Without goals, I am a meandering and lost soul. I'm just that kind of person. If I don't have a finish line to cross, or a list to cross off, I feel anxious and unproductive. So yeah, I'm also the kind of person who makes New Year's Goals, those notorious things that seem to scheme against us instead of help us. But here's how I break mine down:
- My goals are set for four month increments, not the whole year all at once.
- I split those goals into daily, weekly, biweekly, and one-timers (do it once and you're done).
- I pull goals from many parts of my life: spiritual, physical health, creativity, monetary, intellectual, and fun!
- I find visual goal charts, like the one pictured, very motivating and revealing.
- Following the "SMART" goals technique really is the most effective.
Planning goals for the next four months gives me flexibility and motivation in growth. For example, my writing goal started as a "write 750+ words every day." But I quickly realized that I was writing about things I didn't think were important in order to fulfill this word count. I decided that at this stage of my life, I'd rather write twenty meaningful words a day than hundreds of mediocre ones. Quality over quantity, right? Also four months gives me the chance to revisit something that might not be working at all, like that bottom left meditation square. Whew. Lots of white space there. So now I get to ask myself why I'm not meditating. Have my goals changed? Is what I'm envisioning for my meditation a realistic or desirable expectation? Do I need to do it a different way, or drop it, or recommit? At the end of April I'll revisit these goals and determine which I want to keep working on, which I can let go of, and what new or edited goals I would like to pursue.
I think it's important to include things that are just for fun. In my one-timers section I've put "bake a four layer cake" and "go hiking or camping twice" because what is life without some fun? What is something you've always wanted to try? Or something you know you enjoy but often don't get the time to do? Why not make a goal to do it?
This year, including this set of goals, I am aiming for a year of strength. Physical strength is evident in my running, core exercise, and meal planning goals. Intellectual strength in reading, writing, and improving my nonfiction. Spiritual strength in prayer, scriptures, and learning more about Jesus Christ. Financial strength in starting a retirement plan, paying off loans, and refining my Etsy business. Creative strength in baking a four layer cake, maintaining a sketchbook, and experimenting with textiles. Strength in my marriage stemming from all of these, as well as prioritizing hiking and camping, both activities my husband and I really enjoy together but don't do as much in Texas as we did in Utah. This is my first time choosing a "word" for the year, but I'm really looking forward to having this as a theme to guide me. After a rough year last year, I am in need of strength.
As always, thanks for reading along and being here. And, if you're interested and can't see what's going on in my photo, here are my goals for the next four months, some already having been adjusted:
- Run three times
- Meal plan
- Read from Jesus the Christ
- Exercise my core
- Kneel to pray morning and evening
- Read one chapter of scripture
- ONE TIMERS (OR SEMI)
- Bake a four layer cake
- Open an IRA account
- Get a second job
- Take a family portrait once a month
- Post 4 family history blog posts
- Read 6 books
- Make 4 Etsy sales
- Submit a magazine piece
- Hike or camp twice
- Make a $50 loan payment
- Maintain my sketchbook
- Try a creative experiment