Wake up at 5 AM. Have a fixed morning routine. Go to the gym every day. Journal every night. Be more organized at work. Yes, it’s new-year-new-goals time!
While personal development goals are commonplace, many organizations and teams wrap up their Q4 in December, preparing for the next year.
If you’re on that journey scouring the web for what your monthly goal ideas for 2024 should be, you’ve landed in the right place.
As a bonus, we’ll also give you a roadmap to achieving monthly goals throughout the year.
- What are Monthly Goals?
- Importance of Setting Monthly Goals
- How to Set SMART Monthly Goals
- 25 Examples of Monthly Goals for Teams
- 1. Improve lead generation
- 2. Reduce advertising spending
- 3. Increase website traffic
- 4. Improve lead conversion rate
- 5. Attend networking events
- 6. Increase CSAT ratings
- 7. Reduce time-to-onboard new customers
- 8. Launch a product
- 9. Increase developer productivity
- 10. Reduce time-to-hire
- 11. Move to the new office space
- 12. Ensure training compliance
- 13. Refresh a training module
- 14. Eliminate accounts payables related penalties
- 15. Reduce projects going over budgets
- 16. Reduce project delays
- 17. Reduce overtime
- 18. Improve utilization rates
- 19. Develop resources
- 20. Secure the next round of funding
- 21. Expand skillset
- 22. Make presentations
- 23. Mentoring
- 24. Research
- 25. Go on a team outing
What are Monthly Goals?
Monthly goals are targets you set for yourself or your team to be achieved within the next 30 days or a calendar month.
Teams set monthly goals together, as a unit, to further the organization’s success. A series of monthly goals could lead to a big win a quarter or toward a big hairy audacious goal (BHAG) for the year. Clear monthly goals help ensure successful planning, project collaboration, and overall productivity.
Importance of Setting Monthly Goals
A month is neither too short nor too long for work activities. Let’s say you’re running an advertising campaign for your new product launch. Four weeks is ample time to reach the majority of the intended audience, track engagement, and collect feedback to adjust parameters if needed.
Beyond being the right time frame, monthly goals offer many more benefits.
Breaking down big goals into manageable chunks: If you plan to make $60 million in revenue this year, how do you go about it? The simplest way of goal-setting is to break it down into quarterly and monthly goals, which segues into project objectives. This means your team has a target of making $15 million each quarter and $5 million each month.
Breaking it further down into weeks and days would be suffocating for the salespeople. A month gives them enough breathing room to bring sales conversations to a close.
Empowering action: A work month is typically 22 days, which allows no room for procrastination before the review meeting is up. Therefore, teams are more likely to kick the ground running so as not to lose time.
Enabling reviews and adjustments: If something doesn’t work for a month, it’s time to make corrections. Monthly goals allow teams and leaders to come together often enough to evaluate performance and try new ideas.
Correlation with the expenses cycle: Organizations typically pay salaries, vendors, and bills every month. By aligning your monthly goals (typically related to revenue) to the expense cycle, you can better understand the cash flow of the business.
The timeframe is one of the many things that make a good goal. Here are a few other aspects to consider before setting your monthly goals.
How to Set SMART Monthly Goals
Over forty years ago, George T. Doran proposed the SMART framework for goal-setting. It has stood the test of time and continues to be the most effective goal-setting framework today for both personal growth and professional growth.
SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Let’s see how you can set SMART monthly goals for your business, taking the example of a social media agency.
A goal needs to be unequivocal to help you stay focused. It should be written in a language that is not open to interpretation. In short, it should be specific.
Example: Generate leads of technology startups looking for social media support.
As you see, ‘generate leads’ is a command, not a goal. The next step is to quantify it.
Example: Generate 25 net new leads of technology startups looking for support.
The 25 net new leads appears arbitrary with no heed to whether it can be accomplished. To make a goal achievable, the most commonly used way is to improve on the last period’s performance. So, a better goal would be as follows.
Example: Increase lead generation (of technology startups looking for social media support) by 25% over last year
No one would be excited by a goal that seems irrelevant to them. To make the goal attractive, make it relevant to your organization, market, industry, and the geography you do business in.
Example: Increase lead generation (of technology startups looking for social media support) by 25% over last year to be supported by the newly opened Seattle office.
Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the allocated time. If you didn’t put a timeline, you could achieve the above goal in one year or ten years. Make your goals time-bound.
Example: Increase monthly lead generation (of technology startups looking for social media support) by 25% over the same period last year to be supported by the newly opened Seattle office.
The above example only demonstrates one level of each factor. For example, “technology startup looking for social media support” can be made even more specific by including their funding status, head office location, founder profile, etc.
Relevance can be further strengthened by connecting it to the vision or mission of the organization.
If you’re new to SMART framework, you can use ClickUp’s monthly goals template as a starting point. Alternatively, you can go solo using the framework below.
How to Set and Track Monthly Goals
Now that you know how to set monthly goals, let’s look at how to achieve them.
Make the goal visible
When a goal is important to you, you can’t just set it and forget it. You need to treat it like your North Star that guides your decisions and actions.
Use a goal tracking app designed to help individuals and teams achieve their goals. ClickUp goals is comprehensive and flexible to adapt to personal goals such as going to the gym or complex ones like building HR management software!
Break it down into manageable steps
Even a SMART goal isn’t an action plan. It doesn’t tell you what you must do daily to achieve it. So, create an action plan.
Break down your big goals into actionable steps you can take periodically and stay focused on. With ClickUp, you can:
- Break your monthly goals into projects and tasks
- Set individual targets that are a number, a dollar amount, or a simple true/false
- Connect various tasks for a progress roll-up
- Create checklists for tasks to ensure you’re doing them right
The measurable part of SMART goals is the number you want to achieve. If you’re breaking it down into various tasks with their own metrics, add those targets to ClickUp too. With task targets, you can check off the tasks you complete, and the task management software will automatically update progress on your ClickUp Dashboard.
Conduct weekly reviews
When setting monthly goals, it’s good practice to track progress. Check in every week to evaluate if you’re moving in the right direction at the right pace.
Use ClickUp Docs to set your repeatable monthly review process. Make a list of the metrics you want to track and any questions you’d like to ask yourself.
Still not sure where to start? We’ve brought help! Choose from any of the ten free goal-setting templates and customize them as you see fit.
With the foundation of effective goal-setting all sorted, here is some inspiration for monthly SMART goals you or your team might want to go after.
25 Examples of Monthly Goals for Teams
Whether you’re in sales, marketing, engineering, or HR, here are 25 monthly goal ideas you can adopt for your teams.
1. Improve lead generation
A marketing team’s biggest goal for any year is lead generation. It gives direction on how to focus their marketing efforts. Convert that into a monthly SMART goal.
Example: Increase the number of leads generated by 25% over the same time last year
2. Reduce advertising spending
As the markets evolve and competition tightens, leaders are being pushed to reduce their spending without a drop in performance. These goals can be more challenging.
Example: Optimize advertising expenses to create $100,000 in savings without affecting lead generation/conversion
3. Increase website traffic
Website traffic is a crucial top-of-the-funnel metric for marketing teams, which has cumulative benefits along the funnel.
Example: Increase website traffic from organic sources by 5%
4. Improve lead conversion rate
As marketing increases the leads they generate, sales will be expected to up their ante, too. Follow up on the marketing goal with your own.
Example: Increase lead-to-sale conversion rate by 2% each month
5. Attend networking events
Sales team members go to networking events as a way of demand generation. The more the events, the more business cards they can distribute. However, if none of these connections convert, money can be wasted. So monthly goals need to consider that.
Example: Each month, attend one networking meeting with a contact-to-demo conversion rate of at least 10%
6. Increase CSAT ratings
Customer success teams measure their performance with customer satisfaction (CSAT) or Net Promoter Score (NPS). It is a good monthly goal idea to improve the overall customer success outcomes.
Example: Increase CSAT score by 1% each month for new customers and 5% for returning customers.
7. Reduce time-to-onboard new customers
Organizations often have service level agreements (SLAs) to onboard a new customer within a given time period. Reducing that improves customer experience and realizes revenue sooner. So, this is a critical goal for customer success teams.
Example: Reduce time-to-onboard to 1 working day using business process improvement and automation strategies
8. Launch a product
This isn’t happening in a month, of course. But you can break your long-term goals into smaller monthly goals.
Example: Build the MVP for the vendor management portal with five core features
9. Increase developer productivity
Engineering leaders are responsible for setting monthly goals for developer productivity. They can achieve this by buying a developer platform, automating tasks, outsourcing parts of the function, or training the team on time management skills. Choose what’s right for you.
Example: Onboard a test automation platform to improve the engineering team’s productivity by 20%
10. Reduce time-to-hire
When you reduce the time to hire for an open position, you can onboard new employees sooner and get more/better work done. So, time-to-hire is an effective monthly goal idea for HR and talent acquisition teams.
Example: Reduce time-to-hire—from request approval to offer acceptance—by 30%
11. Move to the new office space
Whether you’re a growing business or embracing the hybrid model, if you’re moving office spaces, you need goals to make the transition smooth.
Example: Complete space design and get approved by Jan 30th
12. Ensure training compliance
Learning and development teams must ensure that all employees have completed mandatory trainings or workshops. This is a great goal to set, especially towards the end of the year.
Example: Ensure 100% of employees have completed mandatory training by December 31
13. Refresh a training module
Training programs at workplaces are often due for a refresh periodically. Set goals to prioritize the right ones for refresh.
Example: Shortlist trainers to refresh the workplace sexual harassment learning module
14. Eliminate accounts payables related penalties
When the finance team doesn’t pay the vendor within the stipulated time, penalty clauses or interest might apply. One of the important financial goals for the person responsible for accounts payable is to prevent this.
Example: Eliminate penalties or interest payments for overdue accounts payables
15. Reduce projects going over budgets
Projects sometimes go over budgets due to various operational and external reasons. However, a project manager’s biggest responsibility is to predict and mitigate that. This can be achieved by setting monthly goals for budget-tracking.
Example: Reduce the budget overshoot by 50% year-on-year
16. Reduce project delays
When projects go over budget, the loss is in terms of money. When projects are delayed, there is the additional cost of extra person-hours and the opportunity cost of delivering other projects during that time. So, project managers seek to reduce delays, especially in fixed-bid projects.
Example: Finish the scheduled tasks for the month with 2 working days to spare
17. Reduce overtime
Teams across organizations work some kind of overtime. Project managers must strive to keep that to a minimum to ensure employee well-being.
A great way to achieve this goal is to look at the current workload. The ClickUp Workload view is designed to give you consolidated visibility into the hours and productivity of every team member. Based on this data, you can optimize how you assign your tasks.
Example: Reduce maximum overtime per employee to five hours per week
18. Improve utilization rates
Utilization rate is the number of billed hours vs. total work hours in a week. A good services lead maximizes this metric.
Example: Increase utilization hours to 95% for the software development team
19. Develop resources
Institutional knowing is one of the organization’s most potent competitive advantages. Documenting and converting the knowledge into distributable assets is a great communication goal for any organization.
Example: Create the company’s writers’ handbook covering all corporate communications
20. Secure the next round of funding
The leadership teams at startups always plan to secure more funding to fuel their business—it is one of their primary goals. But that can’t be achieved in a month!
Example: Confirm three meetings with potential investors to be held over the next quarter
21. Expand skillset
This is a crucial self-improvement goal, both for individuals and teams. As an individual, you can sign up for an online course, join a tech community, participate in hackathons, etc., to learn a new skill.
Team leaders can hire talent with new skills, train existing team members, or automate some parts of the job. Either way, expanding skills is an essential goal for anyone.
Example: Complete the advanced Python certification course
22. Make presentations
Stage fright is one of the most common fears among professionals. Beat that this new year by gaining some presentation skills and experience.
Example: Make one presentation to the team about a topic you’re confident about
Mentoring is one of the most effective ways to help employees grow in an organization. Yet, it is also the most informal learning and development practice. Setting monthly goals to give or receive mentorship will offer exponential benefits in the new year.
Example: Spend three hours each month mentoring junior team members
Within workplaces, research is often a precursor to problem-solving. When someone faces a problem, they do the research to find solutions. However, generalized research about the domain, market, product, technology, etc., can help solve future issues and foster creativity.
Example: Spend two hours a week researching an idea tangential to the tasks currently being worked on
25. Go on a team outing
Especially for remote/hybrid teams, team outings are a great way to get to know each other. Monthly team outings are the perfect frequency. This doesn’t need to be fancy. It can be a simple lunch, a board game evening, or a trip to the movies.
Example: Plan and execute the monthly team outing—pick a place, book an appointment, send email invitations, and collect RSVPs three days before the event
Achieve Your Career Goals in 2024 with ClickUp
Before we part, we want to say that not all monthly goal ideas are created equal. Some of the above monthly goal examples are outcome-based (like increasing website traffic), and others are activity-based (like making a presentation).
This means you must link outcome-based goals to activities and vice versa.
You need to break down an outcome goal into manageable tasks/activities. For example, to increase website traffic, you might need to write a blog, distribute it on social media, optimize it for search engines, etc.
You need to link activity goals to outcomes, even if some are not tangible. An example of this would be refreshing the sexual harassment training module. While the updated curriculum is done, you can’t directly tie that to reduced complaints or better behavior. That doesn’t mean this goal is any less important!
Whichever ones you choose, remember not to set too many goals; three is plenty.
Make your goal visible always, and ClickUp tasks are perfect for this. Connect everyday tasks to monthly goals. Use ClickUp goals, targets, projects, and folders.
Conduct reviews with yourself for personal growth goals. Work with the team to track your progress on professional monthly goals. Note them down on ClickUp Docs for easier access later.
When you do achieve your goals, don’t forget to celebrate. To get there, try ClickUp for free.