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Get the Life & Body You Want Using This Step-By-Step Goal-Setting Framework

goal-setting framework

Hey there, gorgeous!

I originally wrote this post at the beginning of a new year — in the spirit of fresh starts & during the season where millions of people embark on New Year’s resolutions.  

At the time, I thought it would only be appropriate to share a goal-setting framework & some of my best goal-setting tips to help you make THIS YEAR your best year yet!

Whether you’re reading this at the start of a brand new year, or whether you’re reading it at some random time during the year, this step-by-step goal-setting process is something that EVERYONE can implement, at ANY time of the year!

And to make this process as seamless, practical, & actionable as possible, I created the Ultimate Goal-Setting Workbook for you!  Get your ideas, goals, & specific action steps out of your head & down on paper, so that you can start making your dreams into your reality! Click below to download it (for free)! 🙌

So, let’s talk goal-setting for a couple minutes!

Outer Goals Vs. Core Goal

The first thing I wanna mention is something I learned from one of my mentors, Melyssa Griffin — and that is the concept of outer goals vs. core goals.

Outer goals are things that we think will make us appear successful to the outside world — and they’re inherently unfulfilling because they’re based on other people, not you.

Core goals are things that fulfill you, rather than just bring outside success.  They’re more like goals that you’re constantly achieving (like a journey), rather than a single tangible outcome (like a destination).  

A core goal is often like a feeling you want to experience every day. 😌

Many people fail with goals because they choose goals that are ONLY based around the destination (outer goals) rather than the journey (core goals).  For example: “I want to lose 20 pounds.” (outer goal), vs. “I want to be healthy & feel great on a daily basis.” (core goal).

Having some outer goals is normal, & it’s good for objectively determining your progress in certain areas.  But having ALL outer goals could mean you lack vision in your life, & it can be difficult to feel truly fulfilled & happy.

My Goal-Setting Framework

Now that we’re clear on the difference between outer goals vs. core goals, I wanna share the goal-setting process that I use to map out the goals, projects, & tasks I’ll need to complete in order to hit my major goals for the year:

1. Set 3-6 major goals to focus on for the year, and write them down!  (These are typically outer goals that are measurable.)

Example: “I want to lose 20 pounds in the next 3 months (by April).”

2. Make sure your major goals are aligned with your core goals (how you want to feel & who you want to be). If they’re only based on other people or don’t feel aligned with how you want to feel, tweak them.

Example: “One of my core goals is to feel healthy, energized, & confident every day, and losing 20 pounds will help me to feel that way.”

3. Once you have your major goals for the year, space them out into quarterly goals. If you need longer than 90 days to complete one of your major goals (or if it’s inherently a yearly goal — such as an income goal for the year), break that major goal into a few smaller goals that can each be accomplished within a 90-day period.  Choose 1-2 goals to focus on per quarter.

Example: “I think I can lose 20 pounds within 90 days, so that will be one of my quarterly goals.”

4. Choose the 1-2 quarterly goals you want to tackle in the first quarter (January through March).

Example: “Losing 20 pounds will be one of the goals I’ll focus on in the first quarter of this year.”

5. Figure out the main projects that will help you achieve each of your quarterly goals.  Each goal could consist of several projects, & each project will ultimately help you reach your bigger quarterly goal.

Example: Some of the projects that will help me lose 20 pounds this quarter include:

  • Project 1: Change my diet & focus on nutrition that will support weight loss.  
  • Project 2: Implement an exercise routine that promotes weight loss.  
  • Project 3: Get support & accountability.

6. Each project can be broken down into several “to-do list” tasks.  Brainstorm all the tasks involved in each project.  No task is too small — even include the little things that only take minutes!

Example: Some of the tasks that could be included in Project 1 above are:

  • Educate myself on the types of foods & nutrition plans that will allow me to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.
  • Make a meal plan each week.
  • Get rid of unhealthy foods from my pantry, fridge, & kitchen.
  • Make healthy meals each day (& schedule time in my calendar).
  • Schedule time for grocery shopping each week.
  • Make a grocery list each week.
  • Order a few meals from Factor 75 each week (so I don’t have to cook ALL the meals, but can still eat healthy!) 🙌

7. Spread these daily tasks out throughout the entire quarter (or shorter if it doesn’t take that long), and schedule them into your calendar (using a free tool I’ll mention below!).

8. Do steps #5-7 above for all your goals for first quarter.  

9. At the end of the first quarter, do a progress check: Celebrate your wins & the goals you hit!  If you didn’t hit some of the goals, roll them over to the second quarter and/or re-evaluate your second quarter & yearly goals.  Do steps #3-7 for all your goals for the upcoming quarter (2nd quarter).  

10. Do this goal-setting process once per quarter for the upcoming quarter — rather than doing it for ALL your goals & projects for the entire year at once (because things can change part-way through the year).

My Favorite (Free!) Project Management Tool

So how do you put this all together & make sure you’re able to execute everything without all the overwhelm?? 💁

I love using Asana!  It’s a free online tool that allows you to create projects & individual tasks within projects.  You can set a due date for each task, make notes for each task, and even make sub-tasks for each task.  Every time you complete a task, check it off & do a mini celebration dance! 

If you’ll be working with others on a certain project or goal, you can even give them access to that project so they can complete tasks & you can communicate with each other directly in Asana.  It’s a really helpful tool that has added SO much organization & effectiveness to my life!  

This goal-setting framework & planning process will allow you to wake up each day knowing EXACTLY what you need to work on in order to make progress towards your quarterly & yearly goals!  No more guessing, overwhelm, wasting your precious time, or focusing on things that won’t bring you closer to your goals! #yesplease! 🙌

Phew, are you still with me??  All of these steps can seem overwhelming at first, but once you start putting this framework into action, it’ll start making a WHOLLLLE lot more sense. 🙃  Make sure you grab the FREE Ultimate Goal-Setting Workbook, which will help you implement all these steps into your own life. Just click the button below to download it! ☺

10 Goal-Setting Tips

Along with the goal-setting process I outlined above, here are some simple goal-setting tips to keep in mind:

  1. Set aside several hours or even a whole day (however long it takes!) to cast a vision, set your goals, & plan your year (or the upcoming quarter).  Go somewhere where you won’t have any distractions!
  2. Set both outer goals AND core goals — and make sure they’re aligned with each other, how you want to feel, who you want to be, & the kind of life you want to have.
  3. I encourage you to set goals for all areas of life — health, finances, work, family/friends/relationships, marriage, spiritual, recreation/fun, etc.  They won’t all be super in-depth with several projects & multiple tasks, but they’re all important areas to pay attention to for a well-balanced, happy, healthy life.
  4. Write down your goals, & review them often (daily is best!).
  5. Consider attaching a reward to your goals to motivate yourself even more.  It could be something like going on a weekend trip, having dinner at your favorite restaurant, getting that new pair of shoes you’ve been wanting, or even something as simple as treating yourself to your favorite organic latte. 😊
  6. Don’t focus on too many things at once — it can be overwhelming, paralyzing, & you’re less likely to reach the goals.
  7. Give yourself grace when you fail or things don’t go as planned! 💜 If you slip up (like you skip a workout you planned to do, or you go to Cold Stone when you swore you wouldn’t 😬), don’t get discouraged.  We are way too hard on ourselves sometimes, especially when it comes to creating new habits with our health.  And this is actually one of the main reasons why a lot of people don’t hit their new year’s resolutions or health goals.
  8. Write down, remember, & anchor to your WHY: Why do you want to hit these goals?? If you don’t have a meaningful reason & motivation behind your goals, chances are you won’t stick to them or they won’t be as fulfilling even if you DO hit them.
  9. Visualize yourself reaching these goals. Imagine it’s one year from right now, & you’ve hit every single one of the goals you wrote down. How does it FEEL?? 🤗🎉🍾
  10. Don’t give up! You can do this! You’re doing better than you think you are! It’s not about perfection — it’s about making progress, failing forward, & becoming the best YOU along the journey! ☺



💜 Dr. Christi

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Author: Dr. Christi Shuppe

Dr. Christi is a wellness doctor & online educator who specializes in nutrition, fitness, weight loss, & creating peace, joy, & a healthy mindset.  Through her online courses, programs, workshops, & blog, she leads & inspires people to achieve the HEALTH of their dreams, so that they can live the LIFE of their dreams.

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