My Secret to Effective Goal Setting

January 14, 2020

This time of year we can tend to add a lot of pressure on our ability to set and keep goals. In the weeks leading up to New Years, you may have spent so much time and energy mapping out your vision for the coming year. And now that January is here, there can be a lot of online noise telling you the time is now. You need to take action now and make all the things happen all at once.

And that can feel really overwhelming, right?

I believe that goal setting gets a bad rap. I think a lot of people don’t see success with it and so they don’t like the concept. But the thing is, everyone works differently. The method that works for one person might not work for you. And that’s okay, friend. 

That tells me there’s an opportunity to discover a different way of goal setting that works for you. Don’t use “goal setting doesn’t work for me” as an excuse to throw in the towel and never set another goal again. 

My Secret to Effective Goal Setting in 2020 | b is for bonnie design #brandstrategy #goalsetting


Having measurable, specific goals mapped out allows you to define how your business is moving forward.

Here’s the thing. If you don’t have goals, how do you know if you’re growing? How do you know if you’ve hit a new level of success within your business if you aren’t setting some kind of measurable goal for you to chase after?

Now I’m not saying you need to pull out your notebook right now and set some goals down on paper that scare the living daylights out of you. But what I am saying is there is so much possibility for you and your business if you commit to a simple practice of setting goals in place.

If traditional goal setting—where once a year you pull out your vision board, planner, and notebook to go through a big in-depth goal setting process that defines the next 365 days—doesn’t work for you, then keep on reading friend because I’ve got something just for you.

I’m sharing my secret to effective goal setting that ensures I’m able to set goals I can achieve. Goals that don’t overwhelm me. And goals which I can change as the year unfolds.

This goal setting process gives me the space to constantly propel my business towards my truest definition of success.

You ready?


Friend, here’s the big secret about effective goal setting over at team b is for bonnie design.

I do NOT believe annual goal setting sessions are enough.

In fact, that is a process that really can get us off track. Through talking with my gals inside the Heartfelt Brand Society, my six-month group coaching program, we spend time at the beginning of the year or at one specific point diving into our analytics and being truly honest with ourselves about our dreams and honing our vision for the next season of our business. But realistically, as life gets crazy, client emails pour in, and those to-do lists continue to grow it can seem impossible to keep your eye on your goals when it’s something you set once and don’t touch base with again.

So instead, we take a different approach that gives me more grace and allows me to be very strategic about my goal setting practice.

As part of this method, I focus on tackling the year quarter by quarter. Each quarter has a set of goals that we pursue. And from there, I’m able to break down actionable steps and smaller projects that need to happen in order to make that quarterly goal a reality.

This approach allows me to take a bird’s eye view at my full year to assess what launches need to happen, what availability I have for branding clients and when I’m not traveling. It allows me to go from this bird’s eye view of my business to a very deep diving view of what each week, and honestly, what each month of each quarter needs to look like in order to pursue my goals.


Now, I just want to clarify something about this goal setting process. I don’t force it.

I make the process super leisurely. Since I’m breaking up the year quarterly, I begin by giving myself the grace to sit down, look at all the quarters of the year, and then identify the big picture steps or projects that need to happen. 

In the initial brainstorming process I sit down and block out dates on my calendar for things like travel, tentative launches, and team meetings or retreats.

Then over the next few days, I spend quality time thinking about each quarter individually. So for example, let’s say I do my big brainstorming session on Monday. Then on Tuesday, I’m getting cozy and hanging out with quarter one. I think about how I can best utilize those few months to do my best work and make the most progress on the goals I set for that quarter. Then on Wednesday, I focus on Q2. Thursday on Q3. And Friday on Q4.


Something to keep in mind here when I approach goal setting on a quarterly basis is that I’m very realistic with my goals. If I’m going to undertake a massive project that I know realistically I won’t be able to accomplish in Q1, then I break it up. I identify which part of the project must be accomplished in Q1, what foundational work that needs to be done in Q2 and so on.

I don’t want you to feel that with this quarterly goal setting process you need to launch a new website in Q1, introduce your group membership program in Q2, hire a team member in Q3, and do all those big things each quarter.

The key I found to be effective goal setting is to break up the size of my goals so they’re evenly distributed throughout the year. One quarter I might have one big goal, but then I offset that with some smaller goals so that I’m able to cross those babies off my list and use that momentum to attack the bigger goals I have on my plate. 

This is an approach I learned through reading the book Traction by Gino Wickman. Wickman shares ways we can break down our years into sprints, not marathons. If we can take planning for 90 days versus planning for 365, we’re going to find that with the 90-day method, we’re better able to wrap our minds around what needs to happen. And as we go, we’re better able to course correct if need be. 

For example, if you don’t accomplish as many things as you think you’re going to in one quarter, good news, you can just roll them over to the next quarter. Or let’s say your seeing exponential explosive growth that you didn’t anticipate in Q2, well that growth can influence and inform you of the goals you set for Q3 that allow you to meet that high-level demand.


This is something I love teaching the students inside the Heartfelt Brand Society, too. At the beginning of our time together, I spend intentional time with each and every member diving deep into their goals for the next six months. From creating content, to setting goals to financial targets. I am a big believer that taking a 90-day approach can be a game changer for you.

If you want to make 2020 the year you take your business to intentional new heights as you hone in on that big beautiful next step that will allow you to deeply connect with your ideal clients and dramatically increase profit, then I would love to invite you to join the waitlist for my six month group coaching program. 

I accept just a handful of applications each year and I personally walk alongside you over the span of six months to ensure your success as you chase after your brightest and boldest goals.

Pop your email below to be the first to know when the latest cohort of the Heartfelt Brand Society reopens!

Join the HBS Waitlist

Doors for my signature six-month group coaching + mastermind program are currently closed, but you can be the first to know when applications re-open!

Pop your email address below to join the waitlist. I can't wait to work together to elevate your brand strategy, woo your ideal clients, and transform your bottom line!


My Secret to Effective Goal Setting in 2020 | b is for bonnie design #brandstrategy #goalsetting

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I'm Bonnie -- a designer, brand designer + strategist, writer, wife, and pet parent to the most rambunctious golden retriever this side of the Mason-Dixon! I'm passionate about building authentic brands, encouraging small business owners to chase their dreams, and spreading joy through design. It's a delight to have you here, lovely! Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a comfy chair and stay a while, won't you?

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