When you look back on this year, how many goals did you achieve? If it wasn’t as many as you had hoped for (trust me, I’ve been there) then it’s time to try a new approach. After all, you can’t continue to do the same thing and expect different results.

If you want to check more items off of your to-do list then I’d like to share my goal setting approach system. I’m warning you in advance, some may think this is overkill, but I always achieve my goals when I follow this “formula” for each of my goals (I typically create 3 goals each year):

  • SMART Goals
  • Goal Themes
  • Grateful Notes


It allows you the ability to effectively track your progress. In case you’re unfamiliar with SMART goals, this acronym represents the following:

Specific: At some point in time, we have all said, “I want to (insert activity you wish to do).” Now, think back to how many times you met the goal that you wanted to achieve. Kudos to those of you who accomplished your goal; however, I’m going to take a guess that for the majority of folks out there that this goal most likely remains on your to-do list.

Therefore, if you’re seeking to reduce the items on your lists, you need to make sure that you be specific as possible. “I want to start my own business,” is incredibly vague. “I want to start an online jewelry store and build my email list to 1K within 6 months,” is incredibly more direct.

Measurable: You have to be able to quantify your progress. How many pieces of jewelry will your store offer? How many emails do you need to add to your list each week in order to reach your 1k email goal?

Achievable:  How do you plan on acquiring the jewelry you plan on selling in your store? Will you make it yourself or purchase it directly from artists or wholesalers? How do you plan on building up your email list? You need a game plan. Below are a couple of examples in how you can go about accomplishing both goals:

  • I will build the inventory for my store by purchasing 10 items a month directly from the artists and create 5 pieces handcrafted by me.
  • I will create enticing lead magnets, host contests, etc. in order to build up my email list.

Realistic: Let’s be real. Life can get in the way. Acquiring 90 jewelry items at one time is not possible with your budget, so you have to be strategic in how you go about building your store.  Can you convince 166 people a month to sign up for your email list so you can reach 1K email subscribers in 6 months? Are you willing to set aside time and obtain the necessary resources so you can develop your store while increasing your email list? If not, then you will not achieve this goal. Staying motivated is the key to achieving your goal.

Time-bound: To assess your progress, you need a deadline for your goal. When do you want to open your store (i.e. within 6 months)? When will you plan on reaching 1k email subscribers (also within 6 months)? Assigning a time frame provides you with an incentive to stay on track.

Based on the above-mentioned example, your new SMART goal will sound like the following:

In 6 months, I will open an online jewelry store and build an email list with 1K subscribers. During the next six months; I will create or purchase 15 pieces of jewelry a month as I continue to build up my store’s offering and gain approximately 166 subscribers a month using enticing lead magnets, contests or social media. For 6 months, I will make sure that I acquire at least 15 new jewelry pieces and gain 166 new email subscribers.

Starengu's Winning Goal Setting Formula

My theme

After I create my SMART goal, I then come up with one word that I can easily associate with that particular SMART goal. When you think of this word it should relate to the topic of your SMART goal. So for example, the one word that I would create for the aforementioned example would be ‘Creative’.

Why? Everything dealing with my SMART goal requires me to think outside the box. People are always on the hunt for unique pieces of jewelry. Therefore, I need to make sure the pieces I create are distinct.

I’m most likely launching my online jewelry business on a shoestring budget, so I will have to discover unique ways to engage, attract and convince my ideal customers to sign up for my email list. It’s nice to have one word that you can help you easily recall your goal.

Grateful Notes

This exercise is my FAVORITE part of this goal setting formula because it helps keep me sane. It enables me to easily identify what’s truly important and allows me to appreciate the little things in life. Every day (yes, the entire 365 days) regardless of how bad a day I may be having, I try to write down at least 3 good things that happened to me on a piece of paper or post-it note. It can be anything related to my goal or something as simple as ‘I went for a run during lunch.’

I then place my notes in what I refer to as my “Box of Blessings” and then I read all of them during the week of New Year’s Eve. I then take the notes that have the most memorable events of that year and create a list called Top (insert number) events of (insert year). So for example, Top 20 events of 2018.

I’ve been doing this for almost over 5 years. I will be honest—some days are harder than others. However, I have NEVER had a day where I couldn’t write anything. When I feel down, I always make sure to bust out those lists from previous years. They easily bring my pity party to an abrupt end and I’m back to feeling motivated to tackle the world! 🙂 This exercise is a constant reminder that I have so much to be grateful for and what is truly important in life.

All of these exercises will help you to create a real game plan that will allow you to track your progress. It is one of the main factors that has enabled me to launch Starengu as well as cross learning Spanish off of my bucket list.

Starengu's Winning Game Plan

By the way, just in case you need help crafting your goals, be sure to download Starengu’s Winning Game Plan. You can create all the goals in the world, but in order to achieve them, you need to make sure you have an awesome routine in place to make it happen. Click here to find out how you can develop your own routine to support your desire to achieve your goal.

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