How to Set Goals

How to Set Goals for Your First Year of Business

January is all about planning and setting goals. I gave up setting New Year’s Resolutions a long time ago because I could never stick to them, but goals — that was different. Goals aren’t about the immediate change that setting a resolution always seemed to imply. Goals are about working toward something!

And this year, for the first time I have to set business goals!

At first, I was so overwhelmed. I had no clue how to start. So, I signed up for Allison Marshall’s Business Breakthrough which was super helpful. Plus I did a lot of reading about planning and setting goals for your business.

I want to share what I’ve learned and a few of my goals with you today.

My Business Goals for 2018

  • Be Able to Go Part Time at my Day Job in Six Months
  • Grow My Email List to 1000 Subscribers
  • Grow the Traffic to my Website by 500 Visits each month
  • Earn Enough Affiliate Income to Pay my Business Expenses Each Month

So I have my goals, but now what? Well, now I have to plan out how I am going to achieve those goals!

This means that I had to break down each goal and create actionable steps to reach those goals.

I had to figure out how much I would need to earn to be able to go part-time. I also had to create a plan to earn that money. And I had to do that with each goal.

One tip I picked up in my research was to use S.M.A.R.T goals. I had heard of S.M.A.R.T goals, but I had never used them in my goal setting before.

Here is how I used S.M.A.R.T goals to plan how to reach my goal of 1000 email subscribers.


Your goal needs to be very precise. For example, my goal isn’t just to grow my email list but to grow my email list to 1000 subscribers this year. For the first quarter, I have set a much smaller goal of 150.

You also need to have a reason WHY behind your goal. Without a why it can become hard to stay focused on your goal.

So why do I want to build my email list?

Building an email list is an essential part of having an online business. It will enable me to connect with potential clients and build a community around my business. The more potential clients I connect with the faster I can grow my business which will lead to my ultimate why! And that why is quitting my day job and going full time as a virtual assistant.

I also had to break down how I would build my list. I have several opt-in offers planned for each month that will help me grow my list. Also, I will write blog posts to promote those opt-ins, plus create landing pages for them. I have detailed to-do lists for these steps. Not for each opt-in I have planned this year, but I have planned out the steps for my first quarter opt-ins.

Be sure that you can clearly answer these three questions about your goal. What is your goal? Why do you want to achieve the goal? And how you will get there? You need to be very detailed so take your time in answering these questions.


If your goal cannot be measured, then it’s not a full goal, and you won’t know when you have succeeded. When I have reached 1000 subscribers, I will know I’ve accomplished my goal.

To make it even easier for myself, I broke it down into quarterly goals. I went small for the first quarter with 150. After that, I will just 283 each quarter or 95 a month to reach my goal. Sounds doable right?


To achieve anything, you must take action. Be sure that you are doing something every day that will help you reach your goal.

Remember my to-do list for my opt-ins. That is something that I work on every day to help me reach my goal. I also promote my opt-ins on Facebook and Pinterest

You also want to make sure that your goal is achievable. Or it can lead to a lot of frustration. Have a good idea about the time it takes to reach your goal and know what actions you need to take to get there.


If you want your goal to succeed, it should definitely be realistic, or you will fail. If I had set a goal of growing my very tiny email list to 1000 subscribers in just one month, that would have been unrealistic. I would have failed and been discouraged. But giving myself a year makes it doable.


You need to set a time limit so you can keep track what is happening. If you don’t your goal will be hard to quantify or show as completed. I did this in two ways by setting my overall yearly goal and breaking that goal down into quarterly goals.

Have you ever used the S.M.A.R.T. tool to set goals? What are some of your business goals for 2018? Be sure to share with me in the comments!

Also, sign up for my newsletter and receive your free workbook Dream Plan Do to dig more into creating S.M.A.R.T. goals and planning out your business year.

Where to next?

2 Responses

  1. The first year is definitely the most difficult, so many things changing and growing and you need to adjust here and there on the fly. These are great goal setting tips, I’ve always been a fan of the SMART methodology 🙂

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