I kind of stink at setting goals. I might as well just admit that upfront. I’m forty-something years old, and I’ve never set goals that I actually reached. Pitiful, huh?
Many different years, I’ve written down what I would call “goals,” but they were either too vague, or too big, or too forgettable to remain important to me two days later. Well, I decided this year was going to be different.
When I said this was going to be my year of doing and being more, I meant it! And to prove it, I started going through a goal-setting ecourse, and I’ve been taking very slow, very small steps toward making this year better than ever before. Because, honestly, if I would have jumped headlong into it, I’d have fizzled out way too soon. It would be deja vu all over again.
I’m someone who loves to get all wrapped up in a great idea and really run with it. For about a day and a half. Then, I get bored or overwhelmed or distracted, and I move on to other things. Like washing the dishes or folding eighteen loads of laundry.
That’s what happens with my goals every year. Every. single. year.
So, I gave myself permission to slow down and try to do this whole goal-setting thing right for a change, even though it just about killed me to not have my goals written down within seconds after the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve.
I realized that a year from now, the exact date I finalized my goals isn’t going to matter one little bit. All that will really matter is the progress I made toward reaching them.
Show and Tell
I’m going to be sharing my goals and progress with you throughout this year because I’m sure I could use some accountability. (I stink at goals, remember?)
I’m also sharing because I hope they will inspire you to set some intentional goals for yourself, regardless of what day it is on the calendar or how many times you may have failed in the past. I’m already amazed at how these rather small-ish goals are changing what I do and how I think, and I want to encourage you to discover the joy of reaching for your own goals!
But here’s a little word of warning: I am not you, and you are not me.
Feel free to borrow ideas from the goals I set, but don’t just copy and paste my goals onto your life. That won’t work. You’ll either end up feeling frustrated or you’ll forget about them altogether because they aren’t important enough to you.
So, take some time to think about the areas of your life that are important to you and set two or three goals for each area. Give it a try! What have you got to lose?
My Goals for 2017
1. Pray through The Power of a Praying Wife each month.
I’ve used this book to help guide how I pray for my husband for many years, but more recently, I’ve fallen away from consistently praying thoughtful and intentional prayers for him. The Power of a Praying Wife highlights thirty different areas of your husband’s life to pray over (a chapter for each one), and I want to intentionally pray for the topic that corresponds with the date throughout each day.
Last month: I’ve been praying for the day’s topic every day during my morning quiet time.
This month: I’ll continue praying every morning at the beginning of my quiet time. I also want to be more intentional about praying for my husband (and specifically for that day’s topic) throughout each day.
2. Spend 10 minutes 3 times a week on golf.
I’m learning to play golf. It’s both comical and sad, all at the same time. It certainly does not come naturally to me, but Brian and I wanted an activity we can enjoy together even when we’re old and grey. It’s also stretching both of us to be patient with each other as he tries to help me learn something that’s way outside of my comfort zone.
Last month: I haven’t done anything yet towards this goal.
This month: I need to schedule time every week for building up my arm and core muscles. I also want to watch one or two videos each week on golf techniques.
3. Finish laundry and housework before Brian gets home.
I have a bad habit of leaving things like folding the laundry or washing the dishes until it’s almost time for my husband to come home from work, which is actually very late in the evening. I want to set aside time early in the day for finishing my tasks so I can enjoy relaxing with my husband when he comes home from a long day at work.
Last month: I’ve done a little better at this, but I still found myself rushing around and hoping my poor guy wouldn’t get home before I was finished. It’s not very nice of me to wish that he wouldn’t get home early!
This month: I’m setting aside time from 5pm to 8pm most days for finishing housework, making dinner, and fixing a snack for when my husband gets home (he usually likes a healthy snack instead of a meal).
Managing Our Home & Family
4. Pray for each of the kids specifically each day.
I’m trying to be more intentional about praying for specific needs in each of my kids’ lives. I don’t want to throw up quick “bless them” types of prayers. I want to praise God for each of them individually and pray for their hearts in a way that only a mother can.
Last month: I (mostly) stayed offline each morning until after my morning quiet time, and I began my time with prayer, which included praying for my kids.
This month: I will continue to start my mornings with prayer (instead of email and Facebook) while my tea is being prepared and for a few minutes afterwards. I’ll use that time for praying specifically for my husband and for God’s will in each of my kids’ lives.
5. Clean out clutter for 15-30 minutes 4 times a week.
I’m wanting to set aside time from 5pm to 8pm most days for working on housework and other miscellaneous tasks. My husband doesn’t usually get home from work until after 8pm, so that time works well for our family. I’ll spend a few minutes of that time getting rid of the clutter that continues to plague our home.
Last month: I didn’t do much clutter-busting last month.
This month: If I’m disciplining myself to work on our home from about 5pm to 8pm, then spending some of that time working on clutter shouldn’t be a problem. But scheduling that block of time and then following my schedule truly does take discipline.
6. Have Mikey leash trained by the end of summer.
We love our puppy with all our hearts, but he drives us absolutely crazy when we try to take him for a walk. I’m setting a goal of getting him leash trained because it’s something he needs, it’s something that can be measured (we’ll know when it can be marked off the list), and any other training we do with him will contribute to teaching him to follow our commands, even when we’re out on a walk.
Last month: I didn’t do much training with him last month.
This month: At least once a week I want to watch dog training videos for inspiration, encouragement, and ideas. I want to work on general training with him for a few minutes most days. (It’s still really cold here in Ohio, so most of our training will be simply teaching him the benefits of obeying commands.)
7. Make a time-blocked plan for all “work” days. (Days when my husband is at his job and I’m working at home.)
I am great at wasting time, yet feeling like I’ve done nothing but work all day long. By scheduling out my days, I’m more likely to get the most important tasks done and still have time for things like training the dog and finishing up the housework before my hubby gets home.
Last month: Not much progress made yet. I scheduled out a few of my days, but I didn’t do a very good job of sticking to my plan.
This month: I’m giving myself a few minutes every morning to plan out my day. And following that plan is all about self-discipline. Yikes!
8. Read 12 books this year.
I need to do more reading. That’s just a fact. I’ve set aside a few minutes during my quiet time for reading a book that will help me grow spiritually. If I’m following my plan of getting my housework finished up early, then I’ll be able to spend a few minutes in the evenings reading a book, too (instead of finishing up laundry and washing dishes).
Last month: I developed the habit of reading a book that will help me grow spiritually each morning during my quiet time. I read the book Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman, which I decided to read at the start of each year (this is my second or third time through it).
This month: I will continue to read for 10-15 minutes during my morning quiet time (besides my Bible reading, of course). I want to add in 10-15 minutes of reading in the afternoon or evening, too. I’ll finish the books Good News For Weary Women (another book I’ve decided to read every year) and Breaking Busy, and then I’ll start A Wife After God’s Own Heart and The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
9. Exercise 20-30 minutes 3 times a week.
This one is hard for me. Very, very hard. If I hope to achieve this goal, I’m going to have to schedule this into my day or make it part of my routine. I want to stretch out for a few minutes and then either go up and down the stairs (not really fun, but can be done inside), take the dog for a walk, or workout with my husband.
Last month: I walked the stairs once, and I took the dog for a walk a couple of times. Pitiful.
This month: I’m going to be more intentional about reaching my steps goal on my FitBit, but if I really want to achieve a goal of exercising in a way that will improve my health, then it needs scheduled into my day. Period.
10. Reach healthy goal weight by my birthday.
The forties haven’t been kind to me. If I put on a couple of pounds, they simply don’t want to come off. And even if I don’t change my eating or activity level, those extra couple of pounds start to multiply. There’s a weight that feels really good to me that I’d like to work towards by my birthday in May.
Last month: Not good. I ate whatever I wanted and didn’t exercise. Truth.
This month: I got a glass water bottle that I absolutely LOVE, so I’m drinking LOTS of water. I’m also eliminating most sugar from my diet, using my FitBit app to track my eating, and (hopefully) adding in some exercise (like I mentioned already).
11. Build up our emergency fund.
Basically, every extra penny will go towards having an emergency fund. This goal should help me be more diligent to watch our grocery spending (a needed side-benefit). It will also force me to watch and update our budget more often so I’m keeping on top of how much we’re spending and how much we can save.
Last month: I didn’t do much to contribute to our emergency fund, but I also didn’t pull any money out of it. I’ll call that a win. Sort of.
This month: I’m going to be going through our budget to see what we have, what we need, and how we can save. I’ll also look for clothes or books that can be sold for a little extra cash.
12. Pay off debt.
There are two specific items that I want to pay off by this summer.
Last month: We just paid the minimums last month.
This month: I’m going to be going through our budget to see what we have, what we need, and how we can save. I’m also going to make a new chart of any debt we have so we can see our progress as we pay things off.
13. Write for 15 minutes 4 times a week.
This might seem pretty wimpy, but I’ve found that if I write for 15 minutes, I’ll likely continue writing for an hour or more. It’s just the process of getting started that is my biggest roadblock. Writing for 15 minutes feels like it’s not that big of a deal, and once I get going, I know I’ll make much more progress.
Last month: I didn’t do nearly enough writing. Just fits and spurts.
This month: I need to schedule my writing time into my day, and then I need to stick to the plan so I actually sit down and do it. I really love to write, so if I can discipline myself to take the first step (sitting down at the computer without any distractions), this goal should add a lot of joy to my day.
14. Write a new ebook to sell on Amazon.
I’ve been wanting to sell an ebook on Amazon for a long time, and this year it’s going to happen (my ebook Clutter-Free Clean is only sold through my shop). This goal will challenge me to not only set aside dedicated writing time, but also to learn the basics of creating a product for Amazon and the process of listing it (and everything that goes along with that).
Last month: I didn’t make any progress toward this goal last month.
This month: I’m putting together my rough draft, and I hope to have the entire ebook completed and ready to list by the end of the month.
There you have it. Those are my big goals for the year. I’ll report to you next month with my progress (or failures – hey, this is real life).
If you’re struggling to figure out how to set realistic goals and maybe even accomplish them (just imagine that!), I highly recommend the Make Over Your Year eCourse. It’s fun to go through and super helpful. There’s no way I could have made this list without it!
And if you’re a blogger and want some help with figuring out your blogging goals, then snag this FREE Goal Setting Workbook for Bloggers. I’ve gone through it more than once, and it’s incredibly helpful!
I would love to hear what some of your goals are for 2017. Share your goals with us in the comments!
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