Start regular goal setting and throw away your to-do list!

Writing a huge to-do list that you never seem to get to the bottom of is disheartening and adds to your stress levels. Regular goal setting will enable you to throw away your to-do list! You will find it a far more productive way of getting the important tasks done once it becomes your habit.

The other day, I sat across from a woman on the train and I happened to glance at the pad she was writing on. She was compiling her work to-do list and was already up to item number 26, looking more and more panicked! Regular goal setting helps me to prioritise the important stuff. Not to get bogged down with all the admin. Yes, you still need to do the admin, but it should fit around your slaying priorities!

Goal setting sounds intimidating and hard work. But I cannot stress how much more focused it will make you.  This will help you to keep on track, so if you want to be a success try my step-by-step guide.

Regular goal setting step-by-step guide

Make your goals SMART

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Bound.

Start each month by making five goals for your business using the SMART criteria.

An example of a work monthly goal would be:

Gain two new paying clients by the end of the month.

This is specific in what you are seeking as the outcome. It is measurable, by obtaining two new clients. Only you would know if this is an achievable and realistic goal but this is something you can work on over time. This goal is time-bound by the end of the month.

Once you have written and committed to your monthly goals, on a Sunday write your five work goals for the week.

The exact same process. The idea is that the weekly goals are helping you to meet the monthly goals. I also like to check my diary for the upcoming week and make a note on where I need to focus my attention.

Then drill down even further.

Every evening write your top five goals for the following day which will support your morning routine. These are to support meeting your goals for the week and for the month.

OK, so I know you may be thinking this is a lengthy process, but I promise you it’s all about the habit and getting into a routine

  • You become so much more focused on your outcomes
  • You know what tasks to prioritise
  • You understand where to spend your time to make your money
  • You can reward yourself when you reach your goals 
  • You can stop making long to-do lists where you never cross everything off!

As we are soon approaching the start of September, give regular goal setting a try for the month and see if you can throw away your to-do list!!


Ruth Cooper-Dickson


Ruth is a dynamic wellbeing specialist who runs her own consultancy. She is a practicing mental health first aider and has lived experience of a mental health condition. Ruth is a thought leader on wellbeing, from publishing articles on mental wellbeing at work, to delivering corporate wellbeing events, talks and training. She is hugely passionate about getting people living their best version of a happy stress-free life. Ruth loves coffee, fashion and reading, and she is a massive advocate for getting active - you will find her in the gym, at a class or out running marathons!

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