Setting Goals for the First Time and My Word for 2016

2016 is officially here, and I can’t express how amped up I am for it! I honestly can’t remember a time I felt better prepared or more energized to take on a new year.

Want to know a secret? I’ve never made New Year’s Resolutions or set goals for the new year before! Seriously! Never! I have made goals from time to time without it being specific to the new year, but when it came to the entire year’s goals, I always figured I’d make impossibly long lists that could never be accomplished, I’d fail early on like I’d watched so many others before me do, and then I’d give up by February.

But the truth is, I don’t think I ever had it in me to actually follow through with any goals I’d have set. I didn’t have the desire, so the completion wouldn’t have ever been possible without the right frame of mind to start out with. But that’s all changed this year.

I’m incredibly excited about the path God has put me on! I can feel a change stirring in the air, and I can tell you it feels like it’s going to be a big one. I’ve found that I do have the desire to create goals and work like the dickens to achieve them. I look forward to it, actually. It doesn’t feel daunting and overwhelming like it used to. I’ve also learned to plan my goals better to make them achievable instead of just a really long to-do list.

Does that mean that I didn’t write out a page long list of goals I’d like to achieve? No way. I totally filled an entire page with goals on every line and then some! But, that was a good starting point for me to narrow down what truly matters to me in 2016.

Also, I’m at a season of life where things are gearing up to happen. Things are building and beginning business wise, so there’s a bit more meat to my goals than a season of life that’s more restful. I’d love to have kept the list to a shorter stack, but the reality is that all of these things coincide with one another to build a firm foundation for not only my business life but my personal life as well.

It’s going to be a big year and one full of goals, but I’m filled with complete confidence that I will do everything I can to make them happen. I know there will be times I will fail. And that’s okay. Life happens and the unexpected becomes the expected. The point is that I’m starting 2016 with both feet in running position, and I plan to get back up and keep going even when I fall. A big lesson for me in 2015 was about giving myself more grace. That will help so much in this new year while I’m tackling my hurdles!

I won’t go over the long list on this post, but to give you an idea, I’ll run through a goal from each category.

Business: Blog 3x/week

I know this is an area I need a major overhaul. My posting has been sporadic, to say the least. When I wrote this goal down, I really wanted to put 5x/week because that’s ultimately where I’d like to see things. But, I didn’t want to set myself up for disappointment and failure. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past year, it’s that whenever you plan, the universe throws you a curve ball. So, I’ve set the bar a tad lower, and anything I achieve over that is frosting on the cake.

To make sure this happens, I’ve set aside time in my schedule that’s uninterrupted to focus on writing. And while we’re in this transition phase in dealing with internet from Verizon where we have to throttle ourselves to prevent going over the usage allotment, I’ve developed a plan for scheduling posts so that I don’t have to worry about not being able to publish from home.

Personal: Stop Yelling

This is probably my biggest goal for 2016, by a long shot. It’s something I’ve not only hated but despised about myself for years. But no matter how much I didn’t like doing it, I couldn’t seem to find a way to make it stop.

I plan on reading books, implementing different techniques and even possibly introducing meditation to my daily routine. Although I haven’t narrowed down my plan of attack just yet, one thing is for certain: I will be taking it day-by-day rather than the big picture approach.

If I focus on not yelling for a year, well, that’s completely overwhelming. But, if I wake up each day and focus on making it through the entire day without resorting to yelling, well that’s much more doable.

Family: Find 5 More Ways to Live “Naturally”

Whether it’s living greener, starting a garden, or using homemade remedies for illnesses, cleaning, and every day life, I want this area to expand even greater for our family. We already use many alternative methods, but incorporating five more will just add to it all. It’s all geared towards making ourselves and teaching our children how to be self-sustainable, and the more we add, the better. Obviously, this year isn’t limited to five more ways. But again, I didn’t want to make my list so daunting that it couldn’t be accomplished. Taking little bites out of the big chunks is how you whittle away at the long-term goals.

Marriage: Have Date Night Every 6 weeks

It is a very rare occasion that Brandon and I get to enjoy date night. Typically, they’re about 6 months in between. And while I love how well we work as a family unit, I do crave the opportunity for the two of us to focus on solely us without the background noise and constant interruptions of three kids all vying for our attention.

Date night doesn’t have to mean dinner and a movie. It doesn’t even have to mean going out. Our budget is beyond squeezing right now, so date night is more for the arrangement of a sitter and some great Pinterest ideas thrown together for some quality alone time. Planning ahead and arranging a sitter along with a backup is what will keep this goal a tight ship. (And also making sure I link my calendar with his so he remembers it’s date night. 😉 )

Finances: Bring Home the Bacon

Right now, work is at an incredibly slow rate for Brandon. To add to the slimming paychecks, we also are still dealing with the effects of that wonderful program the bank put us in after his layoff in 2014. Until that ends in April, and probably for some time after, there’s just more month at the end of the money. Brandon and I have gone over the budget, the income and all the finite details that go along with making it flow. We’ve established the magic number that will allow us to *just make it* every month, and that is the amount I am responsible for.

Going back into the workforce isn’t an option for me because it requires daycare and before and after-school care – which adds up to a whole lot and not enough left over at the end of the month – leaving me to still come up with funds and no time to do it. So, I’ve devised a plan of attack.

It won’t be easy, but it’s doable. By combining multiple avenues for revenue, I’m confident I can hit that magic number every month. Between selling things online, transcribing, paid advertisements on the blog, selling baked goods, selling handcrafted goods, writing for Textbroker, and other similar sources, it should come together. Don’t get me wrong. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. But, it’s the season of life we’re in, so I will trudge forward and make it happen.

If you’re looking at a set number to make every month, it can seem daunting. But, if you break that number down by days, it’s a much more manageable figure!

These goals will only be accomplished if I write them down and keep track of them. Doing a daily, weekly, or monthly assessment of where I’m at with each goal will help keep me on the path for success.

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I just loved this rotating goal list I found on Pinterest! You can find it here. Having something like this that’s for each week is a great way to keep your goals current and at the forefront of your mind. It also helps that it’s something you can hang to visually be reminded.

2016 Word of the Year - Drive

Seeing as how I’ve never set new year’s resolutions, I also have never used a word of the year. This was a completely foreign concept to me up until a couple of weeks ago when I started seeing it pop up on other’s pages. I did a little research, and I’m hooked!

I love the idea of having a focal point or a mantra to come back to throughout the year. It sums up your goals but also keeps you on track when you start to lose focus or feel hopeless or like you’re failing.

I’ve spent days mulling over my word. It’s been on my mind constantly since the moment I decided to jump on board. And it was a resounding vote time and again for the word “Drive”. Drive is defined as:

an innate, biologically determined urge to attain a goal or satisfy a need

I need to be driven. I need to focus on that drive to propel me forward to attain the goals I’ve set forth for not only my personal life, but especially my business. If there’s any time that I’ve needed to hone in, take the reins, and crack the whip, it’s now. This is my “shit or get off the pot” year. And I plan on pooping A LOT!

Keeping “Drive” at the forefront of my mind will remind me constantly of why I’m doing this, who I’m doing it for, what an impact it will make, and how it will benefit my family and those around me – not to mention the ways it will allow me to bless others in ways I have desired but haven’t been equipped to do in the past.

It’s also a year you can follow along with me on Instagram using the hashtag #mystory2016.

#mystory2016 comes from the fact that I have spent majority of my life living “their” story. Raising my kids how “they” see fit. Eating how “they” want me to. Decorating and styling myself and my surrounding how “they” thought I should. Living my life according to “their” rules. And by “they”, I mean society, friends, family, and various onlookers of my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I love doing for others much more so than doing for myself. But, I’ve reached a point in my life where I’ve come to realize that I’m not happy living my own life the way others see fit – in any arena. I have to be true to myself and to God. I have to focus on what makes me happy instead of what makes someone else happy that doesn’t even directly affect them. For instance, I’ve got to find my own design aesthetic so that I’m able to love the inside of my home instead of listening to what others – who don’t even live in our home – tell me I like.

So, 2016 is my time. My time for focus. My time for being driven. My time to make my own waves and chart my own path. It’s my time for #mystory. Follow along with me on Instagram using the hashtag #mystory2016 to see how I’m living my story day-by-day, and use the hashtag to show me how you’re living your story! I’ll be checking in and following along with you throughout the year!

What goals have you set for yourself this year? Or are you like I was and nixing the goal setting idea? Do you have a word of the year? How do you plan on it impacting your life? Let me know in the comments! I can’t wait to see how we all progress this year!

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