Last week I had the opportunity to take some personal time. If you follow me, you know that I went on a spur-of-the-moment goal-setting retreat to declutter my brain and get some motivation for the new year. It was a great success, and I recommend it to anyone. Setting goals can help clarify your thinking and aid in decision-making for the coming months. At least that’s the theory.
The truth is that I haven’t been in the practice of setting goals for YEARS. I’ve been a little afraid of goals, to be honest. Either I set them and forget them, or meeting them depends on factors outside of my control, or they become irrelevant somewhere along the way. But this year I decided to give it another go. The day-to-day putting out fires over a long period of time had left me without a big picture view of my life. I figured that setting goals might be a good way to renew my vision — and so far I think it has. 🙂
I crafted goals for 2016 in several areas of my life — especially those that have seemed somewhat out of control. I tried to make SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based) — but many are not. Most are more just habits I want to cultivate. Maybe as I work on these throughout the year, I’ll get a better idea of how to measure them. In the meantime,
I figure that setting goals probably takes practice just like any other skill. 🙂
So here are my goals for 2016:
Homemaking: Right before the new year I signed up for the Proverbial Homemaker’s email course called Homemaking System for the Domestically Challenged. (No comments on how perfect for me that sounds…!) The first step is to craft a homemaking vision, which I did. From that vision (and to help facilitate it), I formed these goals:
1) Develop a morning routine — To that end, I’ll be publishing an Ann-Notated later this month with a plethora of great resources about making morning routines.
3) Develop a flexible deep-cleaning routine (although I hate the idea of a cleaning schedule, so what I have in mind is more of a rotating task list that gets done regularly, but not necessarily according to a schedule) and keep up with it.
4) Give the kids regular chores again. When you’re used to five kids, and now you only have two at home, things like this go by the wayside. But that is NOT good for the two that are left. So yea.
5) Have music playing in the house every day. Listening to music is important for my psyche. 🙂 And it creates a warm atmosphere in my home.
6) Sit down each night and make a written plan for how the next day will flow. This way I will hit the ground running in the morning (see #1).
1) Use my own tip for drinking water to remain hydrated. I sorta fell off the wagon and need to get back on…
2) Make exercise part of my morning routine 5 days per week — alternate between using the mini-trampoline and doing yoga.
3) Move at a slower pace overall. This is key for not getting overwhelmed on a regular basis, and therefore it falls under the fitness/health heading because it applies to my mental health, lol. It means I need to plan enough time to do things, add some margin into my day, leave earlier for appointments, etc.
Blogging: I spent a lot of time thinking about this area, and the goals I made are quite specific; but I don’t want to share all the details here and spoil the upcoming surprises. So I’ll word them rather generally, if that’s okay. 🙂
1) Write an ebook.
2) Create a product (different than the ebook).
3) Start a second website to promote my editorial services.
4) Begin using a new medium.
5) Develop a month-long series.
6) Get a professional blog redesign (within 6 months).
7) Save up enough to attend a blogging conference in 2017.
8) Read one business book (or book about blogging) each month.
9) Write for an hour every morning.
Finances: This is where you find out just how much I am NOT a financial success story. Which is WHY I WRITE ABOUT IT. Writing about how to handle finances helps me learn about it and gives me accountability to actually get them under control. And they are in better shape than they’ve been in awhile… just still not stellar. Sigh.
1) Figure out a system that enables us to STICK TO the budget we set every month. This is a very personal thing. I’ve read how other people do it — and I’ve tried their ideas, like cash envelopes — but my husband and I have to figure out how WE can do it. The Annie and Everything reader survey results show that this is a struggle for many of you, as well. Let’s conquer this thing together, y’all!! [If you haven’t filled out my reader survey yet (subscribers received it in their email, but anyone reading this is welcome to fill it out!), you can do so here: Short Survey for Annie and Everything]
2) Pay ourselves first — i.e., payoff debt or put money into savings BEFORE apportioning money to any other part of the budget.
3) Payoff all credit card debt by January 1, 2017 — This is a lofty goal, I’m afraid. But not impossible, if we really focus on it over the long haul. It will mean using our entire tax refund and any other windfalls we get. And getting a bit radical like the no spend month we are doing right now.
4) Set aside an emergency fund —
first get $1000 (already done!), then later have a full month’s expenses saved up so we can start living on last month’s income by next year. The balance between doing this and paying off the credit cards is why this might take the full year to accomplish.
5) Plan ahead and have money saved up for big expenses like Christmas shopping and college trips. What a concept! 🙂
I did not set any marriage, parenting, or spiritual goals. (Although one of Jessi’s marriage goals, at The Budget Mama, is one I might try to do each month anyway, just because I love the idea — can you guess which one it is?) Not that I won’t be working on those things, but I’m only one person; and too many goals would set me up for failure, I think. What I have listed here is plenty to keep track of. *right here I need the emoji of the guy with the very big eyes who looks kinda scared**but I’m not on my Iphone**wish I knew the keystroke sequence**but I don’t**anyone want to help me out in the comments?*
Have you been in the habit of setting goals? What do you have written down for 2016?
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