Goal Planning




One of the most important aspects of setting goals and achieving them is the process of breaking the main goal down into easily manageable tasks. As each task is completed you have an accurate measure of your progress as well as a series of small successes that keep you motivated and heading in the right direction.


I'm going to take an unusual step here and recommend a book called "Write and sell the hot screenplay" by the founder of the Raindance film festival in London, Grove Elliot. Whether you have any desire to write a screenplay or not, it is a great model of how to break down a complex task into a series of simple tasks. It makes the process easy and removes any danger of ever feeling overwhelmed.


If you work out a great way to do this is your field, then you probably have a good book in you too.

The Main Goal

Write a screen play

The Sub Goals

The main goal can be subdivided into a number of smaller goals.

  • 1. Create a story structure
  • 2. Create biographies for all the characters
  • 3. Break the structure into main story elements
  • 4. Write a brief description for each scene
  • 5. Write dialogue for each scene
  • 6. Fit dialogue to characters
  • 7. Repeat rewrites to final draft
  • 8. Deliver to agent
  • 9. Negotiate Sale

Task Schedule

Each of the smaller goals can be broken down into tasks that can be accomplished in a short time frame, hopefully a few days or even a few hours. For each of the sub goals schedule a task, for example: 5. Write dialogue for each scene

  • task 1. Scene 1 - dialogue
  • task 2. Scene 2 - dialogue
  • ...
  • ...
  • task 130. Scene 130 dialogue

Daily Schedule

Each of the tasks can then be slotted into your normal daily schedule. I use something very similar to the following schedule, six or seven days a week.


Task Duration Time
Waking Routine
00:30 07:00
Morning Deep Breathing 00:10 07:30
Affirmations/Visualizations 00:10 07:40
Breakfast 00:20 08:00
Email 00:15 08:20
Diary, Goals and Planning 00:15 08:35
Goal Session 1 - Scene 1 Dialogue 02:00 08:50
Exercise Session 00:30 10:50
Morning Break 00:10 11:20
Goal Session 2 - Scene 2 Dialogue
02:00 11:30
Study Session 01:00 13:30
Lunch 00:30 14:30
Afternoon Deep Breathing 00:10 15:00
Affirmations/Visualizations 00:10 15:10
Goal Session 3 - Scene 3 Dialogue 02:00 15:20
Exercise Session 00:30 17:20
Afternoon Break 00:10 17:50
Goal Session 4 - Scene 4 Dialogue 02:00 18:00
Study Session 01:00 20:00
Dinner 00:30 21:00
Domestic duties 00:10 21:30
Skill Building 00:30 21:40
Free Time 01:30 22:10
Reading 00:30 23:40
Bedtime Routine 00:20 00:10
Sleep 00:30 06:30


Once you have a daily schedule you can work back and find out exactly how long it will take to achieve the goal.

Financial Goals

The following is an example taken from a sales context where you work back from a particular financial goal, compare it with current performance and calculate what you need to do each day to achieve the goal.

  • Set an annual income figure.
  • Work out your daily income.
  • From your past results, work out your average income per sale and the number of calls you have to make to get a sale.
  • From this you can compute the number of telephone calls you have to make a day.
  • Use the table below to calculate this figure.



A = Annual Income Goal


B = Daily Income (A/250) assumes 250 workdays per year.

10,000/250 = 40

C = Number of successful sales over the past year to date


D = Total earnings year to date


E = Average earnings per sale (D/C)

4,000/25 = 160

F = Total number of sales calls made


G = Number of sales calls for a successful sale (F/C)

750/25 = 30

H = Total number of telephone calls


I = Number of telephone calls for a successful sales call (H/C)

2,500/25 = 100

J = Number of telephone calls daily to make annual goal ( I*B/E)

100x40/160 = 25


having a definite figure like this is very empowering. You either succeed or fail and it is totally down to you. No excuses. Aim to exceed your goals. If you were the salesman in the example above you would need to make twenty five calls a day to reach your target annual earnings. Make a commitment to do all of these by lunchtime.


Do this every day. Some days will be good some will be poor. You can hit your annual goals in half the time by being methodical in this way. When you do, don’t stop. Recalculate your goals. There is a common phenomenon in sales where salespeople cannot sell past their targets and simply give up if they hit monthly or annual targets early, as it is so deeply locked into their unconscious. See this one coming and constantly review and revise your goals.