Goals aren’t fleeting whims or lofty dreams; they’re the cornerstones of long-term success. If you’re like most creatives, your mind is a buzzing hive of aspirations and objectives. So, how do you wrangle these into a coherent plan? Enter the Monthly Goals Worksheet—an effective but often overlooked tool that I’ve found invaluable for streamlining productivity and realizing visions.

The Goal vs. Purpose Dichotomy: A Philosophical Foundation


I discovered the intriguing difference between ‘goals’ and ‘purposes’ during my junior college years, in a class that today’s lingo would probably dub a “life hack philosophy class.” A goal is a concrete milestone you aim to reach, like completing your next novel. A purpose is your broader life mission—like becoming a beloved and influential author. The exciting part? Goals and purposes can intermingle seamlessly. Your overarching purpose often breaks down into a series of actionable goals, and in a philosophy class during junior college, I learned the difference between ‘goals’ and ‘purposes.’ of his Writer MBA courses, including the eye-opening “Build a Superfandom.” The course featured a strategic goals worksheet that revolutionized how I plan my months and years. I can’t provide the exact file here, but I’ll share its foundational concepts, which can make goal-setting a walk in the park for anyone.

A Month in Review: The Structure of My Goals Worksheet

Celebrate Your Achievements


I kick off every month by revisiting my last month’s goals file. After saving it under a new name for the upcoming month, I dedicate the first section to celebrating my victories. In my monthly goals worksheet, list every achievement, big or small, and it’s always invigorating to recognize my progress. For instance, last month, I beefed up my series bible, The Creedverse, by an astonishing 90,000 words!

Self-Perception and Others’ Views


Next up, I delve into perceptions—both my own self-perception and how I believe others see me. Understanding these perspectives is not just a theoretical exercise; it actively influences how I interact with people both in personal and professional settings.

Envision Your Milestones


This section is all about visualizing where I want to go. I list down my milestones, framing them within various timeframes—five years, three years, one year, and then down to months and even the next day’s targets. This cascading approach creates a roadmap that is both expansive and detailed, making my journey less intimidating.

Uncover Your Unique Strengths


Finally, I focus on what I call my “unfair advantages”—those unique traits that give me an edge. These can range from your social skills to your writing pace, but identifying them is crucial. These advantages act like an extra set of gears in your vehicle, accelerating your progress toward your goals.

Confronting and Overcoming Imposter Syndrome


A structured approach to goal-setting is not just a planning tool; it’s an antidote to imposter syndrome. Doubts and insecurities often plague us, but when you document your monthly progress, these fears become less formidable. Each small win provides validation, proving that you are more than capable of achieving your dreams. Even if you miss some targets, reviewing your monthly goals worksheet will show that you’ve made significant strides forward.

Parting Wisdom


Whatever your creative endeavor, your trajectory is yours alone to shape. A well-plotted course makes navigating to your destination far more manageable, and a monthly goals worksheet can offer you that invaluable roadmap. While I do highly recommend diving into Russell Nohelty’s Writer MBA courses for advanced techniques, my simplified framework should provide a starting point for those seeking structured progress. So, are you ready to convert your dreams into actionable plans and measurable milestones?

“Success will be within your reach only when you start reaching out for it.”
~ Stephen Richards