The new year is upon us! And so is goal setting (aka new year’s resolutions). This article is coming out a bit later than I originally planned, and let’s be real, there’s nothing fashionable about being late. It’s due to lack of planning, motivation issues, distractions, laziness, lack of focus…all my fault and under my control. This is one of my areas to work on in 2018.
Okay, so there’s one goal. “Post things on time.” That’s kind of nondescript and certainly not actionable. We need to be setting goals to improve our lives but they need to be attainable and actionable and have an end date, or at least little stepping stone dates. Otherwise, our goals become no better than the resolutions that are let go by the end of January.
Walk with me through the goal-setting process and get your 2018 off to a great start…and keep it that way.
List Major Categories
These include the biggest, most generalized areas you want to focus on. For me, I have listed:
- God (always first!)
- Marriage (always second)
- Family (always third)
A lot of you might be tempted to add “financial” as an area, and that is certainly okay if you have a significant number of goals to drill down. For me, since my husband and I are a team, our financial goals are going under the “marriage” category.
List All Main Goals
In their appropriate categories, list your main goals. Include small ones here, it’s not how big or small the goal is that matters. But in the next step, we will break these down further so the top-level goals are what we’re looking for here. Here’s an example of some of mine:
- One Bible Study each month
- Start and maintain a prayer list
- Date night in, once a month
- No-spend January
- Family outing once a month
- Stay out of drama/don’t create it (ha! I have one of THOSE families)
- Get organized
- Finalize all unit studies for this school year
- Make all breads
- Experiment with ferments
- Put pictures in frames (I’ve seriously had these frames for over a year)
- No coffee
- Minimize fast food
- Prepare for possible pregnancy
- New non-review post once a week
- New YouTube once a month
- Book launch – April
- Course launch – May
- Plan ahead and post things on time 😅
- Set up sewing machine
Break Down Your Main Goals Into Manageable Chunks
For the sake of brevity, I’ll just give a few examples, but your goals here go from just a list to action steps.
Organize homeschool stuff:
- Decide on system to keep daily use items
- Store and organize future use items
- Hang small shelf unit for my supplies
Make all breads:
- Take sourdough course
- Maintain a sourdough starter
- Bake at least once a week
- Drink pregnancy tea daily
- Hot tea to relax at night
- Look into energizing tea for mornings
Prepare for possible pregnancy (as we leave this to the Lord’s timing):
- Start pregnancy tea
- Continue supplements
- Start diatomaceous earth daily
- Strengthen pelvic girdle
Some of these could be further drilled down and require some additional research. I am a believer of scratching out and rewriting things and adjusting as we go, so this is by no means a final draft. I think goals should be living and breathing and not set in stone. But that is NOT an excuse to procrastinate! It’s just an accommodation for life and what it throws at us so we can always strive to make our situation better. Once a date has passed and you feel like it was set in stone, you are less likely to go back and finish. Always finish! Even if it means resetting the final goal to a future date. Which brings us to…
Now that you have your action steps in place, decide on a date you want to complete each main goal. Then set stepping stone dates for the action steps. I just did this for my book actually, so I’ll share some of that here.
Book launch – April:
- Finish first draft by January 31
- Finalize edits and cover by February 28
- Begin marketing March 1
- Finish BookWorthy course by March 31
- Official launch week first week of April
One last thing you should think about as you set dates is to consider how you can measure your outcomes. How do you know if your goals are being met? Some steps might be obvious when you reach your goals but not always. Those are the ones you need to think harder about as you approach them. By “begin marketing,” I should have specific ideas in place for what I will do. I will think this through further as the date approaches and I put together my marketing plan.