Goal Setting 101: How to Set and Achieve Your Goals

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Are you someone who gets excited about setting goals for the new year, quarter, or month?

Do you thrive on that feeling of checking off things on your to-do list and reaching new milestones? 

Or . . .

Are you someone who’s skeptical about goal setting and planning out your life?

Do you need help with getting clear on your goals and staying focused on them throughout the year?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then this episode is for you.

To help you get a better understanding of goals and the goal setting process, I interviewed a goal slayer expert, Nadalie Bardo.

In this episode, you will learn about:

  • [1:25] Nadalie’s blogging & entrepreneur journey
  • [4:29] if there’s a difference between a resolution and a goal
  • [6:17] the benefits of goal setting & how it’s affected Nadalie’s life
  • [8:51] why we should set goals if tomorrow isn’t promised
  • [10:55] the steps and key elements of goal setting
  • [13:12] SMART goals vs. RIGHT goals
  • [16:31] some mistakes people make when setting goals and how to avoid them
  • [19:25] the Slay Your Goals planner and how it’s different from other planners

Who is Nadalie Bardo?

Nadalie is an entrepreneur, author, blogger, and goal slayer. She started in the nine-to-five field but wasn’t happy with it nor the way her life looked at the moment, so she began blogging to express those frustrations and deal with the thoughts that were running through her mind.

As she amassed an audience, she surveyed them and asked them about their struggles, if they were happy, and if they felt successful.

“I think those are two really big questions everyone needs to ask themselves so that you can start making better choices to solve that issue.”

She then realized that although many people set goals, they weren’t actually achieving them. This inspired her to join the “slay your goals camp” about four years ago.

“I wanted to really share an honest approach to actually achieving your goals, as opposed to a lot of the stuff that you may read online, which just seems so unrealistic.”

Afterward, she created her first product, the Slay Your Goals planner, and focused a lot on how to slay life.

What is the difference between a resolution and a goal?

I asked Nadalie if there’s a difference between a resolution and a goal or if they’re pretty much the same thing. Here’s what she said.

“I think it doesn’t really matter what you call something. It matters what you do with it.” 

We tend to set lofty, non-specific aspirations—things we would like to do. We don’t usually set S.M.A.R.T. goals, make a plan, or focus on the action.

“If you’re listening to this, and you’re like, ‘Oh, I want to set resolutions,’ I would focus on the word resolution itself.”

A resolution is like an agreement of peace. If there’s a conflict, you’ll come together and try to resolve it. Thus, take a look at your life and that current big problem—that thing you can’t stop thinking about and keeps you up at night.

“I would focus on that for your resolution or your goal, because I do believe that when you focus on that, that’s going to bring you the most happiness, that feeling of success.”

Yearly Plan One-Pager Where Do You Want to Be? Page from the Slay Your Goals Planner

Why should I set goals? What are the benefits of goal setting?

Here are some benefits that Nadalie shared:

  • gives you something to look forward to & build towards
  • gives you a purpose
  • can look back and see how far you’ve come
  • builds your confidence
  • makes you feel good about yourself

Although the reason to set goals and the benefits of setting goals are clear, many people still don’t set goals because they’ve done so in the past but didn’t achieve their goals.

“If in the past you set goals and you failed at them, that’s okay, because everything is a learning experience. You’re better now than you were then.”

Contrary to popular belief, goals are fluid and malleable.

“You can set a goal today and maybe in two months, you realize that what you actually want is something else. Unless we set a target, like, ‘Oh, this is where I’m going’ and we actually get started, you’ve no idea where you’re gonna end up.”

When Nadalie wrote her first blog post, she didn’t know where she was going to end up. She didn’t know that four years later, she would have a book published, a digital planner, and online courses. While she had no idea that she would achieve those things, she knew that was the direction she wanted to go in thanks to goal setting. 

Why should we set and work on goals if tomorrow isn’t promised? 

If you’re a goal skeptic, then you’re probably wondering about the answer to this question.

Here’s what Nadalie said:

I think that’s the exact reason why we should set goals. None of us know how long we have, so why waste one minute of it not being who we want to be, living the lives we want to live, and achieving the things that we want to achieve? Stop wasting time. To me, 2020 has taught me even more that I need to go after the things that I want, because my time is limited. I might have a couple of years. I might have a couple of decades. I don’t know, but why should I spend one more minute of it being miserable, not being who I want to be, not being where I want to be? Why? So, I think if you flip that question around, the answer’s right there.

Nadalie Bardo

That “life is short, life is temporary” statement can be an excuse to not go after your goals and your dreams.

It could be a reason to not do anything because tomorrow isn’t promised, or it could be your motivation to go after what you want.

Think about what kind of legacy you want to leave behind and the kind of life you want to live.

That should be your motivation to set and work on goals.  

What are the steps and key elements of goal setting?

Nadalie recommends getting a copy of her Slay Your Goals planner if you’re confused about goal setting or goal slaying. It’s one of the best resources that will help you with this process.

Her approach to goal setting is centered around intentions and digging deep to figure out what you actually want versus what others have told you that you should want.

“I find a lot of the times when we set goals just on their own without that self reflection, a lot of those goals could be externally imposed upon us.”

If a goal is externally imposed on you, then when things get hard and you have days where you don’t want to work on it, you will not be able to draw inspiration and motivation from that goal.

“You cannot draw from it. It cannot be your strength. It will be your shame. It becomes twisted. It’s so important to connect with yourself and figure out what exactly it is that you want to do and why.”

Thus, the first step of goal setting is to figure out your intention and why.

Other steps and key elements include:

  • figuring out when you’re going to achieve a goal (set a deadline)
  • figuring out how you’re going to achieve a goal (list out the steps and details)
  • milestones
  • determining how you’re going to keep track of it (use a planner)
  • breaking down a goal into actions (have mini goals and to-do lists)
  • forming habits
  • process of review and reflection

All of these goal setting steps and key elements are included in the Slay Your Goals planner.

S.M.A.R.T Goals vs. R.I.G.H.T Goals

When going through the goal setting process, it’s best to set SMART goals and RIGHT goals.

Here’s a breakdown of those by Nadalie.

SMART Goals Page from the Slay Your Goals Planner

The S.M.A.R.T acronym has different meanings for different people, but it usually entails making sure a goal is:

  • strategic/specific
  • measurable
  • achievable/attainable
  • realistic/relevant
  • timely/time bound

Strategic (or specific) means knowing exactly what you want to achieve and how you’re going to achieve it.

Measurable refers to how you will track your progress and success. Nadalie likes to add numbers to her goals to make them quantifiable.

Achievable (or actionable or attainable) means that goal is within your reach and capabilities.

Realistic (or relevant) means that goal is right for you and is something you want.

Timely (or time bound) means there’s a specific deadline and timeline for that goal.

Nadalie came up with the R.I.G.H.T acronym which is included in her digital planner. She shared that when we talk about SMART goals, “it can feel like a cold and calculated kind of agreement.” Thus, her intention with RIGHT goals is to help people check back in with their heart and intention to make sure a goal is properly aligned with themselves before they pursue it. Be sure to get a copy of her digital planner to find out the full meaning of the R.I.G.H.T. acronym. 😉

What are some mistakes people make when setting goals and how can we avoid them?

Some mistakes we tend to make when setting goals are:

  • not being specific
  • overplanning
  • overestimating what you can do
  • not knowing your why
  • not having a solid action plan
  • not focusing on your mindset at the moment
  • not surrounding yourself with the right people

You can avoid those mistakes by figuring out your why and intention, setting SMART goals and RIGHT goals that align with your current situation, breaking down those goals into smaller actions (or to-do lists), taking action right away and adjusting your plan as you go, scheduling and taking breaks as needed, surrounding yourself with people who support you and will help keep you on track, and using a planner to track your progress and reflect on your journey.

What’s the Slay Your Goals Planner? How is it different from other planners?

The Slay Your Goals planner is a printable and form-fillable planner that you can use over and over again. It contains six chapters: Set Your Intention, Choose Your #1 Goal, Select 4 “Mini” Goals, Plan Your Year, Crush Your To-Dos, and Review Your Goals.

Slay Your Goals Planner 60 Pages

In each chapter, there are different types of pages you can use that will help you with setting and slaying your goals.

“It’s almost a bit like choose your own adventure, so you don’t have to use every page and every chapter. … I think our minds work differently, so I’m just giving you options in terms of what pages fit with you best.”

There are pages for planning your week and month, reflecting on your to do’s, and tracking your progress. Nadalie said, “It’s like a giant bundle of over 100 pages of planning and calendars and all of that.”

While most of the pages are undated, there are some dated pages in there with just the calendar for the current and upcoming year.

The best part is that Nadalie releases a yearly update, so when you purchase the Slay Your Goals planner, you will always get the next edition when it comes out (for free!).

Nadalie is constantly making changes to the planner based on feedback she receives so each edition is a bit different than the last.

Links + Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Today’s Guest: Nadalie Bardo

Nadalie Bardo

Nadalie Bardo is here to help you slay your goals, so you can pursue your boss life with confidence + action. As the Founder of “It’s All You Boo,” a personal development blog, she curates the very best content to keep you motivated and inspired to slay your goals in life and business. Her first book, Conquer Procrastination, is now available wherever books are sold, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Nadalie is also the creator of the Slay Your Goals Planner, the only planner dedicated to helping you actually achieve your goals. 


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