I don’t usually make yearly resolutions but I do try to set a few goals. Two years ago I made a short list of goals that I posted inside my nightstand cabinet. Every day I saw that list and it reminded me to work toward each of those goals, and by the end of the year many of them had been accomplished. However, last year, I didn’t spend the time to thoughtfully set any goals. My year felt chaotic and as I reflected back, I didn’t feel I had accomplished much other than aimlessly surviving month-to-month.
I’m taking the time to be more intentional about choosing my goals this year to hopefully eliminate the stress of an insurmountable number of yearly goals.
Here are the steps I’ve taken in determining my goals:
Define a Vision
I began my goal-setting process by determining my vision for myself, my family, my homeschool, my household, and my blog. I wrote down what I envisioned for this year and what my hopes and aspirations were. This helped me have a starting point so I could make sure that the goals I set were in line with my overall vision.
I made a list of the key areas in my life for which I am responsible. This list included aspects of my walk with God, my marriage, my children, my homeschool, my health and well-being, and my blog.
After creating my category lists, I brainstormed all the ideas I had for each category. And I made a long and rather intimidating list.
I read through my list of goals and I ranked them in order of priority. Some were goals that were very important to me and others were exciting but felt less crucial. Others could be grouped together under one basic theme as smaller steps to reach an overarching goal.
Write Yearly Goals
Once I had prioritized the list, I chose the top 2 or 3 items from each category as my goals for the year. I forced myself to be realistic! Then I wrote them in the back of my planner so that they would always be carried with me as a reminder.
Create Monthly Tasks
I broke down most of the goals into smaller steps that could be completed on a monthly basis in order to put me on the path toward my goal. Some of the items on my brainstorm list were put into these monthly categories as steps or smaller goals that still put me on the path to achieving my overall goal.
I’ve taken the time to schedule in some starting and end dates on my calendar for some of the specific steps of my goals. Hopefully by seeing them written on my calendar, I can hold myself more accountable for achieving them by the deadlines.
I shared my goals with my hubby and I’ll keep sharing them with him as I refine and edit the goals. He is my “reality-check” who stops me from overcommitting and being my crazy Type A self with a list of goals a mile long.
I’m still a work in progress when it comes to goal-setting. I either choose a goal that is too general or immeasurable. I have difficulty in limiting my list of goals which leaves me feeling like a failure throughout the year. Other times I give up on striving toward my goals because I realize that they are not an absolute priority. This happens when I’m not intentional and wise about choosing my goals for the year.
I can readily admit that choosing and setting goals is a huge struggle of mine. I’m trying to keep my list of goals simple for this year and allow myself the ability to edit them as I go. I’m also focusing more on the smaller monthly goals or goals with a shorter timeframe so I can experience the satisfaction of reaching them.
I guess one of my goals for this year should be to take time to learn how to prioritize, set thoughtful goals, and then manage my time well so that I can successfully achieve those goals.
As I try to learn more about setting realistic, achievable, and measurable goals, I have found the following resources to be helpful.
To Love, Honor, and Vacuum has great resources for helping you define a vision for your family.
The Make Over Your Morning Course inspired me to again try to set goals for the year and consistently work toward them.
Living Well, Spending Less has some great time management tips. She also recommends the book Eat That Frog which focuses on ways to stop procrastinating and to get things done. I might need to read this one!
She also has a Goal Setting Workbook that I think I’ll work through as my monthly task in January.
This blogger also has a book to help with goal-setting and budgeting. I need to find room on my reading list for it!
This list of goal setting mistakes really spoke to me. I think I’m guilty of all of them.
Here is a good overview of the S.M.A.R.T. system for setting goals.
The book Hands Free Life is about creating habits to overcome distraction, live better, and love more. I might need this one too……