Transcript: How to Do a Step-by-Step Mid-year Goal Audit

June 1, 2020

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AMY PORTERFIELD: “Overall, what I really want to hit home is that you set goals at the beginning of the year. You wanted them, you could taste them, you could feel them. You were, like, bring it on; this is what I'm going to do. And now halfway into the year, you might have even forgot what goals you set if you're not looking at them weekly or daily. And also, some of those goals might not bring you joy. Now, doesn't mean you change them. It means you change your perspective. You recalibrate. You look at them. You set your milestones. You get really clear and remind yourself why you set them in the beginning of the year. And if you can get behind them again, you're moving forward. You need to tweak them a little bit. Do what you need to do. But I don't even want you to recognize yourself at the end of the year, because you've blown your own mind with how much you've accomplished and how good you feel.”

INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, money, and time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and helps you create a life you love, you're in the right place. Let's get started.

AMY: I have no idea how this happened, but it's June, which means we are six months into 2020—I repeat, six months. Crazytown, right? But what a perfect time to do a mid-year check-in on your goals. Listen, I know, because I'm guilty of it, too, it's so easy to set goals that are either too big or too small at the beginning of the year. And while I love a very good stretch goal, sometimes we need to recalibrate and just see where we are with our goals and make sure they're on track, they're realistic, but still exciting and challenging, and then make any necessary adjustments to that specific goal.

So in today's episode, I have four strategies to help you reach your goals in the final six months of 2020. When I say it like that—again, it's crazy, right?—the final six months of 2020. Now, if you're feeling a little discouraged about your progress, don't go anywhere. This episode's going to help you get over the hurdles that you've been facing and finally understand the actions that you need to take to accomplish the goals you set for yourself in the next six months. Now, if you're killing your goals, go on with your bad self. I'm glad that you are hitting all those goals, feeling good. You should be. That's awesome. And I’m also glad that you’re here, because these steps will give you even more leverage to push your goals to new heights and blow them out of the water.

I was telling my Momentum members today that at the end of the year, so December 31, 2020, I want you to look back at yourself, like, right now, in this moment, and not even recognize yourself because you just blew your own mind. You can't believe what you've accomplished, how you've shown up, just, basically, what you've done with what you've got. And I don't even want you to recognize yourself, but instead, step into your very best self that you didn't even know you could go there. I love surprise myself—in good ways, not bad ways.

So with that, I really do believe this is an opportunity for you to totally surprise yourself. You've got six months. Let's kick it into high gear. And if you're feeling like you're not making as much progress, this is the time. We're going to switch it up. We're going to do it. And if you're feeling good, if you're feeling on fire, great. We're going to turn up the heat just a little bit more so that you don't even recognize yourself by the end of the year.

All right. So you're going to walk away from this episode with a renewed sense of motivation and ideas to help you ensure you accomplish those big, bold goals that you set for yourself this year. And I can’t wait for you to crush all those goals. So are you ready? Let’s do this.

First things first. Let's start at the top. Step one. In order to reassess the goals that you set at the beginning of the year, I want you to do something that's really obvious, but stay with me here—identify what those goals actually are. Now, I don't want you just to identify them. I want you to actually write them down. There's something powerful in reevaluating your goals by actually grabbing a notebook and writing down each of the goals that you've set for yourself at the beginning of the year.

Now, when you write each of those goals down, I want you to leave a little space under each of the goals, because we're going to go back and do a little bit more with each of those. And here's the thing. If you're anything like me, you have a handful of goals. I'm assuming you've got some business goals, some personal goals. Maybe that means some health goals are in there, relationship goals. Maybe you set an impossible goal—I've talked about that on the podcast before. I always love to set an impossible goal—whatever your goals are, doesn't matter, I want you to write every single one of them down and leave space below each of them.

Okay. Moving on to step number two, it's time to examine your progress and list out the actions that you've been taking toward your goals. Okay, I got to stop here. Right now I need to remind you we are not judging ourselves. We are not saying if we did good, if we did bad, if it was right, if it was wrong. None of that. I, as I've gotten older, have realized all of this judging that I do to myself gets me nowhere. So there's no judgment here. So you can't have an opinion if you're doing good, if you're doing bad, whatever. We're taking all that out. Deal? Pinky swear? Don't go there. All I want you to do under each goal is to write out where you are and what you've accomplished. And if you feel like you haven’t accomplished a lot, don't worry. I've got a plan for that. But just take a stab at this.

So let's say one of your goals was to add 500 subscribers to your email list by December 2020. So my question to you is, how far have you come? Have you added 100 subscribers, 200 subscribers, five subscribers? It doesn't matter. And don't say, “I'm not really sure.” Go look. Actually go do the work and find out from January 1 to the date that you do this exercise how many subscribers have you added to your email list. Let's just get really clear, because if you don't admit—stay with me. This is important—if you don't admit to where you are right now, no matter when you're listening to this podcast—maybe it's going to be after June. It doesn't matter. I still want you to do this exercise—if you can't admit to yourself where you're at, what it looks like, then you're just walking around, living a lie. And you're only, only hurting yourself. So this is where we need to be willing to be honest with ourselves so that we can grow, we can learn, we can move forward, and we can meet those big goals you set for yourself.

My friend, you still have six months. A lot can happen in a month, let alone six months. You've got this. You're going to be okay. But let's get really clear on where you're at.

Okay, another idea is maybe you're aiming to show up with valuable content every single week, either blogging every week, podcasting every week, a video show every week. So how's that going? If that was one of your goals, look back and actually count how many weeks did you hit that goal of putting out, let's say, a new podcast episode. Write it down. Maybe your goal was to save $5,000 by the end of the year so that you can leave your corporate job and start your online business full time. That's a good one. That one kind of gives me chills. So do you have, since we're halfway there, do you have $2,500 set aside yet? Yes? No? No judgment. Where are you at? How much money have you saved?

So look at those goals, because I personally love to quantitate all of my goals. If I can give a number or a percentage, if there's a way to measure it, I'm going to do it. It really does help give you the black and white of it. Like, there's no wiggle room, there's no confusion. Where are you at?

Some of your goals, you might not be able to give a solid number or a percentage. But again, we're just being brutally honest with ourselves. So assess, are you as far along as you would like to be?

Now, next, I want you to list out the efforts that you've been taking toward your goals. So if you look at each of the goals and you are able to give yourself some kind of measurable of how far you've come, what have you done to get there?

So let's go back to my example of building your email list. Let's say you created a lead magnet. You set up an opt-in page. You created an email nurture sequence. You’ve been creating a monthly content calendar. Whoa, that's a lot, right? And now you're showing up with your weekly content,, like you're doing a lot. I think it's really important to say, well, what have I done? Because let's say your goal was to get to 500 new email subscribers by the end of the year, and you only have 25 new people. Well, you likely aren't going to list out a lot of things you've done. And that's just a telltale sign. Like, all right, I've got to get a little bit more clear on what I need to do to get this done.

So doing this exercise, you might see that you're killing it. But what I think you're going to find, if you're human, is that there are lots of holes in your goals. So you haven't taken action or the kind of action that's getting you to the results that you really want.

So that leads me right into step three, which is identify what's working and what isn't working. So for starters, you might find that between the quantitative number you found above and the action items you list that you're doing great and you're killing it. No adjustment needed. Awesome. Move on. We don't need to fix what's not broken, right? However, I have a sneaky suspicion, because you're human, that this assignment’s going to reveal a few improvements that you could make to ensure that you actually hit your goal by the end of the year.

So just a reminder, if you've fallen off track, if you're not exactly where you want to be, that's 100 percent okay. Remember what I said: a lot can change in a month, so a whole heck of a lot can change in six months. You have a wonderful opportunity right now, my friend, to shift your goal, to make it more fluid, more tangible, more achievable.

So I'm not saying go back and change all the goals that you set for yourself if you're not getting close to those goals. What I'm saying is to look at those goals and then ask yourself, okay, what kind of milestones do I need to set in order to get there? And this is something we recently did with all of our goals, and we do this now with our quarterly goals to get really specific.

So let me give you an example. We set, as a business, all of our quarterly goals. And one of the quarterly goals was to prepare for Digital Course Academy®️, which comes out in September 2020. And there's so much work that goes into planning for that event. And so the goal was to create the project plan and define the marketing objectives for Digital Course Academy®️. That's a quarter-two goal. But even that is a big goal.

And so what Chloe did—she's my chief marketing officer—she decided to set some milestones. So she said, okay, by this date, I'll have the project plan fleshed out in Asana. By this date, I’ll assign all the tasks to the appropriate people. And then by this date, I'll have a meeting to flesh out all the core marketing themes for DCA. So basically, she took this one quarterly goal, which is kind of a big one, and she set some milestones, some specific mini goals with due dates so that when we looked at the goal once a week, which we do—we look at our quarterly goals once a week—and now she could look at that, and we usually say on track or off track. Well, if it's a huge goal, it's going to always feel like it's on track until we're off track. Like, until the end of the quarter, if we don't meet it, then we're off track. That doesn't feel really effective. So now we look at the little milestones and think, okay, we're on track. We're hitting these smaller goals to make up the big goal.

Yes, it took her more work to put those together. She had to put more thought to it. But I think you can agree, especially if you do this exercise and realize you're not actually hitting your goals or you're not where you want to be so that you can hit them by the end of the year, maybe take one of the big goals you've set and break it up into mini milestones so that you can say, all right, I’m one month—let's go back to the easy example of building your email list—if you want to get 500 people by the end of the year, and let's say that you really just want to hit the first hundred in the next month, that's your first milestone. So you've got the big goal. You're not changing the goal. You're going to do it. However, you're going to set a milestone and say, okay, in thirty days I’m going to have 100 people on my email list. Now you can get really specific. What do I need to do? What do I need to do to make that happen?

So this has helped us immensely in a very short time, so you can do this and start seeing results quickly. Look at all of those big goals you’ve set for yourself, think about making some mini milestones. That’s, like, just a little extra bonus in this step-by-step process I’m giving you. I think it really does make this all feel very digestible.

And one more strategy that could really help you here is the Full Focus Planner from Hyatt & Company. So you all know that I love it. I use it daily. I use it in so many different ways. And one of the things in the Full Focus Planner is a weekly preview. So on Sunday night, what I always do is I look at my quarterly goals, and then I look at my yearly goals, and then—so I always do that. Once a week, it's in my planner, I write them out. So I look at them and review them. And then I do the weekly preview where I look at the week that I just ended—what worked, what didn't work, how much did I get done, where did I struggle, all of that—and then I look at the week coming up to get clear on what I'm going to work on as it relates to my quarterly goals.

And so this takes, I don't know, anywhere from fifteen to twenty minutes, depending on how deep I go. But the weekly preview does keep me, or does keep my quarterly and yearly goals top of mind, because I'm having to review them to make sure that when I choose the weekly Big Three, the three things I'm going to get done this week come hell or high water, I'm always checking against my quarterly and my yearly goals.

So one thing that I used to not do in the past is actually look at my goals on a weekly basis. So this helps immensely. So Full Focus Planner, you can check it out at I highly recommend this planner. It’s the only one that I’ve ever used really consistently.

Okay, so, moving on. Step three is to go back over each goal and spend some time identifying what’s working and what isn't working. And then once you've reflected and gathered some data, you should be feeling a lot more clear about the goals that need some reshaping or recalibrating or where you need to break them up into milestones.

So then, from there, step four is to take this information and to create a plan moving forward. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, said it best. He said, “The secret to getting results that last is to never stop making improvements. It's remarkable what you can build if you just don't stop.” So for this step, focus on those goals that seem to be maybe missing the mark.

So here's an example. If you set a goal for the year that just doesn't excite you anymore, it doesn't bring you joy, and you're not motivated to actually hitting that goal, well, what do you need to tweak about it? What do you need to change so that you are excited about it? Again, I'm not saying change all your goals—I want to be really clear—because you set those goals in the beginning of the year for a reason. So maybe you need to re-identify why you're excited about them. Or again, set those milestones that I talked about, or maybe tweak them in a way so that you can get fully on board.

But with step number four, I want you to focus on the goals that need a little extra attention, and begin to write out a plan for improving your approach. And I find that troubleshooting is simply part of the goalsetting. So when you do this, think about, again, the milestones and the specific dates for moving forward and achieving things that get you closer to accomplishing your goals. And if we want to take this one step further, take those dates  and those milestones that we talked about and put them in your calendar. After all, if you schedule it, you make it real, right?

And so you can bet that all the milestones we put together for quarter two, we put those into the calendar. We know when we're hitting those milestones, and if we hit three of the milestones, boom, guess what. We hit the goal. So it's actually really cool. If you're competitive with yourself, milestones and due dates work really well.

And as you're thinking about your goals, I want you to run through them by James Clear’s four laws of behavior change. These four laws are essentially simple rules to follow to build better habits so you can reach your goals. And by the way, if you want to hear more about the four laws of behavior change and James’s approach to creating atomic habits, listen to episode 295. It was one of my most popular. People love that episode because he’s good. This guy is good at habits and goalsetting. So

Okay, so, here are the four laws of making your goals and your habits attainable. Number one, are the obvious? Number two, attractive. That's what I mean. They don't bring you joy anymore, we might need to tweak them. Three, are they easy? The easy part would be the milestones. And four, satisfying. So are you satisfied? Are these things you really want to accomplish? In fact, I would look at your goals and now your milestones and run these four laws—obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying—so that you actually hit the goals.

Now, for the record, I realize these are the four laws of behavior change for habits and I’m interchanging habits and goals, but I really do believe that you can look at them the same way with what we're teaching here now. So there you have it.

So go back—like, let me give an example—go back to the goal of setting aside $5,000 by December 31, 2020. And let's just say this goal is not on track. So you've likely identified what would work, which is putting aside $193 every two weeks. Now, you've also identified what isn't working. You're not doing that, and you've set zero boundaries around eating out. So it's time to revamp.

So let's say you're going to set up an automatic withdraw into a separate account for your $5,000. Depending on where you are right now, you might need to adjust the numbers, but you're going to make sure that if you're doing this every two weeks, you're going to do the automatic withdraw, and you're going to hit that $5,000. Now, sure, you could say, “All right, Amy, $5,000 feels too aggressive because I haven't even started this and we're six months in.” You could adjust that goal. And I'm not saying not to, but I first want to say, could you just get really serious about this and really buckle down and make it work? Before you change a goal to make it, say, easier or more attainable, I would rather you set some milestones that feel attainable and doable, and make sure that they are obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying, but still stick to that main goal that you set for yourself.

Now, if you’re still like, “Amy, I'm not going to hit it, so who am I fooling,” then change the goal. Still set those milestones, though, and never, ever set a goal that feels easy. At the end of the day, goals should push us. They should scare us a little bit. They should challenge us. They should excite us. All of the above. So just a few things to think about because I've been guilty of setting way-too-easy goals because I don't want to disappoint myself, and working through some of those feelings that I didn't want to feel, I realized I can be disappointed, but I might also be really, really excited if I hit them. So I'm willing to maybe feel disappointed because I might also maybe feel really excited when I hit them, and that's where I'm going toward. That's what I want. So do you see how that kind of works out?

And remember this: making temporary sacrifices to achieve a goal that you really want, it's just that—temporary. We are adults here. If you can commit one year to achieving a goal that supports your future vision and dreams, you know that it's going to go by fast, right? Life goes fast. You can do this, my friend. Go back to your why and your vision as often as you need to to help you stay on track.

Now, once you identify maybe the subtle tweaks that you want to make, or better yet, you've added some milestones in there so that you can really hit these goals even in the next six months, then, my friend, I want to make sure that you keep yourself accountable. Jen Sincero, author of You Are a Badass, talks about doing something you really don't want to do in order to achieve your goals. And the example she gives is writing a friend or a family member a check for a thousand bucks, and you have to give it to someone who truly will cash that check without feeling bad. And you let them know, if I don't reach my goals, you cash this check and you keep it. Now, that’s going to light a fire under your feet to get those goals met, right?

This is just one example, but you get the point. If you need accountability, think about what would really keep you accountable, get really creative, and go for it. Sometimes we need external accountability, like writing the check, but sometimes we just need internal accountability.

And so one of the strategies I love is Rachel Hollis’s Start Today Journal, and, basically, the rule here is that you write down your goals every single day. And the twist here that I love is you write them as though they've already happened. So for me, it's not like, “I'm going to be interviewed by Hoda on the Today show.” It would be, “Hoda interviewed me on the Today show.” So you write them as though they happened, but you write them every single day in the Start Today Journal.

Now, there's some actual really solid, proven research behind this. A Harvard study found that you're three times more likely to achieve your goals if—yeah, you guessed it—you write out your goals daily. Three times more likely to hit your goals if you write them out daily. I mean, Rachel Hollis knows what she's talking about, right? So you don't need a Start Today Journal to do this. She'll say that herself. But they're really cool. So you can check them out. We'll link to them in our show notes, of course. But writing them out daily is powerful.

Overall, what I really want to hit home is that you set goals at the beginning of the year. You wanted them, you could taste them, you could feel them. You were, like, bring it on; this is what I'm going to do. And now halfway into the year, you might have even forgot what goals you set if you're not looking at them weekly or daily. And also, some of those goals might not bring you joy. Now, doesn't mean you change them. It means you change your perspective. You recalibrate. You look at them. You set your milestones. You get really clear and remind yourself why you set them in the beginning of the year. And if you can get behind them again, you're moving forward. You need to tweak them a little bit. Do what you need to do. But I don't even want you to recognize yourself at the end of the year, because you've blown your own mind with how much you've accomplished and how good you feel. And that’s why reviewing your goals right now is so very important.

All right. Let’s wrap this up.

Okay, so, here's the deal. This episode could be so valuable for you, make or break you hitting your goals by December 31. But this episode will be useless to you if you don't take action. Some of my episodes could give you great insights, great ideas, they could move you to try new strategies, and that's great. But this one literally, you need to do the work right now in order to get the biggest impact from it.

So what I'd love to see you do, in the next twenty-four hours, I want you to actually do the four steps. They’re not that hard. And so right now, go grab a notebook. Literally grab your phone or grab a notebook. Just write down the four steps really quickly so you don't forget them. Are you ready?

Step number one, write out all your goals. All the goals you set for the year, write them out and leave a space below each of them.

Number two, make a list of all the efforts that you've been making toward hitting those goals. So just everything you've done to try to hit those goals, write it down. Any quantitative information. Go research it. Write it down. How many people did you add to your list? How much money have you saved? Whatever it is. Give it a number, make it measurable if you can, do a little work to get those numbers. Don’t just say, “I’m not sure,” because what’s the point of that? You’re only hurting yourself. But write down what have you done and where are you in the process of hitting that goal? Where are you, and what have you done?

So the third step is to examine what's working and not working. And this kind of looks like mini journaling. So just write some notes down, what's working here, what's not working. And also, if it's not working, if you're not going to get to the goal at the pace you're going right now, that's where you do the milestones. So in step three, if you uncover, “Look, I am not doing enough or the right things to get me to where I want to go, because six months in, I am very far,” like, you should be halfway there, if you're not anywhere close to that, then we've got to recalibrate. One of the ways to do that is to take the goal and break it up into mini milestones with deadlines, and you're going to knock those out instead. Instead of focusing on the big goal, we're focusing on milestones now. That's, like, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you. We use this in our own business, and I use it in my personal life.

So with that, step four is to make a plan for moving forward. So if you put together some milestones, you do already have a plan. But what I want you to do is check those milestones against the four laws of behavior change. And so looking at your milestones, are they obvious? Do you know how to do them? Are they attractive, or are you excited to do them? Are they easy? A goal doesn't necessarily need to be easy, but the milestones are like, yeah, I could knock that out. I can do that. And are they satisfying? Are you hungry to do these? Do you really want to do these? Because you know the end game, the goal, is the most exciting thing.

The thing is, I don't want you to change your goals around. I don't want you to make them easier. And I want you to remember this: getting to the goal doesn't have to be all rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns. Getting to the goal can be hard work, can be awkward, can be scary, can be uncomfortable, a lot of unknowns. But as long as you accomplishing the goal is something you really want, it excites you, you could taste it, you could feel it, like, I want that, then you're going to be willing to do whatever it takes. And the whatever it takes is where we are at right now, my friend. You've got six months to do whatever it takes to reach those goals, and you just think how good you're going to feel when you do so.

All right. So I want to hear from you. After going through these steps, I want to know what you uncovered, what you're going to change, how are you feeling about everything? And the only way that I'm going to know is if you jump into the Online Marketing Made Easy Facebook group and let me know. So just start a post. You don't need to look for me to start the conversation. You just jump in there and say, “Hey, just listen to the podcast about checking my goals mid-year. Here's what I discovered. Here's what I'm going to do next in order to meet those goals. Here's how I'm feeling about it.” Keep yourself accountable by publicly declaring it in the Online Marketing Made Easy group. Believe me, doing something like that publicly makes a huge difference. Why do you think I share with you guys my goals and what's going on with me? So that I can keep myself accountable.

All right. Hopefully, you enjoyed this bonus episode. I will see you again next week. Have a great one. And until then, get to work, do those four steps, and get clear on your goals so that you can meet them by the end of the year.

All right, guys, take care. Bye for now.

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