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I remember years ago creating such amazing, inspiring, life-altering, empowering, sophisticated, ambitious goals. You know the ones, right? The ones that would have made any mother proud like learning another language or becoming a master at the paino. They were down-right spectacular. They also went spectacularly down in flames. Oh, I definitely created goals with the best of intentions that sounded fun and great at the time, but I never made it far… maybe a couple of days in. It was pretty pitiful. I honestly couldn’t understand why I could not stick with my goals. I mean, I created them, so shouldn’t I want to stick with them? Umm, not really. Turns out that just because I theoretically want to accomplish something does not mean I honestly want to put in the effort. Sound familiar? Come on… I know we have all been there!
New Year’s Resolutions…. such a great idea in theory and yet statically not probable (only 8% of people achieve their goal!). So I decided, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater,” and I focused on setting these goals in a more achievable way. In my humble opinion, creating goals to improve oneself is not only admirable but one of the best parts of life. Seriously, isn’t it amazing that we get to spend our entire lives becoming our best self? In other words, don’t stop setting goals!
It took me several years to finally get a goal setting formula that set me up for success, but I now complete most of my goals. How, might you ask? Great question! For me, it wasn’t about picking goals that I just wanted to do or those that sounded good but linking my goals to my values. If you read my last post about values, you may remember that values should make you come alive. They should provide energy and greater fulfillment. So if your goals are not in line with your top values, you may just be depleting yourself. That is definitely what I had been doing all of those years. They were wonderful goals but just did not align with my top values.
So what are my goals for this year? Well, I started with my top values: faith, health, family, purpose, and organization, and then came up with a goal within these values. Check out my values post if you would like to know more. I have become more proficient over the years in goal setting and am able to handle multiple goals, but I suggest only selecting a couple if you have been unsuccessful in the past. I also suggest making them SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time bound. If you would like more information on SMART goals, here is a link. It is seriously worth investigating further to set yourself up for success. So let’s get started with my goals for this year!
Faith: The past two years, my faith goal stayed the same: read through the entire Bible. I loved doing this but found that I no longer had time to read through other faith books or devotionals that I have accumulated and desired to read. So this year I decided to set aside this past goal and pick a new one: complete several devotionals/bible studies/call to action books. These include Whispers of Hope: 10 Weeks of Devotional Prayer, David: 90 Days with A Heart Like His (Personal Reflections Series), Paul: 90 Days on His Journey of Faith (Personal Reflections), Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real-Life Engagement, Holy Hustle: Embracing a Work-Hard, Rest-Well Life, Just Open the Door, Never Unfriended, Unconditional Love, Kisses from Katie. Ambitious but worth it to my soul and faith.
Health: Run a 5K this year. Originally, I thought my goal should be to exercise 4 times a week, but what if I miss a week? Should I just quit or did I somehow not complete my goal? I realized pretty early on that this was not a “SMART” goal, pun intended! So going back to the SMART goals, it became apparent that I needed something more tangible with a time frame; that’s how I came up with running a 5K. Training for a 5K encapsulated my other desires since it requires frequent exercise (HIIT, yoga, running) and healthy eating to complete. It is also provides family bonding since my husband and I run together with the kiddos in their strollers so it fits into another top value! Home run for goal setting!
Family: Create more space for my marriage and create memories with my family. This is definitely two separate goals! Let’s start with my marriage. When I first had children, I did not realize how much energy I was pouring into my children and leaving none for my husband. It wasn’t into a couple of years later that I even noticed that I was no longer “dating” my husband. I realized, very slowly, that I was not creating space for my marriage. So that Christmas, I centered the gifts on creating a stronger bond between Nick and I. I bought two-player games galore (Jaipur, Codenames: Duet, Exploding Kittens, Forbidden Island) and subscribed to a date box subscription (this is the one we used: DateBox). Ever since, I choose different ways to make space. This year, I plan on doing one intentional gesture of love per week. Need some ideas for intentional gestures of love? No problem! Check out my Pinterest board. I will also be honest, I am a planner so these end up being planned months in advance. Seriously, my planner says send a sweet text message… I am just not the spontaneous type and I need helpful reminders! My next goal is creating at least one memory with my family per week. Once more, I want to be intentional with my family. What qualifies for this goal? It cannot be an obligation and it must be about the children’s experience and not my own desires. If I can check both of those boxes, then I am creating a memory! An example of this is choosing to cook something with my children or doing a project together, for bonding and not perfection. I even think about going shopping as a memory, just as long as I can check my two boxes! Just be present, intentional, and no hidden agenda!
Purpose: 1,000 Followers on Technically Denise and publish a journal for healthy grieving. Both these goals are harder for me to talk about… why? I am not sure if I am scared that I won’t be able to complete them or if they are just too near and dear to my heart. I do know though that I feel called to these so I will follow my calling faithfully. I will say that I am doing research on both of these goals. I listen to podcasts about blogging and I have a list of books that I am actively highlighting and taking notes on for the journal. I feel like I am back in high school… I kind of wish I had paid more attention in English now! So, please keep me in your thoughts as I pursue these goals.
Organization: Marie Kondo our house… okay, I don’t think I will COMPLETELY Marie Kondo our house but I want to really work on the shared spaces. We have a small house, roughly 1600 square feet. My husband and I bought this house back when we were newly weds and loved that it was 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Flash forward to today, this house feels pretty tight with 5 people plus 1 dog living together. Over the years, I have just let things build up and I finally cannot stand the chaos any longer! I am doing this, Marie Kondo style! For more information, check out her books: Spark Joy, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, or watch her show on Netflix. Seriously, it will have you organizing as if this was your greatest life passion!
To end, I just want to leave one of my favorite quotes, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” So, my friends, dream big, set goals, and keep moving forward! Because you will still be in a better place today than you were yesterday if you go for it! Happy New Year!
Challenge: Write out a couple of SMART goals and share them with someone. Get excited to be a better you!