Goal Setting

I love setting goals.  I love the idea of wanting to do something, making a plan to do it, working at it in small increments, and accomplishing something incredible.

I’d like to share with you some of the ways and things I take into consideration when I make goals, and then share with you my 2019 goals.

I will take a moment to emphasize: these are not New Year’s resolutions. I’m not resolving to do anything completely different in 2019, rather I have life-long goals I want to achieve and life-long habits I want to adopt.  Accomplishing both of those is only possible in small steps. Hence, goals.  I create yearly goals and break those down into quarterly goals (Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, July-Sept, Oct-Dec).

I won’t go into the philosophical questions behind how to make a goal. You’re all adults and don’t need help figuring out what kind of life you want to have and what things you want to accomplish. I will, however, show you how to make SMART goals (nothing of my own design, you can find it in almost any other blog post on goal setting).

Set SMART Goals

Literally, every article you will ever read on goal-setting will include this acronym or something similar. Make your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.

Don’t just say you want to eat healthier. Make your goal to eat at least one vegetable at every lunch and dinner. This is specific (at least 1 vegetable) and measurable (specifying lunch and dinner – there is no question of whether or not this goal was achieved). If you say you just want to eat “more” vegetables and you eat one more carrot in 2019 than you did in 2018, then congrats. You achieved your goal.

If you’re like me, 5’6″ and 200 pounds, don’t say you want a six pack by December 2019. It ain’t happenin’, sweetheart. With the time I (don’t) have to dedicate to working out, my will-power, and my current body, there’s no way that’s going to happen.  However, I can set a goal to be able to do 25 push-ups and a 60-second plank by the end of 2019. It needs to be a realistic, achievable goal for you. What’s achievable for someone else might not be achievable for you, and that’s okay. It’s not a race. It’s baby steps towards self-improvement.

Make your goals relevant to your larger goals. Your small goals should be baby steps to the larger goals you set for yourself.

Time-bound. Set! A! Deadline! Since we’re talking about goals for the new year, obvi our deadline is Dec. 31, 2019. If your goal isn’t accomplished by then? That’s okay. This is honestly the hardest one for me to swallow. If I set a deadline for myself and I don’t make it, I tend to throw my hands up and give up. This is one area I’m working on for myself.  If you fail, just get up and try again.

I love the Samuel Beckett quote:

Ever tried.

Ever failed.

No matter.

Try again.

Fail again.

Fail better.

Cover All Areas

I like to have goals in different areas of my life and the areas I always cover are Physical, Mental, Financial, Professional.

Physical. Whether it’s a plan to eat healthier, complete a 5k, get more sleep, go for a 5-minute walk every day, or be able to do 10 push-ups, I always have a goal that contributes to my physical well-being. Your physical well-being contributes to your emotional and mental well-being, and this is the only body we get. We need to take care of it.

Mental. Mediating, learning a new craft, learning a new language, memorizing poetry, or a reading goal are all great examples of mental goals.

Financial. This is the first year I’ve actually had an official financial goal. Financial goals are so important, and they vary from person to person.

The one thing I hate about nearly every single financial advice article out there is that they are written on the assumption that you’ve been foolish with your money. According to them, all you’ve gotta do is stop buying a latte every morning, find a side hustle (because those are so easy to come by), and you’ll be rolling in the dough!

giphy

As someone who’s been in a financial position where lattes were out of the question, and a 60-hour work week made a side-hustle impractical, I hate those articles. I also hate people who write articles about how they only have to work 5 hours a day and write their blogs from a beach in Aruba. But I digress.

Whatever your financial position is, make a goal for yourself. The best goals are ones that involve saving money, less frivolous spending, and getting out of debt. I won’t tell you what goals to make, only that you should have one. If you’re unsure of where to start, I’d recommend Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps.

Professional. These don’t necessarily have to pertain to the job you have now. I know, it seems counterintuitive, right? These can be career goals, side hustle goals, or hobby goals.  Do you love crocheting and want to sell your pieces? Make a goal to practice your craft, learn new stitches, or open an Etsy shop. In the past, my professional goals have included applying to a master’s program and writing goals.

Now, as promised, I will share with you my 2019 Goals. I’ve added parentheticals after some of them to show you what category I put each goal into.

  1. Finish writing & publish “Hardships, Joys, and Heartbreaks” (Professional)
  2. Finish Rastovich Archive metadata (Professional)
    1. Sort archive into collections
    2. Apply metadata
  3. Crochet Ravenclaw blanket
  4. Read 35 books (25 from TBR shelf) (Mental)
  5. Learn how to cross stitch (complete 1 piece a month)
  6. Complete a 5k (Physical)
  7. Complete a 10k (Physical)
  8. Set aside $2,000 in budget (Financial)
  9. Pay off Bachelor’s degree (Financial)

I’d love to know what your goals are!

Gif credits: Giphy

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