Show.
Here’s what we cover:
- How Joel and I start our New Year, including our annual review and setting goals for the year head (7:08)
- Joel shares how to set SMART goals, and how to break your annual goals into quarterly and weekly goals (12:53)
- We share advice on how to align your goals with your partner (20:23)
- I share an example of an annual goal we had last year, and how we broke it down into quarterly and weekly goals (27:33)
- We provide an outline of our current goal setting process, and how long it takes to complete each step (30:42)
- I share the tools we use, and provide details on how you can access the FIIT Collective Daily Goals Planner (35:09)
- And so much more!
- Michael Hyatt Best Year Ever
- Gabby Bernstein Manifesting Challenge
- Brendon Burchard High Performance Planner
- Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt
- Franklin Covey Planner
- Officeworks Weekly Planner Whiteboard
- Officeworks A3 Monthly Goals Desk Planner
- FIIT Collective Daily Planner
- The Females in Tech Show, episode 3, Periods and Productivity
- View a full transcript of the podcast at the bottom of the page, or download a PDF version here.
[Full Disclaimer: Some of these links may be affiliate links, which means we receive compensation, at no extra cost to you, if you purchase through the link.]
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Joel Norton: Hello
Tamara Klink: Hi
Joel Norton: Hey, beautiful, how are you
Tamara Klink: I’m good thank you, how are you?
Joel Norton: Very well, looking forward to today. What are three things that you are grateful for?
Tamara Klink: I love gratitude, this never gets old. This first thing that I am grateful for is having the opportunity to catch up with two of our friends yesterday. So, Steph and her husband Nathan, and we had a really long lunch. It didn’t seem long at all, but it ended up being two hours.
Joel Norton: Yeah
Tamara Klink: And we explored a new part of Sydney that I haven’t really had the opportunity to see much of just yet. So we went to North Sydney at a beautiful café. Do you remember what it’s called?
Joel Norton: Green Moustache, I think it was.
Tamara Klink: Yeah, it was really cool. North Sydney has a lot of development at the moment, so that was a really beautiful café. I’m really grateful that we had the opportunity to catch up with them both before Christmas.
The second thing that I’m grateful for is my manager. He has been taking the initiative of spending a lot of time with a select group of his team and teaching us all leadership skills and different methodologies to implement in terms of the different scenarios that you may come across. So, super grateful that he has assigned 30 minutes every single week to teach us something new, which is great, and we get to share our experiences as well. Lots of learning there.
The third thing that I’m grateful for is this last year. We have had an epic year. I think it’s been one of our best years ever.
Joel Norton: We sure have. We’ve packed a lot in there.
Tamara Klink: We have. So I’m really blessed to have you as a partner and that you are so driven to achieve all of our goals and yeah, it’s been such a great year. And I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since I’ve moved to Sydney as well.
Joel Norton: I know, there’s been a lot. I agree, it’s been awesome.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. What are three things that you’re grateful for?
Joel Norton: Thank you. So, my first one is just for having some time out yesterday morning. We do cram a lot in, so we just recognized that we didn’t have anything planned. Well, actually, we had things planned but we cancelled it all, and just thought, “Let’s just spend some time together and just be.” So, really grateful for the time we had yesterday morning. The second thing was, yes, I was also grateful for catching up with friends and going into North Sydney, because you haven’t really seen that part of the world too much, and to go to a different restaurant and café, which was good.
And the third thing for me is just planning today’s episode, which is about goal-setting, which we’ll jump into. But just through the process of talking about goal-setting and then talking a bit about what our goals are for this year, I’m extremely grateful for doing this process with you, not just at the start of the year, but also quarterly and weekly. But just doing the whole process, because to me it’s really important that as a couple, that we’re aligned and we have got some common goals, and we take that another stage further, where we’re deeply committed and invested in each other’s goals as well. So, I really love that, as you know, and it’s really important that we’re sort of aligned around that. And we’re an awesome team together, so I’m really grateful for that.
Tamara Klink: I’m very grateful that we’re both goal-driven. It can be a little bit difficult if one partner is very goal-driven and the other, not so much, so the fact that we are very goal-driven and that we are talking about this subject today, which we’re both passionate about, and we can’t wait to share what’s worked for us and what hasn’t really worked as well-
Joel Norton: Yes.
Tamara Klink: So the listeners can benefit from it and yeah, learn from the topics that we’re talking about today.
Joel Norton: Yeah. All right. Should we jump in?
Tamara Klink: Absolutely. So the topic for today is really about how to have your best year ever with more effective goal setting, and I think it’s just really important to note there is, like anything, so much content out there around goal-setting. It could be around anything, like health and nutrition, but there is so much content about goal-setting. So for the purpose of this episode, we’re going to share what personally works for Joel and I, and I just want the listeners to keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily have to work for you as well. So take in what works for you and change and adapt it according to what your truth is.
Joel Norton: Yeah, absolutely. Because I think that over the years, I’ve trailed different programs, planning, goal-setting programs, and found some worked for me better than other ones did, but the fact is everyone is a little bit different, so you need to find something that works for you.
Tamara Klink: Yeah, and we just hope to inspire you to have the best year ever and be able to set more realistic and achievable goals and we’re changing every single year as well. What we did two years ago is not the same as what we’re doing now. We’re constantly changing and adapting of what works for us individually and together as a couple.
Joel Norton: Yeah, absolutely.
Tamara Klink: So I think we might share what we do on New Year’s Eve. I was about to say Christmas Eve. I’m getting ahead of myself here. So New Year’s Eve. What Joel and I like to do, we’re not the biggest party animals. That was a very long time ago. Well, very, very long for you.
Joel Norton: Thank you.
Tamara Klink: But we like to get up really early in the morning and watch the first sunrise of the year. The sunrise has always been something really special to me and it’s a place where I feel really safe, so I love sharing that experience with you, Joel. We practice gratitude that morning, we meditate, and we move our body, whether it’s just a little walk along the beach whilst we watch the sunrise or a bit of yoga. Anything that we feel like during that time. We then have a delicious breakfast that’s going to fuel us with the energy that we need throughout the day, because we then start to set our goals.
So typically when we first started this, it took us two weeks, but now that we’ve gotten a lot smarter with our goals and reviewing our goals, I think it’s only going to take us, what, a day or two days this year?
Joel Norton: Yeah, I’d say probably two days, max, yeah.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. We set our goals for the year, then we review our goals from last year as well. How far did we come? What did we achieve, and what didn’t we achieve? Why didn’t we achieve those goals? Is it something that caused us to pivot, or is it because we had an unrealistic goal that wasn’t aligned to our truth?
Really understanding some of the goals, and why we didn’t achieve them, and being okay with that as well. And then we look at the achievements that we had that are outside of our goals. For example, I was nominated for the ARN Women in ICT award. That wasn’t a goal, but that’s an achievement. So celebrating those, and mapping those out so I don’t feel as guilty not achieving all of my goals from the last year.
We also look at what our biggest disappointments are and breaking down those limiting beliefs. And then what are the biggest life lessons for the year? And then we really start to set our goals for the next year to come.
Joel Norton: Yes. I think that review process is really important, and that’s a recurring theme that we do. Not just in the annual goal-setting but in the quarterly goals and also the weekly goals.
Doing that review and understanding, recognizing what are the successes or the wins. What are the things that we should be celebrating this week or this quarter or for the year? Where are the areas where we didn’t quite get to where we wanted to.
And so as part of that is working out what are the reasons why and then being able to learn from that, just like if you were doing an IT project or something. You have a post-implementation review. What are the things that went really well, and what are the things that we didn’t, and what are the things we can improve on for the next time?
Tamara Klink: Yeah.
Joel Norton: So that review process is core to setting yourself up for success.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. Absolutely.
Joel Norton: The next thing after that review is then around how are we going to set our goals for the year. Now, with the annual goal-setting, it can be just for the year, but you could also goals, whether that might be two years, three years out, or five or even 10 years out. Again, we’ve adapted this. Previously we’ve set some longer-term goals. Last year we deliberately just set some goals just for these 12 months. I think this year, we’ll incorporate, again, some more future goals, but it’s just about sort of adapting it. But I think it is important to have those longer-term goals and in setting those goals, sort of having a range. I think the last year, I had 10. I had, actually, sort of eight. Eight goals.
Tamara Klink: Yeah.
Joel Norton: Different people sort of suggest how many. I think they say you can have up to 12 goals. Personally, I think 12 is too many, unless some of those are those longer sort of 3, 4, 5- or 10-year goals, which is fine. But generally, as far as in annual goals, I think 8 is more than enough. Otherwise you’re stretching yourself too far to try and achieve those goals. And the goals need to cover all areas of life and I think that’s a big trap that if you’re too focused just in one or two areas and primarily if you’re too focused in your career and work, then all those other areas are going to suffer.
Joel Norton: So we’ve talked before about the different areas of life and we worked with the John Demartini areas of life, of which there are seven, but there’s other programs, whether it’s Tony Robbins or Stephen Covey or Brendon Burchard or Michael Hyatt. They’ve got a similar sort of model between four and 10 different areas, but we work with the John Demartini, so for the people that are not familiar with those, the first one is spiritual, so very much around what’s your, that doesn’t, whilst for some people, that might be religion or church and things, it is more about the spiritual for you, which is understanding what your purpose and mission and what your truth is.
Tamara Klink: Yeah, your why.
Joel Norton: Yeah, your why. So that’s spiritual. Second is around mental. Third is vocational and career. Fourth is financial. Five is familial, so that’s your close family and relationships. Six is social, which is a broader social influence. And seven is physical. So we look at the goals and generally have at least one in each of those seven areas and then we might have a couple of extra goals from one of those and hence, we get to eight to 10 goals.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. And we do that because we want to achieve that balance in life. So if we only set goals around our career and around our spiritual goals, so our side business, then we’re going to be so unbalanced in the other areas of life and we’re going to neglect those and those areas are going to suffer. So if you do want to achieve that work-life balance, it’s important that you set goals in each of those different areas.
Joel Norton: Yeah. Absolutely. And then you need to really map out, well, what do those goals look like? What does success look like? So if I’ve got a goal which is a financial goal or if it is something about work or it’s physical, what does success look like? You need to get really crystal clear on how do I know once I’ve achieved that goal, because if you’re not clear on what success looks like, you’re never going to achieve it. And that partly comes up in your review sometimes. “Well, I wasn’t clear on actually what it was I wanted to achieve.”
Tamara Klink: So what do you mean by review? Oh, your quarterly reviews or weekly reviews.
Joel Norton: Or the annual review, yeah.
Tamara Klink: Yes.
Joel Norton: So maybe you didn’t achieve something because you weren’t clear on actually what it was you wanted in the first place.
Tamara Klink: Right.
Joel Norton: Being really clear and succinct on what does success look like helps you achieve it. Yeah. Typically it’s SMART goals, and that’s an acronym, SMART being S for specific, then you’ve got measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely. One of the easiest or the best examples to use is, because it’s something that people always do it in their New Year’s resolutions, is I want to get fit. So, “I want to get fit” is not a SMART goal. It’s just a general feeling. Well, how do you know what fit is? What is fit for me is different to what it might be for you and different to what somebody else might be. So an example a physical goal that I had for last year, which is sort of SMART, which is being able to hold a handstand for 60 seconds by the 30th of November, 2019.
Tamara Klink: It was not SMART.
Joel Norton: Well, it was SMART as far as it was specific, it was measurable, it was actionable, it was timely. I think what you’re going to say is it probably wasn’t realistic.
Tamara Klink: And I told you that when you set that goal, given that I was in the circus for eight years. But yeah, keep going with your story.
Joel Norton: Well, when I set it, it was SMART. The point is, I didn’t spend enough time on it throughout the year.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. So you set it just in the last quarter and I had told you, “If you want to hold a 60 second handstand, you’re going to have to work through that throughout the whole year.”
Joel Norton: So that’s okay. We’ll talk a bit about that. But that’s an example of, you can’t just say for a goal, “I want to get fit.” You need to be clearer on what’s that outcome. The outcome for me was holding a handstand. So that’s very clear. It was timely, because there was a date by when I wanted to achieve that by. So I can measure that and say, “Did I achieve that or did I not?” In this case, I didn’t.
Tamara Klink: Well, you haven’t tried yet.
Joel Norton: No, true.
Tamara Klink: I might just chime in there because I had also set a physical goal and this is where you need to set goals that are intrinsically motivated and inspire you. Rather than making you feel miserable and overwhelmed.
I set a goal to be a size 8 pant size by the 31st of December, 2019. Again, that wasn’t realistic because my natural body shape is not a size 8 pant size. I have nice curvy hips. And I have been a size 8 in the past, definitely, but I’ve had to be really restrictive on my diet and how much I exercise. I’m just not at that stage of life anymore and as much as I think that being a size 8 pant size is going to make me X amount happier, realistically it’s not. I love food and I love experimenting with food and understanding what food groups give me the most amount of energy.
For women who do have those body insecurity issues, I would like to say you can be a little bit more relaxed around those SMART goals in that physical area. For me next year what I’m going to do is set it as more of a how I want to feel.
The things that I want to do is learn what food groups sustain the longest amount of energy to get me through the day so I can achieve my daily goals and weekly goals. To feel healthy and beautiful on the inside and outside. Work on quieting that inner critic who’s telling me I’m fat and ugly and I can’t even look at myself in the mirror. To be able to do this, this is where I set the SMART goal. Meal-prepping every single Sunday for the whole year. Going to the gym at least three times a week for the whole year. Setting positive body affirmations that I can read to myself daily.
Again, with SMART goals, it’s really great for areas like vocational and mental and things like that, but for women, physical, we are so insecure as it is, so just be a little bit more relaxed in that area. Or do what works for you.
Joel Norton: Yeah, no, I agree. It could be something different like you say, like being able to exercise three times a week.
Tamara Klink: Yeah.
Joel Norton: That’s a great goal. Or it could be an event or something, which you’ve had one before. “I want to be able to run 5ks by a certain date,” or something, and that was around a fun run or something. You could have events which are a deadline orientated based thing and that you’re working towards that. Yeah?
Tamara Klink: Yeah. But for me, even just reading, “I want to run 5k for this event,” that does not excite me at all.
Joel Norton: No.
Tamara Klink: That honestly, ugh. I could not think of anything worse, and during that run, it was the worst thing ever and I only ran it in the time I set because we had incentives that we would give each other when we achieved that. So again, just really listen to what that goal is and how your body is feeling when you set that goal.
Joel Norton: Yeah, it needs to be true to you, so don’t, and we talk about this quite often, too, just around comparisons. Don’t set a goal because it’s something that somebody else is doing or has done. It does need to be right for you based on your purpose and also the season of life you’re in, where are you at with that sort of thing and what’s right for you generally.
Tamara Klink: Yeah, absolutely.
Joel Norton: Yeah. So we go through that process of looking at those goals, looking at each of the different areas of life, making sure that they’re SMART as much as we can as far as what does success look like? How are we going to know if we achieve that? And then the other thing we then do before we take the next step is then have a check-in with each other. So we do that separately, but then we check in and align with each other to sort of say, “Well, what are the goals that you’ve got?” Which is interesting because we are doing the different areas of life, we’ve got similarities around it.
So for argument’s sake, around mental, you’ll have some goals around that, I’ve got some goals, and we just walk through each of those. Now, some of them are very separate, which is cool, and then some of them, they overlap a bit. So we then have a process of saying, “Well, okay. Well, how can we combine these?” Because we both are very busy and we’ve got a lot on, it works really well, then, for us to be able to say, “Well, we sort of merged some of those goals so we’ve got a joint goal whilst others are separate.” And then that means that we’re constantly working together as a team and I think that works for us. It works really well.
Some other couples as you say, because of the way that they’re, if they’re not as career-orientated, they could be very separate, but still having that piece where you’re coming together and aligning and understanding what the other person’s goals are and what your goals are still means you can work effectively together and recognizing, okay, my partner needs some time to do xyz and they can do the same thing so that they are respecting and supporting you in achieving those goals, even though they may be different.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. And a good one of working together is a financial goal. So if you want to go on a holiday, how much do you want to save in comparison to your partner and where do you want to go? So you’re constantly having those quarterly reviews or financial quarterly reviews every quarter to see how far you’ve got and keep encouraging one another through that.
Joel Norton: Yeah. That’s right. And you can do that in different ways. One might be about putting money aside from your monthly pay to the holiday and there’s other things. Well, we’re not going to eat out as much or we’re not going to buy xyz because that’s going towards our holiday, so that you can do that in different ways.
Tamara Klink: Yeah.
Joel Norton: So, the next thing is, so once you’ve got the goals set out for the, whether it’s the 12 months or the three years or the five years, is then to say, “Well, what’s the next step that I’ve got to take on those?” And this is a point where some people get stuck, because they feel like, “Oh, I’ve got these goals. Now I’ve got to map out and have a project plan for every single goal.” And that’s where you get into this, one, it becomes overwhelm, and two, you get stuck into sort of analysis paralysis where feeling like I don’t know what all the next steps are, so you don’t do those. Literally, what is the next step that you need to do in each of these different goals?
Then once you’ve got that, then what we do is to go through, okay, what’s the first quarter look like? So literally, I mean, we’re doing this on the first, second, third of January. What does the quarter look like? By the end of March, what are the things you want to achieve? You’re typically picking one, two, or maximum of three of those annual or long-term goals and saying, “These are the ones I’m going to focus on for the quarter.” Because it’s unrealistic to say, “Well, I’m going to work on all eight or all nine or all 10 of these goals every quarter.” You can’t do that every quarter, every week, every day. These are the two or three goals that I’m going to focus on for this quarter. And then you might have, some of those goals might run every quarter for the year.
Tamara Klink: Like your handstand.
Joel Norton: Well, it should have, but it didn’t. And that’s okay, because I had some competing priorities and I made a decision to say, “Well, no, for the first quarter, I’m going to focus on these other goals.”
I realized that actually trying to do more than the three goals was already a stretch anyway, based on a whole bunch of other things. And it’s unrealistic to expect that you’re going to progress on all goals every day, every week, every month. You’re effectively assessing that every quarter.
You’re saying, “Well, what do we do? These were my last quarters, this is what I worked well.” Now you might go, one of those you intended to finish that quarter, but for whatever reason, it didn’t finish. You may then decide to then roll that into the next quarter and do it, or you might park it and pick another one. However you’re only doing that on a quarter-by-quarter basis. You don’t have to say, “Well, I’m going to do this in quarter one, two, three, four.” But you definitely need to start with the first quarter, “These are the two or three goals I’m going to focus on for this quarter.”
Tamara Klink: Yeah. And that reduces your feeling of being really overwhelmed with having to achieve all these goals within the year. So it really breaks it down for you.
Joel Norton: Yeah. And then, I mean, you talked about, for argument’s sake, the financial goals of saving for a holiday. That’s a relatively easy one that it could be on autopilot, like in every month, I’m going to direct debit $50, $100, whatever the number might be and that’s just going to tick away in the background. So some of those, it’s not a lot of action that needs to be taken to be doing that. That can just be happening in the background.
And again, checking in. Once you’re doing that sort of quarterly goal-setting is again, check in with your partner. What are their goals that they’ve got for the quarter? Do they align with yours? If we’re either similar, then how are you going to work to achieve that? If they’re different, again, just making sure that they’re not conflicting and that you’re able to support each other in what those goals are. And then once you’ve got your quarterly goals set, you’re then looking at what your weekly goals are. And again, you’re saying, “What are my top three goals for the week? I’m not trying to do more than that.” And then that breaks down into what are my top three goals for the day. And it’s being mindful that it’s a maximum of three. Maximum of three for the week and a maximum of three for the day.
Tamara Klink: How much do you stick to that?
Joel Norton: Me? Well, I’ve always got extra things that I do. Everyone has got a lot to do. They’ve got a big to do list. That’s the thing. But it’s saying that these are the three things, if I get these three things done, I feel like I’ve had a great day. Anything over and above that is a bonus. Everyone has got a lot more than three things to do in a day.
Tamara Klink: Absolutely.
Joel Norton: But it’s saying these are the biggest priorities for me to shift the needle towards my annual goals. These are the ones that are really going to make a difference. Sometimes you’re not going to have three. It could just be one. I know, for instance, during the school holidays, it’s always really hard for me to get more than probably one big thing done. I’ve got client commitments that I’ve already got scheduled. When I’ve got extra time, I’m picking up my son or doing whatever with him. I don’t have much time for much else during that period. So during those couple of weeks I can only get one other thing done a day or for the week. I deliberately cut back. And it seemed like when you’ve got your period, or you’re going through different cycles on your period, right?
Tamara Klink: Yeah, absolutely. So when I’m in my winter, I rarely have big deadlines during that time. The winter phase is when you are on your bleed. So I typically fit in a lot of self-care during that time and a lot of reading because they’re the things that are going to make me feel good during that time.
Joel Norton: Yeah. And again, that comes back to, so, when we’re doing the weekly piece, we’re realigning on some of those things. So where is Tamara at in her cycle? What’s happening for the following week? And also thinking a few weeks ahead around some of those deadlines and how that might impact the work she’s got to do now. And then the calendar or schedule for the week as well. I’ve got things on like this, yeah. Today we were doing it this morning around some stuff. We’ve both got some functions or things on this week, so how are we making sure that we’re aligned around some of those pieces as well.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. We’ve just covered a lot just then, so I’m just going to break it down into a really quick example that we had this year.
I wanted to launch a podcast by the 12th of September, 2019. That’s the start of Quarter Three. So in Quarter Two, you and I were really focusing on getting everything that we needed to be able to launch in September. In Quarter One, we didn’t even think about it.
Quarter Two, we had to start and complete the podcasting course by the end of July, and have all pre-launch marketing materials by the end of August. Plus have four podcast episodes recorded and ready to publish by the end of August.
Examples of the weekly tasks looked like complete one module of the podcasting course, or complete the email copy for the pre-launch marketing material. Another example is recording the podcast episode, editing it, then transcribing it, writing the podcast notes in the chapters.
That’s really how you can see that the weekly tasks are helping you achieve the quarterly tasks, and then the annual goal.
Joel Norton: Yeah, correct. And so all of those smaller tasks that you mentioned, we didn’t plan that out upfront when you did the annual piece.
Tamara Klink: No.
Joel Norton: It was just the next step was we need to learn how to podcast.
Tamara Klink: Yeah.
Joel Norton: Right? So we just then researched some different programs and then made a decision to buy one, but we did that when it was at the start of quarter two, right?
Tamara Klink: Yeah. At the end of quarter one, we reviewed quarter one, and then we were like, “Okay, what does quarter two look like?” We had already known what podcast course we were going to do, but we really mapped that out throughout the quarter and what we needed to achieve each month and then we only did the weekly tasks after the week prior had finished, only working out what weekly tasks we had to do each week in advance.
Joel Norton: Yeah, and that was partly because we were going through the course and we were given actions or tasks that we needed to do, so it was sort of a, we were building it as we were going along.
Tamara Klink: Exactly.
Joel Norton: And I think there’s that whole piece around aligning, too, because we were working on this together as far as getting it to launch. So for the quarterly goals, we did that separately, but then we came together, well we’re sitting next to each other doing it individually, but then we sort of checked in and said, “Okay, what are yours? Okay, what are mine? Do I need to tweak mine a bit to fit in with yours? How are we working on this together to achieve that goal?”
Tamara Klink: Yeah. An example might be I would write the email copy and then you would edit it. What date do I have to finish that email copy for you to be ready to review it and edit it? We split it according to what my strengths were and your strengths were.
Joel Norton: Yeah. That was for the weekly stuff, if you like, but then for the quarterly piece, we came together to sort of say, “Well, that was the goal for the quarter.” So that was a joint goal that we were working on, as far as launching the podcast.
Tamara Klink: Yeah.
Joel Norton: Yeah. So I think that’s a great example both in terms of the timing of when we were doing it, which was quarter two to have it live at the beginning of quarter three, and then how we broke it down within the quarter to achieve those goals, which was awesome. So I think we’ve covered a lot because goal-setting is not just annual, so I thought if we just summarize, if I summarize just the process or how much time all of that takes, it sounds like a lot of time.
Tamara Klink: Yeah.
Joel Norton: So for the annual goals, originally it was a time frame of around five days and Tamara will talk about the tools that we used in a second, but it was five days. But that first time we did it, the elapsed time was a couple of weeks because it took us a lot longer just because of that review process.
Tamara Klink: And it was the first time we were doing it together.
Joel Norton: Yeah. So the more frequently you do it, the faster you get, because you’re more familiar with the process, but also, you’ve done those interim check-ins, so you’re not having to think back over the last year. You’ve actually written some of that stuff beforehand, but the annual process really should be, it could be anything from one to five days and you’re probably taking, for some context, the review process is probably two or three days of that. It’s at least half of that time period that you’re doing because, as I said before, that really sets the foundation. You want to learn from what happened the previous period, and that sets the framework for what’s going to happen moving forward. So the annual process, between one and five days.
Tamara Klink: Can we just pause on that? What about the people who haven’t actually set goals for the last year and this is the first time that they are setting goals? What would their review process look like?
Joel Norton: Great question. I think even though you may not have set physical goals, there are probably things that you wanted to have achieved. For a lot of people, that’s just in New Year’s resolutions. I haven’t really liked New Year’s resolutions ever, really, because they’re not something that people generally follow through with.
You’ve got a New Year’s resolution or the things you might’ve thought, “I want to have achieved this,” even though you might not have written down. You can still do a review and say, “What did I want to achieve?” even though it wasn’t a formal goal.
“I wanted to get fit,” or, “I wanted to get a promotion,” or whatever. So you can still have a review and say, “Why didn’t I achieve those things?” And that could very simply be, “Well, I didn’t map it out. I wasn’t clear on actually what I wanted. I wasn’t working on it on a quarterly or monthly basis.” So I think you can still do that process.
That’s where it does take a bit longer, too, because I think there’s a piece around, another big piece is this idea around limiting beliefs. It’s a big barrier that I don’t think I can achieve that because of all these reasons. There’s a process around going through that, too, to realize, well, actually, that’s just in my head and I can achieve anything. And I truly believe that. If you’re clear and committed on what you want to do, you can achieve anything. As long as you’re realistic, obviously. I’m not going to be doing, if I bring the handstand back in, I’m not going to be in the circus anytime soon, am I?
Tamara Klink: No.
Joel Norton: So then, coming back to the process and timing, the quarterly process is probably half a day, would you say?
Tamara Klink: Yeah.
Joel Norton: So it could be sort of between one or two hours through to six hours, but generally it’s probably going to be half a day to review. Again, you’ve reviewed the process of what worked and what didn’t for the last quarter, what are the goals I’ve got for the next quarter, and going through those pieces. Again, aligning with your partner around those things. And then the weekly, we probably spend an hour on a weekly basis and we try and do that on a Sunday night and that’s setting us up for what the week is. Both individually, but then collectively. So how are we physically scheduling some of these things during the week?
Another good example is with the podcast, we had to do the online course. Well, we had to schedule time around when we were going to do that, both in terms of doing the study and also when we’re going to do the actions piece of it. So that weekly review is really important as well. And then daily, probably half an hour a day, and ideally, the night before. So at the end of the day, you’re writing out what are the goals for the next day based on what you’ve achieved.
Tamara Klink: So some of the tools that we like to use, and again, these are the tools that work for us and it may not work for you, but just try and if you find that it resonates with you, great. If it doesn’t, pivot and choose something else. And again, there is so many tools out there. So the first one in terms of annual, we like to use Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever workbook. We’ve done that for the last few years. This year we’re also introducing a new manifesting challenge, which is with Gabby Bernstein and it’s a 21-day challenge, so I’m really excited about that because manifesting is something that we sort of do, but I think we can really improve on that.
Joel Norton: Yeah. And I think it’s not the same as goal-setting, but it definitely overlaps with the goal-setting.
Tamara Klink: Absolutely.
Joel Norton: It’s really around being clear on what it is you want. So yeah, really excited to be doing that this year.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. Then you’ve got your vision board, and this is where you can put imagery on your five, 10, 20-year goals as well. We’ve got the quarterly and weekly planners, so our favourite, would you say your favourite is the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt?
Joel Norton: Yeah, definitely. I’ve used quite a few over the years. I’ve used, back in the day, the Franklin Covey diary planner, which was based on Stephen Covey and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. We’re using the high-performance planner at the moment, but I really like the Full Focus Planner. It ties in with our planning process and how that works, but yeah, everyone’s different around what they like.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. Yeah. Then we also whiteboard, so on a weekly, we have a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday whiteboard and we write down where Tamara’s going to be, what events Tamara has, as well as for Joel, as well as for your son and daughter, just so Joel and I can look at that every single day and work out…
Joel Norton: Where we are.
Tamara Klink: Exactly. We’ve got so much going on, so it’s just an easy way to have a look at it rather than looking at your digital calendar. I just like having something visual in the house. And then we also have the fridge. So we have a monthly calendar on the fridge. This is where we map out where I am in my cycle on each of those weeks, so whether I’m in winter, spring, summer, or autumn, and then map out the key deadlines we have for that month. So it’s a really great calendar. We’ll probably provide links to that as well and it sets out what your priorities are and goals are for the month as well, so it’s just another great visual that you can have and just reconfirming what your goals are. You should be reading your goals every single day.
Joel Norton: Yeah. And I think for monthly ones, it is helpful because it does help us change our schedule a bit. For example, we had something planned in a couple of weeks and when you realized, “Oh, actually, I’m going to be in my winter cycle. It’s not the best time for me to be doing that.”
We’re rescheduling that for another time. Similarly when we launched the podcast, we were due to launch and realized it was going to be in the middle of your winter, so we tried to do more of the heavy lifting before, and then a bit of a break before the launch. So that monthly planner in terms of your cycle and where you’re at, and we know it changes a bit month to month, but it does help us get better at aligning the heavy lifting around the seasons when you’re best suited to be doing that work.
Tamara Klink: Exactly, and we have done a podcast on this called Periods and Productivity, so if you want to listen to that, I highly recommend it and that’s really going to help you set your deadlines for your weekly and quarterly and annual goals.
Joel Norton: Yeah. So on that note, you’ve actually got a tool for your listeners.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. So we, Joel and I have created a daily planner for all of our listeners, and this is absolutely free. All you have to do is download it from the FIIT Collective website and this has pulled in all of the different elements that have personally worked for Joel and I, and this includes adding in where you are in your cycle.
Joel Norton: Yeah. So we’ve taken elements of different planners or diaries that we have used, but added in that piece, which is the missing piece, really, for females around understanding where they are on their cycle. And it’s an interactive PDF, so they can either print it out or they can actually just do it as a digital one and use that on a daily basis.
Tamara Klink: Yeah, and if you are a male listener, it’s great for you to have an idea of where your, if you’ve got a female partner, where your female partner is in her cycle and being able to add in certain tasks, like little love notes during her winter or her autumn so she feels good and she is the best version of her possible.
Joel Norton: Yeah. Absolutely, and also knowing when to maybe do a little bit more of the heavy lifting around certain parts of the home.
Tamara Klink: I don’t know what you’re talking about. Alrighty, that comes to the end of today’s episode. What are your big three key takeaways?
Joel Norton: I think the first one would be is just to start, as I usually say, to start the process. I think you’re not going to be able to have achieved anything great if you’re not doing regular goal planning. So it’s to start and have those goals.
The second thing would be is to make sure that they are measurable. So using that SMART acronym around being specific, measurable, accountable, realistic and timely. If you’re not clear on what that outcome is, you’re not going to achieve it.
Third would be the review process. That is core to you achieving success, whether it’s the weekly or quarterly. If you’re continually not hitting those goals or achievements, quite often you’re repeating the same mistakes. So having that review process and learning what worked and what didn’t work is going to set you up for success.
What are your three takeaways?
Tamara Klink: My first one is to set goals where you are intrinsically motivated. So if I can refer to Marie Kondo but change it a little bit, if it doesn’t spark joy, then re-evaluate. If you’re feeling really overwhelmed, is this an indication that you haven’t broken it down into quarters or is it an indication that this goal may not be aligned to your truth?
For the example of me being a size 8 pant size, that made me feel a cringe. Every single time I read that, I felt really sad and really underwhelmed. So are you setting goals where you’re comparing your life to someone else’s? So just take that time to re-evaluate and make sure your goals do spark that joy and do inspire you.
That brings me to my second key takeaway is having the perfect combination of being scared, but also being really excited. So when we set our annual goals, we’re a bit like, “Whoa. How are we going to achieve this?” But we also are really excited. So we are that perfect combination of being scared but really excited and know how we will feel if we even achieve half of those goals.
Joel Norton: Yeah, I think that’s right. I’m probably the worst person because I am quite aggressive with my targets and you say, “Oh, you’re never going to achieve that,” but I still look at it and go, “I may not have achieved all of those,” but I go, “I’ve made progress on each of those different areas, so I’ve still moved forward and so having those goals, yes, the bar might be high, but it’s setting you to push harder.”
Tamara Klink: Yeah. And the bar might be high, but you may also pivot, which is what has happened to you. This year you’ve had a huge pivot due to having more clarity on what your purpose and your why is.
And my third key takeaway is with each goal, I’d like to list down how I would feel after achieving that goal and how it’s going to change my life. And just writing that down and closing my eyes and feeling that, there’s nothing more rewarding and that’s a way that you can see whether that is a goal that sparks you joy and gets you excited.
Joel Norton: Yeah. Is it something that’s genuinely right for you?
Tamara Klink: Exactly.
Joel Norton: Yeah. I love that one. That’s great. I’m just getting warm and fuzzy just thinking about that.
Tamara Klink: I’m so excited. We’re recording this a little bit in advance, but it’s like New Year’s Day is tomorrow and I just want to get kick-started.
Joel Norton: Let’s do it. All right, beautiful, thank you very much.
Tamara Klink: Thank you.
Joel Norton: I really enjoyed today. As I say, I’m excited to get out there and start. I’m jumping up and down.
Tamara Klink: Yeah. You are.
Joel Norton: Can’t wait. So it’s been really exciting and I hope everyone’s got something out of it and also hope that they get some use out of the download that you’ve created.
Tamara Klink: Absolutely. And to access that PDF, just head to FIITCollective.com/dailygoals and FIIT’s with two I’s. So F-I-I-T collective.com/dailygoals.
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I’m glad ‘Designing Your Day’ helps you feel that bit more organised and in control. Every little bit helps, right?! And yes, getting into the habit of thinking ahead of time of what you’ll need to take with you (instead of leaving it to last second!) is a great sanity saver.
Keep your goals in sight, you’re doing great!
Thank you for your comment Smita. Could not agree more!