During the end of December, I took a couple weeks off from blog world and most social media to focus on celebrating Christmas, but now I’m ready to dive into 2016. Yesterday, I boxed up our Christmas decorations. Whenever I put them away, it always feels like a fresh start to me, and gets me thinking about goals for the coming year.
In the past I’ve had a love/hate relationship with goal setting. I would usually come up with big ideas, get overwhelmed, and end up quitting. However, the last two months of 2015 I actually made goals and kept them. Here’s what has worked for me.
1. Focus on main areas. Thinking about the main areas in your life helps you focus your goals. Here are my main areas:
- personal life
2. Make 1-3 goals for each main area. By sticking with only 1-3, it helps make the goals seem manageable. Your whole life cannot be changed overnight, but sticking to a few areas will help you make slow and steady progress.
3. Be specific. Decide on goals that can be measured. For example, instead of saying, “I want to eat less sugar”, decide that you will only eat one sugary food each day. Here are some of my specific goals for 2016.
- Personal Life: “Wake up by 6 A.M. every morning.”
- Family: “Have a date night once a month with my husband.”
- Health: “Drink 64 oz of water each day.”
- Home: “Organize son’s toys, the kitchen, and the bonus room.”
4. Set goals according to YOUR abilities. I would love to get up a couple hours earlier than my son, but that means I would have to be up by 4:30 A.M. That is not going to happen! However, getting up by 6 A.M. and having 30 minutes to myself before my son gets up is realistic for me.
5. Break each goal down into steps and make a plan. This takes time and thought, but I believe this is the most important step to keeping your goals.
“Wake up by 6 AM every morning.”
- Go to bed by 9PM each night and set my alarm clock.
“Have a date night once a month with my husband.”
- At the beginning of each month discuss a date night idea with my husband, pick a day, and schedule a babysitter if needed.
“Drink 64 oz of water each day.”
- Fill up my 32oz water bottle first thing in the morning and keep it available everywhere I go whether at home or out running errands.
“Organize kitchen, son’s toys, and bonus room.”
- January: (Kitchen) Declutter kitchen cabinets and drawers, donate items, find drawer organizers, and organize all cabinets and drawers.
- February: (Son’s Toys) Delutter son’s toys, donate or put into storage, find organizational tubs and labels, and divide toys among the tubs.
- March: (Bonus Room) Get rid of couch; declutter closet and storage shelves; donate, throw away, or sell items; and paint bonus room.
- I will break down each of these step into weeks as I plan out each month.
Making a plan has been the key to actually keeping my goals. I used what I learned in the book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine to set my goals during November and December. Crystal breaks down goal-setting into manageable steps, and I cannot believe the difference her advice has made in my own life! If you are looking for detailed and easy ways to set your own goals, I would definitely check out her book. Your library most likely has a copy, if not, this book is worth purchasing!
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