Have a big goal you’d like to achieve? I know I have a few! Let’s talk about how we can utilize this simple tool to make reaching those goals that much more realistic.

Disclaimer: I know not everyone is out to lose weight. I chose this example because it’s an easy way to see how this tool works in a common situation. You can use this tool for literally any goal. And for the record: I think you’re great just the way you are. So set your goals for you and no one else!

Okay, so let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds (or plan a fundraiser or write The Great American Novel, etc.). The first step is to write that goal down. Then draw a timeline across your page. At the end of the timeline (the right-hand side), write where you’ll be when you accomplish your goal (weight, money raised, etc.). Then at the beginning of the timeline, write down where you are now—your starting point.

Now, the best way to get from your beginning to the end is to break up that giant goal into smaller, easy to digest milestones. The bigger the goal, the more the milestones (and the more you have to celebrate) along the way. In our example, we can break the 20 pounds down into smaller increments. Then we plan ways to appropriately celebrate each of those milestones. Maybe the first 5 lbs down earns us that new novel we’ve been dying to buy and crack open.

Write all the milestones down with their accompanying celebrations. This gives you something to look at when you feel discouraged or ready to give up. You can check in with that next milestone and feel like it’s not so far off. It’s also great to really pat yourself on the back to think about what you’ve already accomplished, not what you have left to go.

The next piece of the goal-setting puzzle is to ask two questions for your first milestone: What actions do I need to take? What conversations do I need to have? Once you reach that milestone, you check in and ask yourself the same questions again to reach your next milestone. The idea is to build momentum by accomplishing those smaller “goals” on the way to conquering your big goal. Now, rinse and repeat until you reach that final, big giant goal. And celebrate more!

Need help setting your goal and chunking it down into smaller, more manageable milestones? Contact me for a Clarity Strategy Session, I’d love to help you reach your goals!