I have said it before and I’ll say it again: every single time I get a fresh start like a Monday, or a new month, or New Year, I get really excited. Here’s the fun thing that you probably didn’t know about me is that it’s not the new day or the new start. What I love the most is getting prepared for that clean slate and fresh start that I really fall in love with. A clean slate means planning your goals! Whether that be what I do every weekend to reset for a new week, what I do at the end of the month to be able to set for the new month that’s coming up, or what I do in the last few weeks leading up to a brand new year so that I can be fully prepared in my heart and my mind. I’m going to show you how to create goals for yourself to help you focus on what you want to achieve in the year to come.
Today, I am going to be helping you sit down for just a few minutes, get out of the busyness and get away from this terrible thought that you can’t have goals because you simply don’t have time. The idea that you’re far too busy and you can’t even get your regular everyday chores done, so why even focus on trying to set these big lofty goals?
I’m going to tell you where to start and how to make your goals actually happen this year. It’s not a complicated process, but it does require you to have an open mind it does take you learning a few new things. If that excites you and you feel like this is the year where you really want to dive in and say, “You know what I don’t have to be the same me this year. I can be just a little bit better,” then this is the blog for you! Let’s get started and dive into all the details to make your goals happen!
Listen below for the entire episode on The Systemize Your Life Podcast
Do You Want to See Your Life Change? Creating Goals That Stick
Making Your Goals Actually Happen!
If you are on my email list, you will know that I just recently shared my heart behind the seven days (or maybe more like the five or six days) leading up to the new year after Christmas. It truly is my favorite week of the year (and not necessarily because of Christmas). Every single year I find myself at this time of year really deep into reflecting, looking forward, and just thinking about what’s to come.
What we’re focusing on in this blog post is that really deep desire to achieve, grow, and become a little more refined than the person you are today. Maybe you’ve never really figured out how to set or achieve goals. I’m going to give you practical tips on how to get started and how to make your goals actually happen.
Stepping Out of Negativity and Overwhelm
This is something I’ve been practicing in my own life for a very long time! I remember being in Junior High age and making collage boards with pictures from magazines to dream about the future. This process of dreaming and seeing things for myself has always been there. They haven’t always come true. There were a lot of things I dreamt about as a young girl, a young aspiring adult, a new mom, and even where I’m at today that didn’t actually happen- and that’s OK. I want you to give yourself permission to start this process of thinking about what you want to do. Even if you believe deep down in your bones that it’s not possible for you.
The start of breaking free from that belief is giving yourself the opportunity to think about these things. Maybe you already are thinking about these things, you just immediately stuff them away and figure out all the excuses as to why they’re not possible. Not to say that your excuses are negative or aren’t actual excuses. The reality is that we all do what we want and need to do. We have to rearrange and reprioritize what those needs and wants look like depending on what we’ve set our eyes on, and where we’re looking to go.
How to Get Out of the Cycle of Overwhelm
If you’re always looking backward, focusing your eyes downward, shuffling one footstep after another, you’re probably walking in circles and you have no idea! But if you pick your chin up, look forward, and set your eyes on something, those footsteps are no longer meaningless. You have drive. You’ve put yourself on a path.
Sometimes we set that path or that goal so far out that the path in front of us disappears. We have no idea where it twists and turns or where it’s going. That’s OK! You’re way further ahead than where you were when your head was down and you were walking in circles all day.
Give yourself permission while you’re reading this to think about what you’re dreaming of and what you’re hoping for. Just that step will take you further than you’ve probably been in a long time. Grinding day in and day out, and what it does to you, is something that you can already look back on the last six months to reflect on.
What is it Going to Take to Make a Change?
How many pill bottles are you going to shove into the medicine cabinet and each time you open it they fall out? How many times have you shoved sheets into the linen closet in any hole you can find? How long have you truly been hiding behind your cell phone? Insert whatever you’ve been struggling with. That grind is just a replacement for what you’d rather be doing.
That grind is wearing on you, and it’s literally stealing days, weeks, and years away from your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re twenty or seventy-five. That is a thread that runs through our entire lives. Once we get to an age where we understand the consequences of our actions, we have the opportunity and the choice to make a change every day.
Making the First Choice
The only difference between what you want to do, and what you’re actually doing is a choice. Even implementing what you read today is a choice. Either you chose to do it or you won’t. The outcome of that choice is the consequence. Consequences can be positive or negative. You will experience one or another. That is what the daily grind does to you. It keeps you experiencing consequences that you don’t want to experience anymore. The only way to shift the consequences or outcomes you’re getting to something you do want is to make different choices.
One Degree of Separation
One of the things I want you to visualize right now is when you’re setting up these goals, and thinking about where you want to be is something called one degree of separation. There are so many reasons why you can’t: you’re too busy, you don’t have the time, no one understands, you work your tail off, you’re always chasing children, everything is hard and complicated, you feel like you’re serving and working all the time, no one respects your boundaries, your husband doesn’t help, there’s not enough money, there’s not enough time. Just stop for one second and think about the one degree of separation from where you are right now and where you want to be. If you just turn yourself one small degree-it might not seem like a big shift at all. But if you keep walking down that different path because you made that tiny shift in a different direction, think about how different things could be in six, twelve, or twenty-four weeks from now!
Imagine standing at the corner of a triangle. You are determined to go one way, and that is the path you’ve been on forever. If you shift ever so slightly to the other line of that triangle and start walking, follow those lines for the next weeks, months, or years do you see how far you are from the woman you would’ve been if you hadn’t looked up? Had you not just shifted by one degree? That’s all we’re talking about today. That’s all you have to do to get started! Just shift by one degree! One degree of separation from who you are right now taking you light years away from who you’re destined to be if you don’t shift by one degree.
Leaning into a Small Change
You don’t have to do a complete 180. You don’t even have to make a hard right turn. It’s super simple! It’s not supposed to feel like a huge and massive amount of momentum pushing you from behind. It’s just a small feeling. It’s just a tiny shift. You can’t foresee who that woman in your future is.
I know this from experience because never in a million years did I see myself standing where I am right here, right now. You might feel that constant nudge to just shift one degree and you lean the opposite. You do anything to not be shifted. Maybe because it scares you, you’re afraid, you’re unsure, you lack confidence. You think you don’t have the time or the ability.
This is where the popular term “lean in” comes into play. Trust me when I say I had no idea what I was doing. None of us ever do! You just need to shift by one small degree. Later if you’re supposed to shift one small degree more you will. Maybe you get really good at shifting and you make massive changes in your life. Maybe that’s not what you need to do. But if you’re sitting here and reading this saying “I want goals.”, “I want to be a better version of myself.”, “I don’t want to be stuck in this rat race.” that one degree of separation is all you have to do to get started.
“The reality is that we all do what we want and need to do. We have to rearrange and reprioritize what those needs and wants look like depending on what we’ve set our eyes on, and where we’re looking to go.”
You Want to Change: How to Create Goals for Yourself
Let me get practical with you with a couple of “rules” for how we go about doing this.
When you set a goal it should NEVER be arbitrary. Don’t just throw your finger in the air and say, “Hmm I’ll go that way.” That’s not what we’re talking about here! These are really important, but we’re not looking for perfection. It’s important that you take one hour alone, two hours alone, and get out of the house! Sit down and think about these things. Just for a moment put some pen to paper and think, “What do I really want next year to look like?”.
When I say I don’t want your goals to be arbitrary I mean don’t pick something random out of this fairytale fantasy life that you’re dreaming of and plop it on a piece of paper. We’re talking about the small one-degree shifts here! It is vital that we do not abruptly disrupt our patterns. For most of us, we feel responsible for nearly all the things under our roof. Between children, finances, keeping the house orderly, working, and supporting your husband. It is SO important that you don’t try to uproot everything in your life to try to become this new person with big lofty goals. That is not going to work. It doesn’t work. You have so many things that you are rooted in right now. Uprooting everything only works if every single person in the house is on board.
Are there families that say, “We’re getting rid of the whole house and RV-ing for the next three years!”-absolutely? Does that work? Sure, but the whole family is in. I’m talking about YOU and the personal goals you want to achieve.
Two Types of Changes to Achieve Your Goals
You’ve got two ways of going about doing this: If you want to do something that is a big step above where you are right now, do not try to set multiple other goals in multiple other areas of your life. If you’re going to go lofty, it’s gotta be super concentrated. If you’re going to do one small little jump from where you are now, to where you want your finances (health and fitness, parenting, home, etc) to be that’s fine. If you’re talking small improvements across the board in all those things, that’s great.
If you want to gain ten pounds of muscle, or drop body fat percentage, or go all in on keto, paleo (or whatever your thing is). Those are big lifestyle changes that are going to require multiple parts of your day, multiple time commitments from multiple time blocks, on multiple days of the week. That has to be all you focus on. That may be abrupt, but the rest of your life has to stay the same. You can’t change all of your life all at once.
Sit down and put some ideas on paper. What feels good to you as a small shift OR do you want to go all in on one of the big things you want to accomplish?
Don’t Know Where to Start? Assess Your Fundamental Needs
How to actually get started with these things. How do you even begin to know when you feel like you don’t have anything except the coffee sitting in front of you? Well here’s one place you can start- with your Fundamental Needs. Start assessing those. This is where most of my goals come from to do this day.
I use my Fundamental Needs assessment tool to look at where I’m at in all the major parts of my life. I just say, “this is where I’m lacking” or “this is where I’m doing really great.” I typically leave the areas I’m doing great alone, and focus on the areas I’m not doing as well. This helps me keep my life much more balanced, and I don’t have one area in life that I’m completely neglecting.
Small Steps to Achieve Big Results
I tend to focus on those little incremental steps of who I am. I try to move the peg up one hole. Why are we in a race? Why are we racing? You can move the peg up one hole. Next year you get to move it up again! You get to keep doing this. If you try to move your peg up fifteen holes all over the place, you’re going to end up burned out and exhausted. You’re going to end up falling way further down and hope to reclaim your dignity on the way back up. There’s no need for that! There’s no need to rush. This is not a race.
Get Specific with Your Goals: Realistic and Stretch
Get super specific. Don’t overthink this. Put something on paper and move on it. It doesn’t matter if you do or don’t accomplish it. Your drive and determination and the systems to put in place to get there are where the magic happens. Not that number or end goal you put on paper and whether or not you did it twelve months from now. Even though that feels really great, sometimes we have to adjust and look at things really realistically.
Sometimes in life, I put a really realistic goal and then I add a stretch goal. I’m always hoping, wishing, and aspiring to do that stretch goal (like a specific number in my business or the number of days of the week I’m in the gym). Sometimes I’ll give myself two numbers if I can’t detach myself from the outcome I want to achieve. For example, two days a week in the gym is really realistic for me. Sometimes that’s hard for me, but it’s something I think is attainable yet still pushes me.
That is another great way to go about this when you’re getting started. Part of this process for getting started is being super specific: giving yourself a baseline and a stretch goal.
Make a Dream Board for Your Goals to See Them Happen
The last thing on how to get started with your goals is to make sure you write your goals down and make a dream board. There’s this magical thing that starts to happen when you start cutting out pictures and beautiful things. I love to put mine in my paper planner. I talked about this in my last blog 5 Fun and New Ways to Use Your Planner. There’s something definitive or contractual-even though it’s just between you and a piece of paper! There’s a commitment, and something happens when you actually write it down.
Making Your Goals a Priority in Your Schedule
How do you make them stick? How do you make this work? Your schedule matters. Your schedule is really important. I’ve got a handful of blogs and podcast episodes on how to manage your schedule! If you need to go down that rabbit hole, you can check out my podcast vault. It will give you all the podcast episodes you need on schedules and time blocking. You can search for any episode based on keywords or categories. It’s all there! It’s color-coded, searchable, and amazing!
Your schedule is really important for sticking with your goals. If you don’t make time for something, it’s not going to happen. That’s probably where I should say “the end,” but I’m not! There are a couple of other things to say about this.
Share Your Goals with Your Community
Sharing your goals gets you accountability with someone. You’ve gotta be vulnerable and tell your people about your goals so they can check in on you! You can talk to them about your goals as the year goes on. Maybe it’s your husband, children, parents, or best friend! Maybe you are part of a co-working group or your co-workers. Whatever this looks like for you!
Maybe you don’t have any of those things, and that does not feel safe to you at all. Come share it in our community! We would love to have you in our Facebook group to share your goals for next year! it’s a really encouraging space (anyone that’s not encouraging get’s the boot)! You can assume that it’s a really great place to share your goals. We can talk about them! How you are going to reach them or what are your best first steps? I love this topic so much, so we would love to have you come over and share there.
Track Your Goals To See Your Progress
Last, but certainly not least is to track your goals! I build a habit tracker at the bottom of my paper planner every week to help me track my goals. In my business, I have something similar to help me track my goals. It’s called a KPI sheet. This is where I track all of my numbers and I look at how things are growing or not growing. I look at how things are being influenced or not influenced. I look at all that kind of stuff. That’s what helps me know if I’m on track or not because that one degree of separation will come into place here as well!
If even for one second you shift ever so slightly away from the path you’re supposed to be on to reach your goals you end up way further away. The last thing I want you to experience is shifting away from your goals and ending up somewhere you never intended to be.
I hope you have fun dreaming and doing and accomplishing! I’m so excited to have you as part of my community! So much love for you and your goals! Please come share them with me in the Facebook group!
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I adjust my schedule to help plan goals for myself?
I have so many resources for managing your schedule to make your goals a priority! The best place to start is my FREE Time Blocking Workbook. In the Time Blocking workbook, you can learn the basics of time blocking for work from home moms, build the right time blocks for your schedule, and practice your first try at time blocking on paper! Stay strong mama, we’re all rooting for you!