New Year’s resolutions come and go.


That marathon you were going to run? Meh.


Drinking 90 ounces of water a day? Lies.


No matter how hard you try, they just don’t follow through to February. Accountability partners stop answering your calls and notifications on reminder apps become muted.*

*Disclaimer: This does not happen to every person.


You’ve heard you should have short-term goals and long-term goals. But have you ever considered making short-term goals FOR your long-term goals? In this blog post, we are going to teach you how to consider them as one. This is the only way you are going to drink half your body weight in water.


We are going to create a little thing I like to call a work-back plan. I did not coin this term but we use it at work so I decided to use it in my personal life. It’s simple and it works.


This plan can be established at the start of the year but it can also start tomorrow. Apply it to your personal life but also to your job. Have your eye on a promotion? You can use this work-back plan to reach it!


Set aside 15 minutes today and I guarantee you are going to reach your huge goal in one year. For the sake of this blog post, we are going to create a work-back plan for running a full marathon one year from right this second.


How you document this process is up to you. Add it to your planner or just add to a notes section in your phone. I am a visual person so I like to see these kind of things on my fridge. As long as you reference it often, you are golden.

(No email necessary!)


The whole point of the work-back plan is to literally work back from your ultimate goal and create smaller, attainable goals for the whole journey. These short-term goals will keep you motivated as they grow on top of each other and result in the final goal.


I suggest setting monthly goals. I find it harder to set goals that are specific to a day or even a week. Allow for life to happen in this plan. We want to accomplish big things but we also want to have fun.


I told you we were going to use running a marathon as the example. A marathon is 26.2 miles which means at month 6, we should be running 13.1 miles. At month 3, our running goal should be around 6.5 miles. See the pattern? If you need to be more granular and say at week 9, run 4.7567 miles, go for it. It’s all about planning and seeing the path to success!

Running a Marathon Work-Back Plan (Example)

Month 1: Run 2.2 Miles
Month 2: Run 4.5 Miles
        Week 9: Run 4.75 Miles
        Week 10: Run 5.25 Miles
        Week 11: Run 5.75 Miles
        Week 12: Run 6.25 Miles
Month 3: Run 6.5 Miles
Month 4: Run 8.75 Miles
Month 5: Run 11 Miles
Month 6:Run 13.1 Miles
Month 7: Run 15.5 Miles
Month 8: Run 17.5 Miles
Month 9: Run 19.75 Miles
Month 10: Run 22 Miles
Month 11: Run 24.5 Miles
Month 12: RUN 26.2 MILES!!!


By creating many smaller goals FOR your one large goal, you are able to cross off goals much quicker and see results sooner. You won’t give up, I promise. And even if you only make it to 6 months, you can still say “I ran 13.1 miles.” Every step along the way is an accomplishment!


Let’s try another example such as reaching a promotion. Print out that job’s list of tasks and responsibilities. Then, we divide and conquer. During month 2, you want to be certified in a new software. At month 3, you want to shadow a person in that same position. Keep this up and by month 12, you have accomplished what it takes to be promoted. If you are extra organized and have it all documented, a job promotion is a no-brainer.


It doesn’t have to be a full year until you reach your goal. You can establish the same plan for any time frame. I am not sure I have heard anyone go from ‘couch to marathon’ in a week but hey, you do you, girlfriend!


What goals are you going to achieve with a work-back plan? We’d love to see in the comments. Let’s keep each other motivated!


Hover over the image and pin this post!

How to Make Short-Term Goals to Keep You Motivated All Year | Goal Planning | Work-Back Plan | Lifestyle Tips | Workplace Tips |



Hi, I’m Kinsey, the creative! I am a digital designer who enjoys both the aesthetics and the data. I have a strong passion and ridiculous commitment to trying new strategies and ideas. I love staying busy and if I’m not behind a screen, I’m probably roaming Target with an iced passion tea or 4 seasons deep in a Netflix binge with my cat. My life goal is to be 100% remote and design from all over the world with the love of my life by my side.