6 Actionable Strategies You Can Adopt to Achieve Your Goals

It might not seem like it, but achieving goals is not a matter of doing something extraordinary. It is just a matter of discipline and consistency. 

I’ve been working with goal setting frameworks for myself and my clients for many years. This is why I can now show you simple and effective strategies you can implement today to achieve your goals. 

If you’re tired of setting goals every year and not seeing any results, this article is for you.

You may believe that identifying your priorities for the coming year is sufficient and that you can stop there. However, you must understand that unless you develop habits to keep these goals visible and on your priority list, you will likely not succeed.

It is as simple as that: whatever you focus on grows.

Most people set goals and then forget about them, according to my experience. They may remember their objectives every now and then but they do not take consistent action to achieve them. And you know, life has a way of taking up all of our time if we let it. So putting your priorities first each day will keep you from falling into this trap.

I can tell you that you will only see the desired results if you are deliberate about how you spend your time and what you focus on.

Your goals mean nothing until you take action.

I used to be the person who set goals but did not follow through on them. Not because I didn’t want to achieve them but because I made mistakes. You can read more about them here. 

However, I learned from my mistakes and started looking around at those who achieved their goals.  What were they doing differently? I realized it was a series of habits and consistent actions. I started testing them, and here is what worked for me: 

  • Setting SMART goals 
  • Planning and milestones 
  • Regular goals review
  • 3 daily priorities
  • Using scorecards 
  • Understanding the power of habits

Setting SMART goals

When setting SMART goals, I find that starting with 1-3 themes for the year works best for me. These can be expressed in a single word or a few words; they do not need to be very specific. Their role is to establish the context for the objectives. “Investments” is an example of a theme.

I then proceed to set SMART goals based on the general themes. Once the goals are established,  I look at KPIs or measurables and select the 3-5 most relevant to my objectives.
If you want to go deeper into this topic, I have shared the entire process of setting SMART goals in a previous article.

Planning and milestones 

Milestones assist you in breaking down goals into more manageable interim objectives. Assuming that the goal is the final destination, then the milestones are in between pit stops on the road. They pretty much define your immediate actions.

Here are a few recommendations for defining milestones:

  • Try to have at least one monthly milestone for each goal. 
  • Set due dates for milestones throughout the quarter so that your goal is achieved by the end of it.
  • Add in some buffer for potential delays or unexpected events. 
  • Create a simple timeline to visualize all your goals together with their milestones in one place. This will give you a better idea of your overall workload.

Create as many action items as you need. Once your milestones have been defined, you can go further and break each down into discrete action items. 

There are some common issues I see when it comes to planning, like:

  • No buffer time on the timeline
  • Not taking into account time off, travel time, and other life events.

As much as we would like to be productive 24 hours a day, that is not possible. So, it is important to schedule time for yourself to disconnect, think and most importantly live. 

Regular goal progress review 

As I’ve previously stated, setting goals without regularly reviewing them will not get you far. So, as soon as you set your goals, make a recurring event in your calendar for weekly goal progress review. This way, you can quickly determine where you are each week and whether or not any of your goals are off track. This will give you enough time to address bottlenecks without jeopardizing your likelihood for success.

You created a timeline for your goals and milestones during the planning stage. Examine the timeline and compare it to the actual progress of the milestones during the weekly goal review.

Inviting your leadership team to the weekly goal review meeting helps to build momentum for achieving goals. Invite each owner to share updates on their goals. This way, you can hold each other accountable. Another advantage is having great minds to discuss issues and bottlenecks with when they arise.

3 daily priorities

Goals and milestones are important, but your daily actions move things forward.

It would be wonderful if we could complete everything on our to-do list. But we all know that this is not the case. Some argue that work expands to take up all available time. Work, in my opinion, expands beyond available time.

Given all this, the only way to make meaningful progress each day is to heavily prioritize.

Here is my process for daily prioritization:

  • I start in the evening before, after I finish my work for the day
  • Start on a fresh page in my notebook or open a new page on my online planner 
  • At the top of the page, I write the following: yearly themes, yearly goals, quarterly goals. Yes, I write them every day! 
  • Below I write the 3 most important actions I can take on this day to advance my goals. Not less, not more than 3. 
  • I make sure I have time blocked on my calendar to work on these 3 priorities 
  • I start my workday by looking at the list I have written down the evening before to set the tone for the day and remind myself of my goals and priorities.

When it comes to to-do lists, I am completely realistic. My daily to-do list will not have 3 items anytime soon. However, I can use the most productive time of my day to work on my priorities and progress toward my goals. This is something I do every day. Yes, some evenings, I work late and I may skip planning for the following morning. It’s not a big deal because it rarely happens. 

It is important to distinguish between working on someone else’s priority list and your own. What you purposefully add to the list is your priority, working your way up to your goals. What others add to your list is their priority making its way onto your schedule.


I use scorecards to keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs). I include them in the weekly goal progress review to look at the numbers and stay in close contact with how things are going.

If you are behind on your numbers, it is very simple to make corrections early on. However, as the quarter or year progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult.

When it comes to scorecards, I always strive for simplicity. Something more complicated is almost never better. I use tools whenever possible, and it almost always saves me time or money. 

Some of the scorecards I use personally and with my clients for keeping KPIs top of mind are:  

  • Financial scorecard for revenue, profit, and other financial indicators on a weekly or monthly basis
  • Marketing scorecard for tracking major marketing indicators on a weekly basis
  • Client satisfaction and retention indicators on a weekly or monthly basis 
  • Team satisfaction and retention indicators on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Understand the power of habits

All previous strategies are based on habits: the habit of setting goals, the habit of tracking goals on a regular basis, the habit of setting daily priorities, and so on. All of this becomes much easier to implement once you understand the power of habits.

In one of the monthly emails I send to my subscribers, I included a list of books I recommend for learning about habits. I’m sharing them with you because I realized that every significant goal I’ve attained has resulted from habits and consistency. One of my guiding principles is that if something works, I should double down on it. This is how I came to read about habits and learn so much about them.

My favourite books on habit

The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

For me, the most important takeaway is that change begins with new, small, and healthy habits. If you want to improve your overall life, you must train your willpower to adopt these key habits.

Atomic Habits – James Clear

I loved it because the advice inside was very actionable and spoke to me. Furthermore, all suggestions are brief and to the point. This makes implementing the desired change extremely simple.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey

I’ll be honest: this is one of my all time favorite books; I probably highlighted and underlined more than half of it, so I can easily go back to key takeaways.

One of the book’s central ideas is to take proactive control of our reactions to the world.

This is extremely valuable in an ever-changing world. We must be able to adapt to adversity while also taking a step back and thinking clearly. Only then will we be able to develop the most feasible solution with a positive outcome.

How do you start on all these strategies

Don’t be discouraged if this is all new to you. It was also new to me a few years ago.

I suggest taking it slowly and introducing new habits on a regular basis. They will quickly become routine.

Take each day as an opportunity to improve your chances of success. Not every day will be perfect, and fire drills will disrupt some days. However, your routines will always get you back on track.

Let’s work together on these strategies

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