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Breaking Goals Down Into Tasks

Updated on March 9, 2021
Karla Taylor profile image

Karla is extremely passionate about personal development. She practices goal setting and researches the topic regularly.

From Task-Ticking to Dream-Living

Tasks are like steps on a ladder, targets are like stepping stones and goals are like clear paths to your dreams. Not to oversimplify but if you know the system then you can make it work for you. How do you feel when you think of your lifelong dream? Excited? Disappointed? Inspired? Unfulfilled? Pay attention to how you feel when you hold an image in your mind of what you really, truly desire. You might not have a specific ambition or a particular dream but you have at least, an idea. It's very possible that you do have a specific ambition and a particular dream. Could you tell me that you were making daily progress towards living that dream? Could you tell me you know that it's going to happen for you? You absolutely could.

Could you tell me how you were going to make it happen? You don't need to.

It all starts with a daily task...

You need to look at the situation you're in now and the situation you want to be in. Don't worry about how you'll get there, you'll get there but you need to know where you're going first.

Don't Be So Vague

The specifics are very important here; I know it isn't easy to construct a detailed image of something that isn't a part of your reality when something that is a part of your reality is a mountain of clothes that you've needed to put away since the weekend but what else will you do? Let me offer you a slightly extended escape from your current reality and encourage you to indulge in the reality of your dreams.

What we want to do here is bring your ultimate desires into your life by taking fractions of the steps that you need to take in order to reach them and inserting them into your daily schedule so that you're not just dreaming anymore - you're making progress.

I recently wrote an article in which I suggested an idea that dreams should be re-established into goals and offered my reasoning as to why it's so valuable to do so. The full strategy can be found in the article which I have linked below.

Stay True To Your Vision, Nobody Will Do It For You

Another reason why specifics are so important is because you really need to be connected with what you want. Don't go after anybody else's vision, too many people do and that's why too many people are so lost. Imagine, there could be somebody out there who is living your absolute dream and feeling utterly dissatisfied with it because it wasn't theirs to begin with. Maybe they don't feel dissatisfied. Maybe they love every second but nobody has any more of a right to be living their dream than you do.

You can design your life but your life goes into it so make sure it is yours. You don't have time to go after something that doesn't make you feel alive.That's why you're here, you're alive. Be alive

Most people are not going after what they want, Even some of the most serious goal seekers and goal setters, they're going after what they they think they can get.

— Bob Proctor

Breaking Targets Into Tasks

Once you have established your dreams, your desires and how far you might be in your current situation to manifesting that into your reality you can start to schedule your plan. A good place to start is always yearly. What do you want to achieve by the end of the year? Now, there isn't much of the year left but that's actually a benefit if you've never done this before or if it's been a while since you did this.

I've encouraged you to indulge in your deepest desires throughout this article but in terms of time, we have to remain realistic. Take some time to write down the things that you've thought about throughout this article. Work backwards for the magic.

  • Where do you want to be?
  • 3 biggest obstacles (eg. time, money)
  • Where are you now?

Write these things down to give yourself a clearer idea of your path. You aren't expected to know the amount of years or the amount of months it might take for you to be living your Dream v1.0 but you can easily map this out over time.

Let's say, for the evergreen factor that it's the start of a New Year, you should establish at the very most 10 goals/targets to have reached by the end of the year. Write these down and take a look. How can you break these down into monthly targets?

Prioritize your yearly target list, adjust and amend however you need to and decide which of your yearly targets you can implement into your January targets. You're not trying to reach one yearly target per month, you're succeeding in making progress in all of those targets throughout the year.

Daily schedules are often heavily weighed down by work tasks and housework which is why we feel like we can't make any progress in general. Change your perspective just a little bit. It doesn't matter how busy you are. This is your dream. If you can spare one day in a month to contribute towards the completion of these annual targets then you are making more progress than you were before.

I recommend setting between 1 and 5 targets per month and once you have set your targets for the month, you can start to break them down into your daily schedule.

If one of your yearly targets is to gain 10,000 followers for your business on social media then one of your monthly goals might be to schedule 30 posts. You can break this down into your daily schedule in the way that suits you best. Perhaps it would work best for you to stay up late one night and schedule 15 posts and then schedule another 15 posts while travelling a week later. You might find that it's easiest for you to schedule 7 posts once per week.

In this case you could insert "schedule 7 posts" into your Sunday agenda on the Two Sunday's that suit you best. If you were to split them into larger chunks you can simply insert the tasks wherever they work best into your agenda such as while travelling or first thing in the morning. You must remember that you aren't working for anybody else in this and nobody else is working for you. This is your journey and if it doesn't feel worth it then you haven't connected with what you really want which really is easily changed with persistent daily meditation.

When it is obvious that the goals can not be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.

— Confucius

Let's Look At Another Example

Yearly Target: Write a book

It might help you to break this target down into tasks before you start to prioritize or organize the tasks by writing all of the tasks down that you can think of that would help you reach this yearly target/goal. I use this method from time to time but I usually prioritize first.

One of your more complex tasks (there will be several) can be transferred into a monthly target.

January Monthly Target: Plan Story

February Monthly Target: Write Entire Outline

You're likely to have more than One target for each month but that's okay because you're going to be making significant progress. Break these monthly targets down into weekly targets and then further into daily tasks.

January Week 1: Characters

January Week 2: Setting the story including research

January Week 3: Plan the storyline

January Week 4: Plan the story in more detail and review characters and setting.

Now, we're in Week 1 of January and you have taken a yearly goal, we can call this one a goal because it is, essentially a dream. From this goal that seems huge, we have actually scheduled a start.

Read this article again, use it when you need to so that you can really put this in place for yourself because only if you have aspirations of writing a book will you find this example exciting. Try it with your own goals and see just how exciting it really is, the excitement raises your vibrations and keeps you on a higher level and you will attract exciting things as a result.

Let's take the Weekly targets and turn them into the thing that makes this whole machine work: tasks.

January Week 1 : Characters


  • Write down rough ideas for characters
  • Establish the relationship between at least two characters


  • Fully create one character
  • Draft ideas about character role and main relationships


  • Fully create a character with a connection to the first character
  • Write down the idea of their relationship
  • Repeat with another character if there is time

This is your schedule so you make it work for you. If you don't hit every task on your schedule then that's okay because you can move it to where you need it to be.

There's a great community, albeit small, where you're encouraged to reach your tasks, targets and goals and encouraged no matter what your progress may be. It's a great way to stay accountable, you can find the link below.


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