Goal-Setting: The Grid Method

Hi all! Sorry about the slight delay since my last post- I’ve been completing and submitting all of my dance course application forms. I’m starting to get my first audition dates through, so more on that soon!

In my last post, which you can check out here if you missed it, I talked about my goals for 2017 and asked you to take some time to reflect on yours, because I wanted to share with you this trick that I have learned.

I came across this method in an article in Psychologies magazine. I tried it out for myself and I absolutely love it. I have never been so active towards my goals! It’s called the Grid Method.


This is how it works: first, choose one main goal that you want to achieve. I’ll give the example that I used the first time I tried this method- mine is “to become a professional ballet dancer”. Then, break that down into the main steps as you can see them now (of course, the trajectory of life might take you on a different path to that goal, so it is important to stay flexible, but it is also good to have a route in mind). For me, my steps are: 1. Get on to a pre-professional training programme. 2. Receive training and work hard. 3. Make industry connections and get some performance experience. 4. Audition for ballet companies.

Now, we zoom in to the first step: “Get on to a pre-professional training programme”. This in itself is still a huge goal. So, break it down into sub-steps. Mine are: 1. Apply to as many dance schools as possible. 2. Work to improve technique and improve myself as a dancer. 3. Nail dance school auditions. 4. Get in to the mindset of believing that I can.

Even if you have the same goal, your steps will probably vary from mine depending on what you need to do to make it happen. You may have a totally different amount of steps or kinds of steps towards your goal, depending on what that goal is and where you are now.

Now, take a piece of paper and make a grid of squares big enough to write in. I made my grid 7 by 9 squares, but you might choose a different number. Look at your sub-steps and think about something that you can do TODAY to move yourself closer to that goal. The aim is to fill each square with a simple task that you can just go and get done, it doesn’t need to be broken down any further. I colour-coded mine according to each sub-step so that I would have an equal amount of squares for each- you may want to allocate more squares to certain sub-steps if you feel they are more important than others.

For example, some of my squares contain things such as “Research dance courses”, “Hire studio space to practice solos”, “Create new daily routine to include visualisation”, “get a balance disk”, “Take audition pictures” and “create a pre-bedtime stretching routine”. Others may take a bit longer to achieve such as “Complete feet and pointe exercises 3 times a week” and “start going to bed a bit earlier every night”- as long as they are very do-able tasks, that’s okay.

Then, whenever you can, consult your list and choose something that you can do, or start doing, right now to move yourself along the path to your goal. Once it’s done, colour in that square with a highlighter. It’s so satisfying, doing simple jobs and colouring off the square on your grid. I sometimes put a dot in the corner of the squares I want to start working on next, or have started but not completed. Just like that, you’re taking consistent, regular action to achieve your goals. Once most of your grid is filled, you can create another one for your next step.

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I am still using that original grid I made, and I have just made several smaller grids for my 2017 goals inside my bullet journal so that I can make sure I’m taking action to achieve those goals by the end of the year.

I’d absolutely love to know if any of you are going to try out this method for yourselves- I highly recommend it, once you’ve created the grid it’s so easy to just keep ticking things off! Please do leave a comment and let me know how you’re getting on!

I hope this was useful… now let’s go out and win 2017!

Jessica x


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