Compounding Joy | create achievable goals | printable | worksheets




We’ve all heard it.  “Set goals. Reach for the stars!  You can do anything you set your mind to!”  If you are anything like me, these comments and suggestions can be extremely overwhelming when trying to create achievable goals for myself. In this article, we will discuss how it’s more productive to commit to the process of getting to your goal, as opposed to committing to reaching the goal.  If you make a realistic, achievable schedule, turning your goals into bite-size pieces – you are waaaaaay more likely to reach your goals.   (And then? You CAN do anything you set your mind to!)   Please feel free to print out the free goal setting worksheets I have created for you!  Click here.   This post may contain affiliate links. You can read more on the disclaimer page. Please know I will never promote or suggest any product that I haven’t used and/or continue to use, and that I enjoy using in my own life.



Most goals are BIG. They are long-term goals, and if you are anything like me you want immediate gratification. If you want it immediately, and expect to do it immediately, then this is not a tangible goal. Someone who decides they want to run a marathon can’t go from sitting on the couch watching Forensic Files to running a marathon in one month. Setting goals and breaking them down into smaller goals/actionable steps allows you to organize your time and resources so that these goals become achievable.



Scott Dinsmore from asks “If there were a newspaper headline describing this past year for you, what would it say?”  That really got me thinking of what I have accomplished this past year, and what my future goals are, or should be.  What are your key motivations?  WHY is this important to you?  


A goal needs to motivate you – if it doesn’t, move on. Knowing why the goal is important to you helps get and keep you motivated.  What is/are the specific actions needed to be taken to move closer to achieving your goal?  Michael Hyatt suggests writing down and prioritizing your motivations.  Which one resonates the most with you from your list?     I need to add this quote. (Yes. I NEED TO.)   “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”   Zig Ziglar ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


You can focus on the journey when you break it up into small tasks.   Break your goals down into “next actions” – into “do-able” pieces, not the whole schabang all at once!  Create a task list; don’t be unrealistic – these need to be achievable tasks.  Give yourself more time to complete than you think it will take.  Better to have more time than not enough – otherwise it’s frustrating (I promise!) Stressing out over your tasks may mean they are too complex or unrealistic.  Achieving minor tasks related to big goals is empowering.



I am a HUGE Getting Things Done (David Allen) fan.  He suggests dumping EVERYTHING out of your head.  All the tasks for a project (goal) you can possibly think of, write it down.  This is a brainstorming session – write EVERYTHING down.  Be very specific.  Here are your action items.  Once this is done, you can prioritize and organize the tasks.  Put them in a realistic, achievable order.  Put them in a calendar if that works for you. (Definitely works for me, I use Trello – and the basic plan is free!)


As in Getting Things Done, a weekly review is so so helpful in achieving your goals. Set a time for it.  I used to have it scheduled for Sunday but I found that I tended to blow it off on Sunday night.  Saturday morning, however, works well for me.  It’s important.  Reviewing once a week keeps you grounded in your journey and allows you to finagle any tweaks or changes that will adjust your systems to work in your favor.


Click Below to See Compounding Joy’s Evernote Habit Trackerhabit tracker evernote template



I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up S.M.A.R.T. goals to help us create achievable goals.     “S” is for Specific   These are goals that are written clearly (think “who, what, why, where, when) This should be not too broad – not general…     “M” is for Measurable   Does the goal answer how many or how often? How will you know you have achieved the goal? How will you evaluate?       “A” is for Achievable   Can you achieve your goal by the target date? Do you have accessible support? Are the results you expect realistic?     “R” is for Relevant   Does it make a difference in your personal/professional life?  Is its alignment with your values?     “T” is for Time-bound   Is there a clear and specific completion date?     Michael Hyatt (author of Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want) uses the acronym S.M.A.R.T.E.R. His “E” is for Exciting and his extra “R” is for “Risky” (Is the goal set high enough to demand your best effort?)   ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


What obstacles are getting in your way? Setbacks?  What are the solution/action steps that you can take to overcome these?  In the free worksheets, I have created a space for obstacle and setback notes – this is important. If you can see them ahead of time, and have a plan of action in case they come up – you are much more likely to stay on track.  Don’t be afraid to make adjustments. Do you need to assign more time to that task? Be kind to yourself.


Goals give you the ability to focus and pay attention to what needs to be done. “I want” is not a goal.  “I need” is not a goal.  Make S.M.A.R.T. goals.  Print out the free printable goal worksheets and get started! Setting and keeping goals takes courage.  You have to want it more than you don’t want it. You are creating your reality!   Follow your heart, be consistent, be positive, work hard!   And always be grateful.   ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Nothing gets me going more than a great motivational quote written at the top of a to-do list!  Here are some ideas you can add to your own monthly goal sheets.

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” Michelangelo

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”   Tony Robbins

“The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.”   Thomas Henry Huxley

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.  Now put the foundations under them.”   Henry David Thoreau

“We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit” Aristotle.

“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.”   Zig Ziglar

“A goal is a dream with a deadline.”     Napoleon Hill

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”   Mark Victor Hansen

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”   T.S. Eliot

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”   Stephen King       “One part at a time, one day at a time, we can accomplish any goal we set for ourselves.”   Karen Casey

“He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how”   Friedrich Nietzsche

“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.”   Vincent Van Gogh

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.”   Lewis Carroll

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”   Henry David Thoreau

“If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”   Tony Robbins   ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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