I read a lot of advice on the internet about building your business. And apparently, according to the internet, the first rule of accomplishing a big goal is to break it down into manageable chunks.

But what if you don’t know how to do that? How big a “chunk” is a ” manageable chunk”? And what if the chunk you thought was manageable doesn’t turn out to be so manageable once you get down to brass tacks?  

Well, I got a great roadmap on how to move forward from Felena Hanson, the founder and CEO of Hera Hub, the coworking space where I’m a member.

I took a workshop from Felena where, after talking about exactly what we do and whom we serve, she asked us to write out our goals for the next 12 months.

Step 1: Write your top goals for the next 12 months on a sheet of paper. (If you’re already a big consumer of business-building advice, you’ll know these goals should be SMARTSpecific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.)

I wrote down my SMART goals during the workshop. I looked at them.

They looked back at me.

In any goal-setting, goal-achieving program, this is usually as far as I get. I write my goals down, fold up the paper and tuck it somewhere. Then I put my head down, work hard, and in 12 months I may or may not have accomplished them. 

But Felena showed me a way to transform this from a daunting list to a manageable, daily to-do list.

You need: 

  • That daunting list of your one-year goals
  • two additional sheets of paper
  • Your daily calendar 
  • something to write with
  • about 30-60 minutes and
  • these two additional steps. 

Step 2: Draw a 12-month calendar on a piece of paper, and mark each month with the due date for each goal you wanted to accomplish. So, for example, in 12 months time I want to have at least 4 clients who provide me with monthly, recurring business.

That means, theoretically, in three months, I need to have client 1. In three more months, I need to have client 2. And three months from that, client 3. And in the final three months, client 4. That’s four repeat-business clients in 12 months. 

That’s already clarifying, even if I don’t necessarily book each recurring client in exactly that order. At least I know what I’m looking at.


Step 3: Take a second piece of paper, lay it horizontally, and write the next three months at the top. As in:


Now, week by week, what do you need to do each month to make that first-quarter goal happen? 


Now that you’ve got the weeks of the month planned, go to your daily calendar. (I use Google calendar.)

Plunk some time on there for each of the things you said you needed to do for each week. 

For example, in week 2 I said I would write my opt-in offer. So here’s how that might look, broken down day by day on my calendar for the week. 

(If you want to know why most of those boxes are gray but one is blue, you can find out here about the color-coding system I use for tracking my tasks and how much time it’s saving me.)

So, that’s how you can take a great big 1-year goal and break it down far enough so that it is an actual to-do list that you can schedule on your calendar. What do you think? 

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