3 simple steps to set goals and achieve them

Yesterday I spent 4 hours in a coffee shop reflecting on 2018 and planning 2019 for my business and personal life. Not many of you know but I was a personal life coach before I had kids as well as an Interior designer. For me setting goals and planning how to achieve them come pretty natural, however, to do that, I need to switch off from the rest of the world and really think and be honest with myself about my life and dreams. I usually leave my phone and computer at home and go somewhere where I won't be distracted, with my notebook and a new diary. You have probably experienced it yourself, most of the new year resolutions never last more than few weeks. Usually is not because the challenge we set yourself is too ambitious, but mostly is because we don't know how to achieve it. We don't have a plan.

Isabella's Macrame, Diary and planner 2019

I thought I would share with you some thoughtful questions about reflecting on the past year before sharing 3 simple steps on how to set goals and achieve them. I think it's very important to understand what has worked and what hasn't before we can move forward. Clarity will help you set better goals. Make sure you write the questions and answers on a notebook, phone or somewhere that you can go back too at the end of the year.

What was your proudest moment in 2018? (Personally and in your business)

What was your toughest? (Personally and in your business)

What do you want to keep & continue doing from 2018 into the new year?

What do you want to change or let go?

Isabella macrame with flowers

Setting your goals for 2019

STEP 1- Brainstorm

Write down all the wishes, dreams, goals, things you want for 2019.

Write freely, as many as you can (15/20 is a good number).

Once they are all down on paper, pick some highlighters and categorized them. For example:

Green-Work (day job, side business....)

Pink-Personal (health, traveling, house...)

Yellow-Family (direct family, parents, in-law ...)

You might have more categories like Hobbies, Finance, Social, Friends etc.... try to keep them to max 6.

Now look at the categories and see if you could combine them together. For example Finance& Work or Social & Friends or Hobbies & Personal.

STEP 2- Set Up Goals

Next, pick the 3 categories you really want to work on this year. Looking at the wishes you wrote down for each of them, can you write a one-sentence goal for the year?

For example:

Personal & Family -Traveling more -See my grandmother in Italy -Learn to make willow baskets -Weekly yoga classes -Renovate the bathroom -Be tidier -Be more healthy -Eat more fruit

For me this year looking after my health is the most important thing, therefore my goal for this category would be: "Book a yoga class every Wednesday morning after school drops off & go for a walk 3 times a week."

When you write down your goals they must be Challenging & Measurable. This means that the goal needs to stretch you but be achievable and you need to be able to know if you have reached it. For example, if your goal is: I want to be successful. How will you know when you have achieved it? Instead, you could say: I want to open my Etsy shop and sell £1000 of items by the end the year.

Your goal is now SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) Can you see the difference?

Write down your 3 goals on paper. Are you happy with them? You can amend, add or simplify them? Work on the sentences until you are happy and excited about them. Write them in your new diary, notebook or phone. Perhaps on a post-it and place it by your desk. These are your goals for 2019! Congratulations!

Isabella macrame planter & spring flowers

STEP 3- How to achieve them

Planning! This is the key and the secret. By planning, I mean breaking down the goal into actions. For example, if we take the goal: I want to open my Etsy shop and sell £1000 of items by the end the year.

I would breakdown the goal into actions like these:

1. Pick a name for the shop 2. Decide the items I want to sell 3. Make them 4. Take photos and write a description 5. Write a bio about myself 6. Upload everything on Etsy and make the shop live 7. Spread the word about the shop 8. Set up promotion/collections for special occasions (Mother's Day, Christmas...) 9. Attend Christmas markets

Pick your diary and decide when will you be working on the steps you just wrote down (which days of the month). What actions you need to take to achieve them.

Using the example above I would write in my diary:

Jan- Finalize name & list of 10 items I want to sell when the shop opens Feb- All items made March- Take photos of all the items with a photographer friend. Select and edit photos. March- Description, and bio ready. Shop live. Post on all social media April- Open FB business page and link to Etsy April- Discount code for Easter April- work on Mother's day collection May- flash sale after mother's day May- make more stock June- Design Christmas collection July- pick 3 Christmas markets - Apply August- Start making Christmas collection September- Making more stock- Get packaging ready/stock up for markets and posting October- Making more stock & think of stand styling for the markets- buy props/make a logo. November- Black Friday?+Markets December- Markets & Celebrate your achievements

It's very important that every week you check that your goals are on track. There might be weeks when other things might disrupt the plan, but as long as you are aware of your progress and the actions you need to take you can tweak the plan accordingly. Be kind to yourself and remember that as long as you are moving towards your goal, even one little step, is better than nothing at all.

I hope you find this method useful and I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback. Please comment below or send me an email to

Happy New Year and happy planning.

Isabella xxxx

  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Pinterest Icon
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon