I know that a lot of people set resolutions for the New Year and that by mid-January, they’ve already been abandoned. I set goals instead.
I suppose there isn’t much difference between the two.
I tend to think of resolutions as something that you fully intend to do at the moment but end up not following through on at all. Sort of an insincere promise to yourself.
A goal, on the other hand, is something that you intend to work on and reach. I think it’s more positive.
Anyway, I divide my life up into sections and set goals for each:
There are more areas you could use, like fun or friends, maybe hobbies, but those are the four that I tend to stick to.
And I tend to set just a few goals for each category.
How the Process Works
Within each category, I set about four goals for the year.
In the Home category, for instance, we often choose one big improvement for the year. This year, we’re redoing the treads on the stairs and working on finishing the basement.
I also include finances in this category, and my goal is always to save more.
Once I have my goals set, I divide them up into smaller pieces.
For instance, this month we will purchase the wood needed for the stairs.
And as far as savings go, I do something from Dave Ramsey called sinking funds.
I add up all of our big expenses for the year, divide that by the number of weeks until it is due, and then put that amount in savings each week.
It’s wonderful going on vacation knowing everything is paid in cash.
How Can You Use This Idea?
Start by coming up with some categories that you want to set goals for in the coming year.
Maybe you’d like to get your home in order, get on a regular cleaning schedule, and stop using your weekends as cleaning marathons.
By the way, it helps if you have something to record all this in. You’ll never remember it all. A planner is good, or just a doc of some kind on your phone. Google Calendar would work.
So if your goal is to tackle your whole house, break it down.
Does it need decluttering? Start there. Maybe just some rooms need it. Your bathroom, for instance, may need some, but you could do it quickly.
So January is decluttering month.
Look and see where you have time and schedule it in.
I operate on a weekly basis. My planner has a monthly view and a weekly overview.
My goals for the week – which are pieces of the overall monthly goal – are listed without a date assigned. Each day, if I have some time, I can tackle part of it.
Maybe you need a different system. And sometimes you have to keep trying until you figure it out.
I just realized this past year that the planner I was using – two pages per day – was way too much. My days just aren’t that busy, especially with COVID.
Where Do You Find the Time?
If you think about it, four categories, four goals each – that’s 16 goals to reach in 12 months!
So be sure to give that some thought as you’re setting your goals for the year.
I had a health scare last fall and then rotator cuff surgery in December, so self-care is a big one on my list.
By the way, any Trim Healthy Mamas out there? I’d love to hear about your experiences! It’s something I’m considering for losing weight and getting healthy.
Anyway, my point is, finding time to exercise (a priority) and eat healthy meals is fairly easy to fit in with my other goals, like saving money or spending more time on this blog.
Your goals may not be as time consuming as you think.
And of course, as I mentioned earlier, that’s where your planner comes in. This lets you see your available time and plugin useful things like goals, rather than whiling away the hours on TicTok or Facebook.
By the way, Google Calendar lets you time block, which can be very useful. It gives you a great visual of what time you have available.
It’s Not Written in Stone
Just like everything is fixable and figureoutable, so are your goals.
You may make some mistakes at first.
Maybe you get too ambitious and set too many. Or maybe your goals are going to need longer than a year.
You make adjustments. You learn and change things up. You can even buy some really good erasable pens. It will be like it never happened…
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen.
One minute, it’s life as usual, and the next, everyone is doing everything from home. Work, school, you name it. And maybe you even learned to Zoom last year.
So you can change and adapt, and adjust your goals as needed.
Here’s the Big Secret
There are a few tricks to setting goals that you will actually achieve:
- Set reasonable, doable goals
- Know yourself and act accordingly. I tried giving up caffeine last year, knowing full well before I started that it wasn’t going to work. Of course, don’t go in with a negative attitude, but still, know thyself.
- Break the goals down into monthly goals, and then into smaller ones that fit into a day or a week.
- Can you accomplish your goals without doing much at all? Once I determine how much I need to save for our big expenses this year, I can just set up an automatic transfer from one account to another each week. Goal accomplished and I did next to nothing!
- If you can, tie your new behaviors to routines you already have in place. I already have to do exercises at home in order to recover from rotator cuff surgery, so adding in a few more is easy. I have the motivation to do this because if I don’t, my arm will never fully recover and I won’t have the use of it.
- And of course, you’ve got to be faithful about using your planner or calendar so that you can break down your goals, see them, and add them into your days. At the very least, set up some reminders. And maybe you could do a vision board on Pinterest with pictures of what your life will be like after this year – when you’ve achieved all of your goals.
But Wait, There’s More!
I know this may not seem like something that applies to keeping your home clean and making time for what’s important, but trust me, it is.
I have so much more to say on this topic, so stay tuned.
And do you have a planner yet?
You really do need one, you know.