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MINDSET SERIES: Goals: Setting Realistic Ones & Tracking Progress

Today we’re talking about your goals, why they are so important, how to set them, and then track your progress so you actually achieve them.

This is one of the topics I find myself talking about often, so get ready for a fiery one!

*Note: This is Part 4 of a 4-part Mindset series. Over the course of the next 4 weeks I’m bringing you episodes related to your mindset as an entrepreneur, running your amazing yoga business.

Check out the previous episodes here:

In episode #149, we heard from Lauren and how she shifted her mindset of marketing from transactional to relational. And in episode #150, we heard from Pia who shared her 8+8+8 framework to help with finding balance as an entrepreneur. And last week in episode #151 I shared my thoughts on how fear can hold us back from achieving our goals.

And that leads us to this week, so get ready to learn all about setting and achieving goals!

Why goals are important

I’m going to share a lot of tactical information in this episode even though it’s a mindset series episode, but before I get into the tactical stuff I want to share a story with you.

In 2018 I started to work with yoga teachers, and in 2019 I started my membership, Thrive (even though it didn’t have a name when I actually started it). In those early days of the membership I was 100% focused on providing marketing tutorials and help to yoga teachers. So that’s what I did! I asked my Founding Members “What do you want?” and then I created it, one piece of content at a time, and it was fantastic.

But fast forward to today and Thrive looks completely different than it did in 2019 and there’s one BIG reason for this…I saw what made the biggest impact in not only my business, but also every yoga teacher’s business that I was working with.

What made the biggest impact was setting and working towards goals.

I found myself saying “I don’t care what your goal is, I just want to help you reach it” and it’s amazing how much that shifted what I offer to my incredible students.

Sure, I still teach marketing tactics and strategy because I love it, but I don’t care if you want to grow your following on Instagram, fill your workshop, or cover your mortgage. The goal is yours and it’s great. It’s the PROCESS of working towards that goal that I have a passion for helping you with.

I’m a natural-born cheerleader and a learned coach, but regardless of which hat I have on in the moment, I’m by your side every step of the way. I might be dancing alongside you making sure you don’t give up, or I might be pushing you to do something you don’t really feel like doing (hello procrastination, I see you!) but the point is that I am beside you. That’s where I love to be!

I share this because it leads into why I care so much about goals. I’ve seen the impact it can have on your life and in your business, and I have worked hard to find systems that help not only myself but help you set and achieve goals. There’s bits and pieces of this process that are inspired by others and there are pieces that I came up with along the way too. It’s all baked in together and I can’t wait to share this with you.

Another reason I wanted to share this story with you is because I don’t want you to wait until you have it “figured out” before you start. If I had waited, I wouldn’t have the amazing group of yoga teachers I have in Thrive today. You have amazing students who are waiting for your gifts, please don’t deny them that gift because it didn’t feel “perfect” yet. Remember, done is better than perfect!

**This was also a podcast episode (episode #152. Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.

"Goal" defined:

Merriam-Webster Dictionary says that a goal is "the end toward which effort is directed." How beautiful is that? It doesn't matter what the goal is, it's just where your effort is going.

If you set a goal, you're going to put effort towards achieving that goal.

Best mindset for setting goals

Your Goal Is Worthy

First and foremost, your goal, no matter what it is or how it compares to other people’s goals is worthy - it’s worthy of setting, it’s a valid goal and worthy of your time and energy, and it’s awesome.

Your goal doesn’t need to be the same as anyone else’s and I certainly don’t want you to compare your goal to anyone else’s. But since I know this can be helpful, I’m going to share just a few goals of some of my Thrivers so you can get a sense of specific goals that your fellow yoga teacher entrepreneurs are aiming for.

Say it with me… “My goal is worthy of being set and going after.”

Know Your Why

Everyone in Thrive is probably sick of me saying this, but every time I hear I goal or talk about a goal I follow it up with “Why is that your goal?" I ask this because I want it to be a habit that when you think the word “goal,” that you think the word “why." They go together and help you so much.

It’s imperative to know the why behind your goal. If you’re trying to grow your email list by 20 people, why do you want to do that? If you’re trying to have consistent marketing content, why do you want to do that?

And if the answer to the why question is “because someone told me to," that’s not a good reason but it’s a start. Dig deeper on this if you run into it. Ask “why did that person suggest this” so you can understand why you’re chasing that goal.

The key is that you understand the specific why behind your specific goal. Sure “I want to help people” is a fantastic statement, but it’s not a good enough reason to be the ‘why’ behind the goal because it’s not motivating enough. I know you want to help people - and that's awesome - but the only way you will do that is if you make progress and in order to do that, you need to be motivated.

Let’s look at an example:

Your WHY behind your business could be that you want financial freedom. But your WHY behind your specific goal of “get 5 people to sign up for my workshop” is that “because 5 people in this workshop means I was paid fairly for the workshop and I really want that for myself because I’ve never had that."

That’s motivating! That will keep you going when chasing that goal is hard. That’s the "why" we really want to know!

Embrace Good, Better, Best Goals

I’m not the creator of Good, Better, Best goals, but I love this method because it allows you to celebrate along the way, and I’ve found that it helps people get even more realistic with their goals.

Instead of setting just one goal of “Grow my email list by 100 people”, you could instead say Good Goal = 25 new email subscribers; Better Goal = 50 new email subscribers; Best Goal = 100 new email subscribers.

And it works really well with paid offerings like a workshop. For example, let’s say you are hosting a workshop and the maximum number of people you can have is 8 and you’ve worked out the math that the minimum number of people you will run the workshop with is 4. Your Good Goal = 4, Better Goal = 6, and Best Goal = 8.

By setting Good, Better, Best Goals you get to celebrate each milestone along the way instead of waiting to hit the big goal.

Examples of goals:

In Thrive, we set 90 day goals. Here are a few actual examples of goals from Thrivers:

  • To get 5 people to sign up for my membership: Plan, prep and schedule for summer months!

  • Identify & create a new offering for people who are pregnant. Create new freebie related to offering to grow my prenatal/baby/toddler clients & emails.

  • Increase community outreach and exposure to introduce self and business.

  • 8 workshop attendees in June; grow email list by 15.

  • Be consistent with weekly blog content.

  • Run an in-person offering. Collaborate with 1 business on an offering.

  • Rock my launch and gain 10 (good goal) to 25 (best goal) new members.

  • To fill up my prenatal 10-week series course in May, target at 10 people.

  • Expand private clients: I have 3 at the moment and would like to at least double it. Good goal: 6 private clients, Better goal: 8 private clients, Best goal: 10 private clients

  • Good goal: +75 to mailing list; +5 new members.

  • Start teaching and looking for subbing opportunities (2-5 classes / week).

How to set realistic goals

90 Day Goals vs. Annual Goals

In my opinion, setting 90 Day Goals is more effective than only setting an annual goal. This is because it’s really hard to anticipate an entire year and what will happen in the course of a year. Annual goals are great to set so you have somewhere to dream big, but it’s really helpful to break that down into smaller goals and I suggest quarterly goals.

This is the foundation of what my membership Thrive is built upon because of how impactful this is. We break the year down into quarters:

Q1 - January - March
Q2 - April - June
Q3 - July - September
Q4 - October - December

Each quarter everyone in Thrive (and you can too!) sets a 90 day goal to focus on for that quarter. Since we all wear multiple hats in our lives, there might be a business and a personal goal included, but overall, we want to focus on one business goal per quarter.

Sometimes this can include multiple things such as if someone wanted to fill an upcoming workshop, that might mean they host a free challenge or they get consistent with their marketing or they collaborate with another business in order to fill that workshop.

The point is that there is one focus (example: fill the workshop) and everything they do is helping that specific goal.

Weekly MITs

To take this one step further, I also suggest the use of weekly MITs: Most Important Task. What you do is read your 90 Day Goal and then identify just ONE thing you could get done that week that will get you just one step closer to achieving your 90 Day Goal. That one thing is your MIT, your Most Important Task.

By combining the use of 90 Day Goals and identifying your weekly MIT, there’s a much higher chance that you will actually achieve your goal.

The only thing that typically gets in the way of progress in this method is if it’s hard to hold yourself accountable and in that case, you need to find some accountability partners to help you.

How To Set A Realistic 90 Day Goal

First, you want to look back to see what you were able to accomplish over the last 90 days. The key in this step is to understand the size of a project that you were able to focus on last quarter overall. This helps you set a realistic goal because it’s never fun to set a goal and not achieve it.

Second, you want to look ahead to see how many actual work-days you have in the next quarter. For example, you might have a vacation planned for a week and you’ve got a part time job that you work as well or maybe you have kid stuff happening or other obligations. The key in this step is to understand that just because this is a 90 day goal doesn’t mean you actually have 90 days to accomplish this goal. Take out the weekends and time when you cannot work on this goal because you don’t want to overestimate the time you have.

Third, ask yourself what you want to accomplish in the next quarter in your business. At this point you might have multiple ideas, and that’s great, but you will want to choose just one for your 90 day goal. If you have a list of ideas, choose the one that you can realistically get done in the next quarter given your availability/capacity and the one that you’re excited about too.

But you might not always be excited about your goal as sometimes we have to work on a project that will set us up for future success. For example, no one ever likes it when I say “Talk to your students and do some market research,” but I promise you that it’s the best project you can work on as it will help you with so many things.

So while I hope you’re excited about your goal, there will sometimes be times when you’re not super pumped about it, but if it will help you achieve your ultimate dream business, then it’s worth it.

Best mindset for tracking goal progress

Do you like tracking progress on things you’re working on? Some people do and some people don’t but either way, it’s helpful. The reason it’s helpful is because (1) it helps you see your progress overall and (2) it helps you understand how you work best and what can stop you from making progress.

Here are some other things to keep in mind regarding tracking progress:

  • It only helps if you actually do it.

  • Things won’t go according to plan, and that’s okay.

  • Document what you accomplished, but try not to focus too much on what you didn’t accomplish.

How to track your progress on a goal

Inside my membership Thrive, we use a system of MITs and what I like to call “Progress Logs”. Each Monday they declare their MIT that will help them get closer to achieving their 90 Day Goal, and each Friday they share to their Progress Log about what they accomplished and learned that week.

Find The System That Works For You

There’s no right or wrong way to do this, but you do want to find a system that you can be consistent with as that’s really the key. Here are some ideas to get you started when finding a process that works for you:

  • Use a journal

  • Track in a spreadsheet

  • Send yourself an email

  • Use Google Forms to submit your response

What To Track

It’s very important to not only focus on the accomplishments but also what you learned and what caused any lack of progress. For example, let’s say your 90 Day Goal is to “Create a freebie and grow my email list by 20 people” and your weekly MIT was to outline your freebie to identify what else is needed in order to create it. But let’s say you had something unexpected come up in your personal life that week and you didn’t accomplish your MIT.

If you just said “didn’t accomplish the task” and didn’t give context as to why you didn’t get this done, you could easily look back at the end of the quarter and think you slacked off but that wasn’t the case. So it’s important to track these things:

  • What you accomplished (did you accomplish your MIT?)

  • What got in the way of accomplishing your MIT

  • Anything you learned

When To Track

This is up to you and how you work best, but I suggest tracking weekly when you’re working with 90 Day Goals. If you track things monthly, it’s just too long of a time frame to try and remember, and if you do it daily, that’s just a lot of work. Weekly seems to be the sweet spot with tracking.

On that note, if you miss a week that’s fine. In the words of my amazing friend and private yoga teacher, Megan: “Miss it and move on."

Your next step

After hearing all this about goals, I bet you can guess your next step. It’s to set a quarterly goal for Q3 (July - September)!

Follow the process of how to set a realistic goal and get after it. And if you’re looking for accountability and support in this progress I would love for you to join Thrive because like I shared in this episode, this is what we do inside.

We set goals and make progress with them each and every week. We celebrate the milestones together and when you run into issues along the way, you have a group of people who are ready to jump in and help you. Whether it’s with tech issues, questions about marketing or overall business stuff, myself and all the Thrivers are ready to share and support each other.

The doors to Thrive are open now but only until June 16th so if you’re interested in joining, check it out. But if now isn’t the time for you, that’s okay too. The doors will open again next quarter in September.

And even if Thrive isn’t for you, you can still implement this process on your own. Set a 90 Day Goal, set weekly MITs and track your progress. You’ve got this my friend!

Until next time, give yourself permission to set goals that you want to go after and grace along the way.

Get More Done with Less Screen Time with Shailla Vaidya

"Your goal, no matter what it is or how it compares to other people’s goals is worthy - it’s worthy of setting, it’s a valid goal and worthy of your time and energy, and it’s awesome."

- Amanda McKinney


Want support while working towards your goals?

In Thrive, my monthly membership for yoga teachers, you get social media and email templates, monthly Q&A calls, advanced trainings, business check-ins, a private community, and more. Thrive is a membership that can support you in taking action on every part of your yoga business journey - from the very beginning all the way to advanced challenges!


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