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Get closer to your dreams: 20 examples of monthly goals that work

August 8, 2022 - 17 min read

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What are monthly goals?

Why are monthly goals important?

How to set achievable monthly goals

20 examples of monthly goals

8 benefits of monthly goals

How many goals should you set in a month?

How can monthly goals help you to achieve your long-term goals?

The importance of holding yourself accountable

You might think that goal setting is an extensive process for our loftiest ambitions. 

But we can make significant changes in our lives in just one month. Our to-do list can be one long series of monthly goals. Monthly goal examples differ, but what unites them is that they demand us to take actionable steps and purposeful planning to accomplish them.

These goals having the scope of one month doesn't mean they're a walk in the park. They'll still force you outside of your comfort zone and help you work toward your personal development.

You'll need to put in the effort to learn a new skill or accomplish something you've always wanted to do, but that's why we're here. 

We'll walk you through why it's important to have a list of monthly goals, how to achieve them, why you need to be accountable, and more.

What are monthly goals?

The monthly goals that we set are tasks that we'd like to accomplish by the end of the month. Think of them as a 30-day challenge. They’re a small but integral puzzle piece in the jigsaw of our long-term and other life goals. 

When we set monthly goals, we're looking to level up — quickly. They could be health goals like running a 5km race, practicing better self-care, or even learning how to manage social media and your mental health.

Whatever they may be, we're working them into our daily routines. Since we don't have tons of time, we need to be smart with our time. That's something great about monthly goals: they give us a hard deadline. 

These short-term goals are for our personal growth, regardless of what they are. Like our other long-term goals, we set them to benefit ourselves in the future. But we’re aiming to see those benefits sooner rather than later.

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Why are monthly goals important?

Your monthly goals are important for creating change in your life. They require you to make a time-sensitive action plan. This isn't when you'll make your five-year plan or make New Year's Resolutions that you’ll forget about in a couple of months

Monthly goals also work to curb any procrastination you've been experiencing. Since you're on a deadline, you need to act. They pull the drive, dedication, and grit out of you to check things off your to-do list for the month.

Your goals for this month may look completely different from those of the previous month. Perhaps you're focusing on your emotional health this month, but it was all about your financial wellness last month.

Whatever your focus is, it’ll keep you moving. You’ll be encouraged and motivated to create sustainable habits and set goals that match your values. And every time you achieve one, you’ll build self-confidence.

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How to set achievable monthly goals

Learning how to set monthly goals requires different thinking than long-term goals. We have to think about our timeframe and what's possible to achieve within it. You also have to find ways to set goals that fit your lifestyle, which could take time. 

If you’re hoping to change your lifestyle entirely, remember that you’ll need to take baby steps. The first month might mean getting a gym membership, and each after could see you up the frequency of your workouts. But you can’t expect to start working out six days a week in your first month.

Luckily, we've constructed a template with tips that you can follow to set achievable goals. Check out these seven tips here:

  1. Set SMART goals: The SMART goal framework helps us create a detailed action plan for accomplishing our goals. Putting your goals through these criteria can help you immensely, especially by making them measurable and specific. 
  2. Write them down: Writing down your goals never lets you forget them, which sometimes we do. Write them down either by hand or virtually, and make sure they’re somewhere you'll see them each day.
  3. Make time to celebrate success: As the month goes on, you'll see some progress. Setting time aside to celebrate your milestones is important: it shows you what you should be proud of and motivates you to keep going.
  4. Make them challenging enough: Your goals shouldn’t be a breeze. They should be challenging enough that you have to put in the work but still attainable and possible for you to accomplish.
  5. Welcome feedback: As you work toward your goals, you'll be learning a lot. The feedback and advice that friends, coworkers, and family members give you might help point you in the right direction.
  6. Align them with your values: Take some time to think about what's meaningful and valuable to you. Your goals can help you live a purposeful life for yourself if they align with your personal values.
  7. Break them down further: You can set monthly goals, but within those goals, you can break them down into weekly or even daily goals. This helps you stay organized, on pace and focused on what you need to accomplish for each week.

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A growth mindset will help you see the value in personal growth and perseverance. BetterUp can help you transition from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset to set goals that will benefit your future self.

20 examples of monthly goals

We can set so many monthly goals — and plan the next ones. One month you might want to tackle your bad habit of biting your nails, and the next, you could be working on more professional goals. To help you get started, we'll give you monthly goal ideas for various topics like work goals and personal goals.

Read through these 20 examples of monthly goals:

Work goals

  1. Only check your email twice a day to limit distractions
  2. Reduce time spent on social media during work hours
  3. Get to know your coworkers better
  4. Attend a networking event
  5. Find a better work-life balance

Personal goals

  1. Start writing in a gratitude journal
  2. Try a new recipe once a week
  3. Wake up earlier each morning
  4. Clean out your closet and donate clothes
  5. Go on dates with yourself

Fitness goals

  1. Go on a walk every day
  2. Improve your flexibility
  3. Hold a plank for two minutes
  4. Practice yoga and meditation practices
  5. Start lifting more weights at the gym

Financial goals

  1. Only eat out once a week
  2. Use an app that tracks your spending
  3. Save a specific percentage of your earnings
  4. Use as many coupons as you can on groceries
  5. Refrain from buying items with no purpose for you

8 benefits of monthly goals

We can't forget that our hard work and sustained efforts lead to something. To remember why you started, here are eight benefits that setting monthly goals can bring you:

  1. You learn to enjoy feedback: Learning how to ask for and receive feedback is crucial as we try to improve our skills. It helps our goals continue to be measurable, and it can teach us what we're doing wrong so we get back on track. If you’re working to improve on a professional skill at work, your manager can tell you how you’re progressing. 
  2. You have greater satisfaction: Studies have shown that the more goals people set and achieved, the higher their satisfaction. Goal setting instills purpose, a challenge, and meaning to our work, so we must remain committed.
  3. You have something to focus on: Knowing what we have to accomplish with the help of a specific action plan can get us into a productive mindset.
  4. You feel a sense of accomplishment: Achieving goals every month is cause for celebration. Plus, it makes you feel proud of yourself for reaching the goals you set out to achieve. 
  5. You're limiting your procrastination: These monthly goals don't give you endless time to achieve them, so you must keep up your hard work. You learned that you had to stick with them to see results.
  6. You can track them easily: 30 days can go by quickly, and you learn that tracking your progress on whatever goal or project you do is important. It teaches you better time management skills, too.
  7. You gain self-awareness: As each month passes, you’ll learn more about yourself. You know what work environment works best for you and what useful techniques to achieve your goals.
  8. You're picking up skills fast: These new skills are being developed in a month. Since you're dedicating a month to them, you should keep practicing them.
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How many goals should you set in a month?

If someone tries to convince you that you need to set a certain number of goals each month or that you're not doing it right, walk away. 

There isn't an exact number of goals that everyone should set a month. It all depends on your goals and objectives. You might have one specific goal that will demand nearly all of your time and effort, so you only have that one that month.

Perhaps you're filling in for someone at work for the month and have big shoes to fill, so your only goal is to improve your situational leadership skills. You could have three smaller goals that you can all accomplish within the month. It's up to you.

Setting too many goals isn't a good thing, either. You could have many goal ideas, but if you set them all in the same month, you might not accomplish them all. Falling short will disappoint and discourage you, so make sure you set realistic goals and be kind to yourself.

But at the same time, you can't underestimate yourself. With the correct planning, hard work, and motivation, you can accomplish a lot within a month.

How can monthly goals help you to achieve your long-term goals?

The impact that your monthly goals have on you doesn't end when the month ends. Your monthly goals can contribute to the long-term ones that you set. It's common for people to break down their big goals into smaller steps, but the monthly goals help you plan for the whole year.

They allow you to continue to find purpose and clarity with what you'd overall like to achieve each year. 

They're also helpful ways to form healthy habits. The habit of goal-setting itself is excellent for improving personal growth and will teach you how to honor your commitments. 

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When you set long-term goals, you're bound to encounter different problems. That's why problem-solving and being more self-aware help. Since we're on a shorter time crunch with our monthly goals, we must be resourceful about overcoming obstacles. 

No matter how long you set your goals, they'll always teach you important transferable skills for other areas in your life.

The importance of holding yourself accountable

You've been flooded with monthly goal examples for various areas of your life. You've learned how setting monthly goals can teach you many skills along the way, like how to receive feedback and stay focused on your actions. 

Before reading this, you probably thought that monthly goals were only important for each individual month, but now your perspective has been widened. But there's one more aspect of goal setting that's important to think about as you make your list of goals each month: holding yourself accountable.

Individual accountability is a valuable skill that teaches you what actions you need to take, how to stop blaming others, reduce a victim mentality, and help squash procrastination.

Studies have even found that employees who lack accountability have poor productivity and performance while working. This certainly isn’t ideal.

You can hold yourself accountable by setting reminders on your phone or telling someone from your support system. Feel free to put sticky notes everywhere, like on your fridge, mirror, or your work set up.

Anything that reminds you that you have work to do is important because your monthly goals don't work unless you do.

We can all struggle with finding ways to hold ourselves accountable. At BetterUp, our coaches can provide the accountability you need to focus on setting and achieving your monthly goals. And together, we can create achievable goals to help you on your path to reaching your full potential.

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Published August 8, 2022

Elizabeth Perry

Content Marketing Manager, ACC

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