Happy New Year, friends! I’ve finally resigned myself to the fact that I’m in the middle of recovering from a cold, which doesn’t help with the “fresh start” feeling, but we’re laying low and making the best of it. I really enjoyed looking back at 2013 a few days ago, and now it’s time to look ahead!
Y’all know I love me some goals, but let’s back up for a moment. The reason that I set goals — big goals, small goals — is to help me move closer to the person I want to be and the life I want to lead. In the past few years, I’ve used a combination of goal types in this pursuit:
Daily goals. You can see my daily goals for 2013 here and 2012 here. The basic idea is that I make a list of daily practices that I want to become habits by the end of the year. In January, February, and March, I promise myself I’ll do at least three of the practices every day. In April, May, and June, five. In July, August, and September, seven. In October, November, and December, nine. The thing I love most about this system is that it doesn’t expect me to do everything every day, or all at once. I’m able to gradually incorporate the changes into my life over a year, and if I slip up a few times, that’s okay. I use this to track my daily progress. I prefer this type of system/habit building to setting one-off goals because it shifts the focus from checking things off and moving on to moving forward in a sustainable way.
Monthly goals. See here or here for examples. John thinks these are more similar to “to do” lists rather than lists of goals, but it doesn’t really matter to me what they’re called as long as they work :) My monthly goals are where I break down larger goals into manageable chunks, or force myself to take action on something I’ve been procrastinating, or hold myself accountable for everyday adventures. They’re also a great source of community, as many of my friends post them, too!
Long-term goals. For the last six or so years I’ve worked on 101 in 1001 lists (first and second). This format has worked well for me, and I still like it very much. I like having some sort of list to keep track of experiences I want to have and things I want to learn or accomplish, but a year is too short of a timeline for me and a life or bucket list is too long. My last 101 list ended in September; this time around, I’ve decided to make a “Before 30” list (of an as-yet undetermined number!) that will debut in February on my 27th birthday.
For 2014, my daily habits are:
1. Make our bed in the morning.
2. Go out of my way to encourage someone.
3. Eat a power food.
4. Drink one extra tumbler of water.
5. Take a midday break — a walk around the block, lunch outside instead of at my desk, etc.
6. Do some sort of cardio exercise.
7. Leave a clean sink at the end of the day.
8. Do 10 push-ups before bed.
9. Write a verse from reading + prayer in journal.
10. Lights out by 11pm.
And for January, my monthly goals are:
— Make toffee (bought all the ingredients, but never got around to it!)
— Install our new kitchen pendant lights (Christmas gift! First time doing electrical work!!)
— Write another Marvelous Money post
— Deep clean our refrigerator
— Donate our miscellaneous technology to Kramden
How do you set goals? What do you have on tap for this month or this year? (If you’ve written a post about it, feel free to leave the link below, because I’d love to take a look!)