How to Set Intentional Goals

December 18, 2018

Chasing Simple Marketing


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I'm  Amanda — simplicity-focused content marketing strategist.  I'm here to help you fit your marketing into your business.

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Last week, I talked about the difference between arbitrary goals and intentional goals. 2019 is almost here, and you should be having some serious thoughts on what your goals for next year will be. Today let’s dig in to how to create intentional goals.

How to Set Intentional Goals

First, I want to highly recommend both Lara Casey’s Powersheets Intentional Goal Planner and Michael Hyatt’s book Your Best Year Ever. I use a combination of both of these when I am setting my goals.  I love Lara’s focus on progress, not perfection and Michael’s strong, actionable advice.

Your Best Year Ever

Michael encourages you to use SMARTER goal setting techniques. First, he has you take his LifeScore quiz on his website and that shows you your satisfaction levels in the various life domains (Intellectual, Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, Marital, Parental, Social, Vocational, Avocational, and Financial). This helps you hone in on where you may need to be setting stronger goals.

Michael’s SMARTER stands for:

Specific-  Focus is power and vague goals don’t inspire us.

Measurable-If you can’t measure the outcome, you can’t know if you’ve reached the goal.

Actionable- Use strong verbs to prompt the action you want to take (don’t use words like am, be, or have).

Risky-This is a difference to the typical SMART goals acronym. Michael says that we rise to a challenge, but we lay back when it’s easy.

Time-Keyed- Create a deadline, frequency or a time trigger for each goal.

Exciting- Tap into your intrinsic motivation.

Relevant- New goals should align with your season of life, values, and other goals.

He also suggests that you set only 7 to 10 goals each year, and focus on 2 to 3 each quarter.

There is so much good stuff in that book. I highly suggest that you get yourself a copy. I first borrowed it from the library and I plan to get my own personal copy as well. It’s just that good!


Powersheets are an intentional goal setting planner and I adore them. Each month has a “Tending List” (Lara uses a LOT of gardening metaphors) that you are supposed to keep in sight at all times so that you can keep your eyes on your goals.

Lara really encourages you to dig in and make a mess and to make sure you’re cultivating what matters. What I love so much about her goal-setting philosophy is how deeply rooted it is in bringing joy. She helps me to remember what’s important and what’s not. Sometimes I set unrealistic goals (okay, a lot of the time) and her Powersheets always help to ground me back to what matters. Also, if you follow her on Instagram you know that she is always smiling and laughing and who doesn’t want more of that joy in their life??

Lara encourages you to be looking at your goals every day, but she also includes monthly AND quarterly resets. Each month, there is a short “prepare well” section that you fill out before you start planning your goals for the new month. Then, there are also “refresh” sections at the end of every quarter. They help you to re-evaluate and see where you have grown and where you need more attention. I love these little resets that she’s built in for us because often I can get caught up in the mess of life and being able to hit reset on my goals is extremely helpful for me in refocusing.

Just like Michael, Lara has you self-assess how you feel about different areas of your life. What your satisfaction is and where you want to make improvements. Note that this self-reflection before you even begin to think of what you want your goals to be is so important!

Lara also has you only choose 10 goals for the year. Now, when I filled out my first set of Powersheets, I definitely cheated. I wrote down broad umbrella goals for those 10 and then put multiple big goals under each one. That was a huge mistake. I was trying to cultivate way too much at once. Specific goals are so important.

An Intentional Goal

One of my hopes for next year is to make blogging a full-time job for myself. My goal? Reach $40,000 in sales by the end of 2019 by growing my following, and selling my workbook and some other unannounced ventures.

Specific? Yes, I state my goal and how I plan to meet it.

Measurable? I either hit $40,000 or I don’t.

Actionable? Verbs-reach, growing, selling.

Risky? Absolutely. If I don’t reach this goal, then I’ll not only not be teaching, but I won’t be contributing financially as much as I have been.

Time-Keyed? My deadline is the end of 2019.

Exciting? I would LOVE to do this full time. I get so much joy out of running my blog and getting to be creative and organized all at once!

Relevant? We will be moving next Fall, meaning that I will be unable to teach for a full school year. The remote capability of being a full-time blogger would make a lot of sense for the season of life that we are in right now.

Whew! Okay, that is really scary for me to put out there. I’ve only told those that are closest to me that I hope to eventually do this full-time. So now, I need you to do me a favor and tell me your scary goals for 2019. Leave me a comment and let’s flesh it out together!

I’ll be back in January with a new year full of exciting plans. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, friend.


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