Going for the Goal

I’m not sure that I’ve ever kept a New Year’s resolution. Most years, I avoid making them to avoid the disappointment. On years that I have made them, they’ve been vague (lose weight, save money) and lacking conviction or plans for follow-through. But I’ve decided that 2017 will be my year. I will overcome the personality flaws that have blocked me from growing in the past, and I will make these goals my b…well, you know what I mean.

A quick Google search on goal setting pulls up about 17 bagillion hits on the importance of setting SMART Goals. Because life wouldn’t be worth living without acronyms. So, what’s a SMART goal you ask? There are a few different variations, but the one that I used looked like this:

  • S – Specific: Instead of saying “I want to lose weight” you would say “I want to lose 20 pounds.”
  • M – Measurable: You need to be able to tell how close you are to achieving your goal.
  • A – Achievable: Your goal shouldn’t be easy, but it should be something you can reasonably accomplish and have control over. Winning a $100 million Powerball is specific and measurable but not necessarily achievable or within your control.
  • R – Relevant: Is your goal something you care about and appropriate at this time?
  • T – Time-bound: Make sure the goal has an end time.

I know that I am easily overwhelmed and that being overwhelmed leads to paralysis for me, so I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted most out of the coming 365 days. I sat down with my husband and we discussed where we see our lives in the next year, 3 years, and beyond.

We decided to divide our goals into 4 categories: Financial, Health, House, and Personal. We also created a home maintenance checklist to make the never ending task of home ownership more manageable, something I’ve struggled with the last several months. I love all things Excel, so I created our original lists there. But I decided to pretty them up in PowerPoint (Please note that the stuff on Jason’s Honey Do List is just the stuff he “owns.” He does a lot of the other stuff with me, too!).

Making it Happen
Knowing my history with goals, I put together what I hope is a foolproof plan.

  • I bought a planner and made a plan to use it. The amazing contributors here at Red Stick Moms had been talking amongst themselves about favorite planners which led me to check out a recommendation for the Plans + Things Planner. The website describes it as “the weekly planner for your organized chaos.” Sign me up! Some of the other recommendations were: Plum Paper, Erin Condren, Simplified Planner, and the liveWELL Planner. Each Sunday, I’ll look at the week ahead and write down the things I want to accomplish that week. The ones that are to happen on specific days will go in the column for that day.
  • I set up a standing monthly lunch date with my BFF to review our progress. Said BFF is also hoping to get her life in order this year. I’m not sure of any better way to hold myself accountable than eating food with a friend.
  • I set up a monthly review and quarterly revisit with my husband. While I fully intend to accomplish all of my goals for the year, I also want to leave room for the consideration that life happens. Life likes to happen in ways that mess up plans. Or sometimes, we just change our minds. The thing that sounded like a great thing in January may turn out to be not so great in June. Or maybe something more pressing will happen that will bump a new goal to the top of the list. I want to make sure that my goals leave room for flexibility in the face of adulting.
  • I broke up the goals in to bite-size pieces. Paying off debt is easily broken into monthly goals and home improvements are divided up throughout the year. That 5K? There’s an app for that. There are some other smaller goals that didn’t make the annual list that I will throw in as they come up as well.

So here’s to 2017! May it be a year of growth, great food and goal crushing!

Do you have a favorite planner or tips for setting and achieving goals?

Ashley S
Ashley grew up in Joplin, Missouri and attended the University of Arkansas where she earned a degree in Finance and Insurance. She met her husband, Jason, in Fayetteville and they have one daughter, Etta Mae. They moved to Baton Rouge in 2013 for Jason's job with the LSU Tigers. Ashley is an extroverted introvert who loves Ted Talks, following politics on Twitter, and figuring out how to get the best deals on everything without paying shipping. If it were up to her, she would get paid to read books and take every college class so that she could learn everything about everything, but instead she pays the bills by working in recruiting for a multinational tech company. Ashley is blessed to have a daughter who is at least as stubborn as she is and a husband who is laid back enough to put up with both of them.


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