Happy New Year!
We’ll be enjoying our “Christmas” celebrations with Dave’s family today — but since the start of another New Year is a pretty big deal in the world of organization, I thought I should take a moment today to talk about one of my most favorite things.
In general, I never make “New Year’s resolutions”. They are just silly to me.
However, I’m am a big advocate for setting GOALS. And I honestly do set goals for almost every area of my life (business, home, personal, finances, etc. etc.) on a regular basis, not just at the start of another New Year.
I should mention that I don’t alway hit my goals — but I do set them and continuously work towards them!
Last year, I set one single “umbrella goal” of Ultra Simplicity — and I’m happy to say that after looking back over the past year, I feel like I have met that goal. I’m not sure what type of goals I’ll be setting for myself in 2014 (that will be a post later in the month) but I do know I’ll have goals.
Goals are so much different than resolutions because goals are thought-out, achievable, planned, and organized… not just something you casually make up at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31.
So since the start of another New Year is here, now is a great time to start thinking about specific and achievable goals you want to set for yourself in the coming months and year.
Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:
- Do you want to read X-number of books this year? Write down that list (or that number) and then break it down by month or even by week. Make sure you keep track of all the books you read along the way and continually look back on your list to see the progress you’ve made.
- Do you want to learn a new hobby or skill? Sign up for private lessons or a group class. Check out books from the library or watch YouTube videos to learn more about it.
- Do you want to do more volunteer work? Think about what you enjoy doing and what you feel passionate about and then look for organizations like that who need volunteers.
- Do you want to get more organized? Make a list (it can be a long one!) of areas in your home that bother you. Then take 10 or 15 minutes each day to organize ONE small thing in your home. Stop procrastinating, get up 30 minutes earlier, or stop watching one TV program each day so you have more time to put towards organizing. It will take time, but eventually you will start to see major improvements in your home.
- Would you like to have more quality family time? Schedule a family meeting and write down possible ideas for family time. Plan one fun night each week, and take turns letting your children or spouse plan the night’s activities.
- Would you like a better marriage? Attend a support group, go to counseling, or book you and your spouse on a marriage retreat. Sit down and talk about what each of you wants/needs from your marriage. Be intentional about bettering your marriage on a daily basis by complimenting your spouse, writing love notes, reading marriage books, going on simple dates, or just hanging out together at home.
- Want to connect more with your kids? Schedule one-on-one “dates” with each child each month and let them choose what you do for the date. Turn off your phone, computer, TV, etc. and just get down on the floor and play with them at least once a day (yes, I do know how hard this can be to implement!)
- Would you like to lose weight? Write down the specific number of pounds per month you want to lose, then come up with a diet and exercise plan to help you achieve those monthly goals. Join a gym, get a trainer, find an accountability partner to walk with every day, or tell your friends and family about your goals.
- Do you want to eat healthier? Research and write down what foods you will and will not bring into your home. Read healthy-living and healthy-cooking blogs, find cook books that specialize in healthier cooking, and learn how to determine the calories in the foods you eat.
- Do you want to go “green”? Write down one thing you will do each month to live a more green lifestyle. Search Pinterest for “green cleaning” or “going green” and then scroll through the HUNDREDS of ideas it will spit out at you. Try one of these ideas each month (or even each week).
- Do you want to save up for a large purchase? Write down the total amount you’ll need and then break it down by month. Then sit down and figure out if you’ll realistically be able to save that much each month.
- Do you want to lower your grocery bill? Start reading deal and coupon blogs to figure out their secrets. Then spend time writing out your weekly shopping lists, laying out your meal plans, clipping coupons, etc. Make your meal plans based on food that’s on sale, implement a couple meatless meals each week, start making more foods from scratch, etc.
- Do you want to add to your retirement account? Talk with your financial adviser and set up an automatic deposit each month (this is by far the best way to save in my opinion). It could be as little as $25 a month, but you might be surprised how quickly that money adds up!
- Do you want to take a family vacation this coming spring or summer? Plan out the details now and then figure out how much you’ll have to save each month to make it happen. Start looking for deals and bargains to save in the area you’ll be traveling too.
- Do you want to move up in your job? Write down your qualifications and set a time to talk with your boss.
- Do you want to find another job? Start thinking about what your “dream job” would look like. Write down what you want from your job, start looking for options, update your resume, and prepare for interviews.
- Do you want to start your own business? Write out a business plan and talk with someone who’s already doing what you want to do. See if there is a way you can start slowly while still working your day job (or being home with the kids).
- Do you want to quit your job to be home with family? Talk with your spouse to see how this might work and then write out your plan. How much money would you save by staying at home (gas, clothing, day care) and how much would you lose by staying home (loss of income, etc)? Is there anything you can do from home to supplement your family’s income?
Like I mentioned earlier, setting goals is SO much different than making a silly New Year’s resolution (which you will most likely break within a few weeks).
Goals don’t need to be scary, they don’t need to take hours and hours of forethought (although they can if you’d like), and they certainly don’t need to remain fully “set in stone” with no room for change as the year progresses.
Goals should be fun!
Just ask Dave how much fun I have setting goals.
Actually, don’t ask Dave… you’ll probably think I’m a total nerd!
Take a little time today — or at least this week — to stop and think about what goals you want to set for yourself in the coming months and then write them down! You might be surprised at how many of them you actually achieve!