Setting Goals, How to Make 2017 The Best Year Yet!

 Setting goals, attaining them, and how to be insanely successful doing it!  The entire process to achieving any goal.  Jenn from Home by Jenn walks you through her process of setting and attaining goals.  Included is a free workbook to help you attain your goals!

Wow, I cannot believe that I am writing the last blog post of the year.  I do know that once you are reading this post, it will be 2017 but still, I cannot believe how quickly 2016 came and went.

With the new year comes a fresh start, the "New Year's Resolutions" or the famous I'm going to get in shape this year promise that you make to yourself each year that you'll be breaking 2 weeks from now because that pizza smells so good and the gym is just way to crowded.

What if I told you that you could actually make that New Year's Resolution stick this year?  

What if I told you that you could accomplish it in 12 weeks?

What if I told you that you didn't have to sell your soul to achieve it?

Do I have your attention?

Well, that's what this post is all about.  It is all about showing you how you can have your cake and eat it too (except if you're trying to lose weight, well then probably don't eat the cake).

In this post, I'm going to share the 4 things that need to be done in order for you to make 2017 the best year yet.  

Stay tuned because I've put together an amazing goal setting bonus for you!

I'm a huge fan of goals.  I want to live this life that I'm living to the fullest and I don't want to look back when I'm 90 (fingers crossed) and think, boy I wish I would have... Or wow, was that all that I did??? 

I don't want regrets and I want to experience life.

That's why I feel that goals are so important.  

Before I share with you what you need to do about making your goals a reality, let's talk about why so many goals and New Year's resolutions don't get completed.

I can sum it up real quick for you.

Loss of motivation.

You go, go, go, and then boom life gets in the way.

You're doing a great job and then something happens.

If it is so important to you, why do you not complete it?

Sure, you lose motivation.  Maybe you just flat forget.

What if you're scared of failing?

What if you're scared of success?

These are all so common.

So, how can you actually stick to your goals and make 2017 the best year yet?

You need to make your goals a priority. 

Priorities are what brings me to my first tip for you.

Making your goals a priority.

Sure sounds easier said than done right!  Well let me take you back to what my life was like before I started making my goals one of my top priorities.

I had a job that I loathed, and when I say loath, I mean it.  It was painful for me to get up in the morning knowing that I needed to spend the next 8.5 hours there.  Sure, I loved the paycheck but the work made me hate myself and everything around me. 

The way I talk about it you must think that I was a hired hit man or a telemarketer.  Oh no, I was the lead office manager for auditors.  I made sure that the office and people ran smoothly.  It was a great job, I was just miserable!!

I would complain and complain day after day until I started to annoy myself with how much I was complaining about this job.

It was time that I did something about it, but what…

I really needed to figure out how much pain I was able to endure before I made a change.  Was I willing to stay there forever?  Did I see this as a job that I want to grow with?  Did I want to spend the rest of my working life there?

Well it was a resounding HELL NO!

I wanted out like yesterday.  

Here’s the next layer of questions I needed to ask myself.

Did I just want a different job?  Did I just hate the job or the people?

Here’s the thing, I liked the people, the job was good, I was miserable doing that type of work.  

I knew that If I just got a different job doing the same thing, I was just putting a bandaid on the problem and not really fixing the problem.  

So I turned this into something a little more complicated.  I went back to school to do something that I had always wanted to do and made a complete career change.

This goal didn’t turn into a 12 week goal, it was more of a 12 month goal because it was impossible for me to complete the required schooling in 12 weeks.

I made my happiness my priority because that was really what my goal was and I was actually becoming tons happier because I knew I was working towards a career change and after each class and each test, I knew I was closer to being where I wanted to be.

I’m sure you’re thinking well, that’s great Jenn, but I’m not sure what my goal or goals are going to be, hey that’s great!  

Here’s the thing, I was never one to set goals or make New Year’s resolutions because I was in the mindset of well, 95% of resolutions go undone so why should I even try.  That’s why I don’t do New Year resolutions.  I do however create a yearly plan for myself that I revisit every 12-13 weeks.

Before you even get that far, you need to create your dream life, and that brings me to tip number 2.

Create your dream life.

This is something that I love doing.  Ever since I started this, this is what gets me going and keeps me growing.  

I call this my happy place.  I sit down and create my dream life about 4 times a year.  

Why do I create my dream life 4 times a year?

Because you life changes throughout the year, you will be interested in things now that you may not be interested in later.  

For example, I love to garden, but I don’t need to make gardening a priority in January but will in May.  Our priorities change.

When I started this blog a year ago, my priority was to learning how to grow an audience and how to create a blog worth reading.  Sure these are quite important but, since I’ve learned these things my priorities have changed.

As we grow, learn, and progress our priorities change.  That is why I revisit my goals 4 times a year.  

People are really keen on the quarterly goals and the start and stop times and I want you to understand that if you are reading this in March, November, or even Janurary it doesn’t matter, you can start today or tomorrow.  

If you fall off the wagon, get back up and try again.  You don’t need to start this January 1st or the 1st day of the quarter.  You can start this January 15th or October 27th it doesn’t matter.  Just remember the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll achieve it and that’s what you should focus on.

Focus on the end date, not the start date!

I hope you get my rant about starting your goals whenever you start and putting a start date doesn’t have to be significant.  Let’s create your dream life!

What I like to do to create my dream life is a good mind dumping session.  If you are frequent reader of mine, you know that I like to get all of my thoughts down in one spot and work through it.

If you are unfamiliar with mind dumping, no worries.  It is a quite simple process.  It is taking your thoughts and putting them onto paper.  Simple as that.

Here’s how you create your dream life.  Grab a piece of paper and divide it into 4 sections and label each section:

  • Personal
  • Family
  • Career
  • Money

Now you’ll want to create your dream in each of these areas.  Where do you want your personal life to be.  Don’t give yourself a timetable on this, just ask yourself where you personally want to be.  Write everything the comes to mind down.  Don’t worry about filtering, this is the process.

Follow along in each area.  Doing the same thing.  Where you see your family, are there changes that you want to make?  Are there things that are working that you’d like to add to other areas.  Just start dreaming.

This is your script and only your script.  Enjoy the process.

Now that you’ve created a mind dump mess on your page, it is time to edit this.  What is 1 thing that stands out in each of these areas for yourself?  Is there something that you see in the personal spot that just makes your heart glow?  Highlight that item.  This will become your goal.

Don’t worry about the how yet, we will come to that.  

You need a goal before you figure out how to complete it.

Once you’ve picked your goals, it is time to make them a reality, and that brings me to my next tip.

Make your goals SMART

I’m sure you’ve heard about SMART goals, people talk about SMART goals all over.  You can do a Google search and 10 billion blog posts, books, and experts will pop up on the page.  (Okay maybe I exaggerated a bit, but you know what I mean).

If you haven’t heard of SMART goals yet, not to worry, it’s an acronym which stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound

That’s the test each goal should pass so you can actually achieve it.  What you are ultimately doing is setting yourself up for success by being as detailed as possible with your goals.

So instead of creating a goal of losing weight, which is super vague and really not helpful to you at all.  You would instead create a goal of losing 10 pounds in 12 weeks by working out 4 times a week and creating a healthy meal plan.  The details could actually go further, but for this example, I’m keeping it quick and simple.

Going back to your daydreaming mind dump page, and you picking your goals, you will want to do this with your goal.

I’m going to use my example of changing careers as my goal example.  When I did this, I knew that I needed something different and so my goal ended up being going back to school to get my cosmetology license.  

I was being specific by knowing my exact area of study.  

This goal was measurable because there was a start and stop date for school.

The goals were attainable.  By going to class each day, doing the work, and graduating meant that it would be complete.

The goal was relevant, this is something that I wanted

Time-bound, yep, I was able to check that off too because there was a graduation date.

So, this was easy when it came to making this goal SMART.  Because there was structure, with it.  When it comes to creating a goal where you are the only one setting the due date you need to make sure that you are making that goal a priority (my first tip) or else, it will just be a memory instead of a reality.

Now creating, setting, and attain goals is just one small part of the puzzle.  Which brings me to my 4th and final tip, which is finding the time for your goal to become a reality.

Scheduling your goal.

It wouldn’t be a Home by Jenn post if I didn’t talk about time-saving.  Time is something that many of us don’t have the luxury of.  It seems the more time passes the less time we have.  We end up with to do lists that are miles long and just not enough time to complete them.

Well completing your to do lists is a completely different topic and different post but if you are not going to have the time or find the time to attain your goal(s) then why even set them.

It’s just a waste.

So how the heck are you supposed to schedule your goal(s)?

Before you even set your goal you need to break your goal into tasks.  

Like, you need to complete A before you can go onto B and so on.

What I like to do is make a list (I know, it’s kind of an obsession really).  Make a list of everything that you need to do to complete the goal.  

A good thing to do is work backward.  Starting with the big picture and getting down to the smallest detail.

By doing this you’re removing that overwhelmed feeling of a giant project that needs to be completed.

When you are breaking your goal into small tasks, start assigning due dates to them.  So you will want to complete A next Monday and then once that’s done you’ll be able to complete B by next Wednesday, and so on.  

Maybe you’re only scheduling 1 or 2 items at a time because you just don’t know when you’ll be able to get to C and D.  That’s completely okay!

You’re making a plan and that’s what’s important!

This can seem like an overwhelming tasks to complete, that’s why I’m here to help!  I’ve created an amazing free workbook called The Organized Busy Mom workbook.  Inside the workbook there are my 8 tops tips to help you stay organized.

Each tip comes with its own worksheet to help you create a plan of attack.  It does include a goal setting section so you can be on your way to becoming an amazing goal setter!  Click the button below to download your free copy.

Are you a goal setter?  If so, what do you do to set them?  I'd love to hear all about your goals in the comments below!!