Let me start by saying that I don’t believe in resolutions. Resolutions are basically dreams and dreams are a good thing, but saying I want to lose weight this year is usually where a resolution stops. I’ve read that 25 percent of people break their New Year’s Resolutions within a week. That’s just a week – imagine after a month!
Dreams with a deadline are called goals. I am a huge believer in goals. A goal gives you something to work toward something you want to work toward. A good goal is measurable and attainable. A good goal makes the goal setter reach but not too far to give up hope. As a teacher, I set goals for my students on a daily basis – in education we call them objectives. My students reach those objectives daily and by the end of the year they reach their year-long goals and are ready for the next grade.
I read a lot. Not as much as I would like to though. I love books – especially finance and self help books. Weird … I know. But, I have read my share of goal setting books. It has been too long for me to remember the title or the author of these books. I’ll tell you what I’ve taken from these books and how I’ve changed it to work for me. I would suggest you search for goal setting books at your local library to read also.
I set up yearly goals in three categories:
Finance – money
Finance goals have to do with debt, saving, retirement, income, budgeting, or anything else you can think of relating to money. Do you have debt? Want to chisel away at it? Have you set up a budget? Where do you want to be financially in a year?
Personal goals are about you. How do you want to grow as a person? Do you want a better relationship with your spouse? Are you constantly sick and want to get healthier? Are you unorganized and want to organize your house?
Professional goals are about your occupation. How do you want to grow in your career? A goal in this category could be getting a new job or getting a promotion in your current job. It could even be starting your own business. Maybe taking a class or joining a professional organization.
Since I am for some reason obsessed with the number three, I set three goals in each category. But, for some reason this year I couldn’t narrow my personal goals down to 3 – oh well, this is going to be a big year! J
How to set a goal
Think about what you want for the future. Let’s talk personal – there are so many people each year that make a resolution to lose weight. That is the start of a great goal but remember how I said that a goal needs to be measurable? I want to lose weight is not a goal – it is a wish. Set a number or a size. A goal needs to be measurable.
Now if I were to say I want to be a size 2, that goal would be unattainable. I have never been nor will I probably ever be a size 2. A goal needs to be attainable – something that you have to work for, but if you keep working hard you will accomplish it. A good goal would be become a size 8 or lose 45 pounds. I’m not the best at wording goals, so you can play with the wording if you are particular about it.
It is also important to share your goals. My sister puts them in her office which is a fantastic idea. I put my goals in a frame in my craft room. This year my plan is to put them in a pretty frame and put them in the office or in our room somewhere. Post your most important goal on facebook and get encouragement from friends! Tell your spouse or kids and they can help you attain it. Write your goals down and share them!
Notice that I didn’t write how I am going to lose those 45 pounds? That’s the next step – set up a plan of attack!
Make a Plan
A goal is not like a crock pot roast – you can’t set it and forget it. You have to work for a goal. You won’t be able to accomplish it in a weekend or even a week. Your plan of attack will be like mini goals (like lesson objectives for teachers) that help you reach your yearly goals.
Goals can be set at any time during the year and can be adjusted to work for you.
Here are my goals for this year:
- Fully fund our IRA accounts
- Research and start (?) a college fund for baby
- Live on one income for 2 months (and bank the other)
- Give birth to a healthy baby
- Lose the baby weight plus 5
- Blog 8 times or more per month
- Read 1 book a month
- Decorate and organize baby’s room and keep it that way!
- Take 1 class (3 units) before the next school year
- Help 4 people do a 180 and share their story
- Plant and harvest our first crop!
Do you set goals? If not, you should start! Start with one or two for the year and work your butt off to accomplish them. What are your goals? I would love for you to share on Facebook or right here in the comments!