One of my favorite things about the new year is writing out new year’s goals for our family. I love taking the time to dream, and come up with plans to make them happen. I’m a huge planner, a disorganized planner maybe, but a planner. That’s one of the reasons I love to write goals. The other reason I love making goals for the coming year is because without them, everything stays the same with nothing to work towards. I love doing new things and experiencing life with my family, having a goal is a perfect way to make them happen!
Why Goals Instead of Resolutions
I don’t like doing new year’s resolutions because all too often they’re unrealistic. How many times do we make a resolution and fail within the first couple weeks of the year? We easily become discouraged and give up. We no longer hold to our resolutions and nothing changes from the previous year.
A goal on the other hand isn’t necessarily to change a habit. They give you something to work towards. Goals offer a kind of drive and motivation that resolutions simply cannot. With a goal, you have all year to accomplish it. Resolutions on the other hand often demand you make an effort each and every day. Resolutions are more of a lifestyle change that are often difficult to master cold turkey on January first.
Listing Out Your Goals
Listing out our new year’s goals is something I really enjoy. It allows me to dream about the coming year, and reflect on the past year. What are some things I want to do differently? What worked well? In what areas do I want to grow? This will help you list out what kind of goals you have for the next year.
Writing out your goals will also help hold you accountable. If you have a specific financial goal, it might help you stop and think before making impulsive purchases. Having your goals written down will also help you prioritize your time because it allows you to see what’s most important to you and maybe help you realize where you need to spend less time.
Another reason to write out your goals, is so you can see what you have accomplished as your cross things off your list. I can promise you that things will come your way next year that will be discouraging and throw you off track. Sometimes, looking at what items you’ve already crossed off will encourage and motivate you.
Download a FREE New Year’s Goal worksheet
Download a FREE New Year’s Goal worksheet for kids
Working Toward Goals
Setting goals means you also need to be proactive in taking steps to accomplish them. This is why it’s important to write them down. Have a game plan to achieve them. For instance, if your goal is to take a vacation, plan a budget for the vacation. How much money will you need to set aside each month to make it happen? After all, a goal without a plan is just a dream.
Set benchmarks for your goals. For instance, one of my goals for 2017 is to have more date nights with my husband. This can be kind of hard without a way to track your progress. So, on my goal sheet I have a spot for monthly goals. This is where I’ll put our date night goal so we can make sure we get it in each month. Of course I don’t want to act like date night is an item on our to-do list; but, when you’re a very busy special needs family like us it’s very easy to forget to schedule date night. Having this on our list will help us be intentional about scheduling it!
Changing or Delaying a Goal
Here’s the thing about life, if often throws us curve balls. I don’t think we’ve ever gone a year when we’ve met each and every goal, but that’s OK! If you accomplish every goal on your list, they probably weren’t set very high to begin with. There have been many times a goal has been put off for a year (or two) in our house. It happens, sometimes things come up (usually an unexpected surgery for Ladybug) and you need to go off course.
That being said, I think it is important to have a couple goals each year that should be easy to reach. Your goals should be a mix of grounded practical goals with one or two reach for the stars type goals. You need some practical goals to give you a sense of accomplishment. Give yourself a couple of easy wins. No one wants to feel like a constant failure, so make sure some of your goals are within reach.
Don’t beat yourself up when you don’t reach a goal (or a few). Take some time to reevaluate. Maybe your goal was to take the family to Disney World but you simply can’t set aside enough money. You have two choices here, you can change the goal to take a vacation and choose one that fits into your budget, or extend the goal to next year allowing yourself more time to save. The point is don’t give up on your goal!
What’s your 2017 goal?
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