Sunday, January 06, 2013

Setting Goals for the Great Year Ahead

I have found that setting goals is very important. In grade school I can remember setting three types of goals. We used to set monthly, quarterly, yearly, and lifetime goals. I remember thinking how silly the concept was and how goals didn't really matter. In fact, a lot of the time I would set goals that I thought the teachers would like and after that not give much thought to them at all. Looking back now, I think it was a really great exercise in life planning, and I no longer set goals that someone else will like, but I instead set goals that matter to me. This year will be no different.

My goals last year were not in the front of my mind as they should have been. I let myself get very distracted and unfocused. It was a very difficult year with Dakota leaving, struggling to learn how to manage on my own, stressing over school, and then deploying myself. I made a lot of excuses as to why achieving my goals was not important, and I put them on the back burner. Although I met some of them, I wish I had been more proactive in achieving more, if not all of them.

This year, I have decided that nobody can accomplish my goals for me. If I sit around and do nothing, this time next year I will again be disappointed with myself, and I will not get to enjoy a sense of accomplishment. I have decided to be proactive and begin the life I really imagine that I am capable of living. I am going to be proud of myself come January.

Here is a list my year long goals and projects that I want to achieve:

  •  Grow my garden and be able to eat from it all summer and fall.
  • Continue my “What I did today” journal each day
  • Strive for no more than 23 hours of sedentary activity each day 
  •  Blog at least once per week
  • Embrace raw veganism again and continue the lifestyle. Be at least 90% raw
  • Work really hard to get birthday and holiday cards out on time
  • Learn a special dance for our wedding
  • Project life
  • Project 365
  • The Happiness Project
  • Art Journal each week
  • Make bread at least twice per month­­­
Do you have any year long goals? Any resolutions that you would love to share? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are planning to do this year to make the year better than the last.

If we are not striving constantly to become better, then what are we doing? If you have not yet come up with any goals for the year but want to give it a try, I have some guidelines that can help you in setting goals that you can actually achieve. I find them to be really helpful for my own goals. Goals should be SMART! Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. 

A specific goal will be more accomplish-able. It gives you a known direction to go and states exactly what you will accomplish, when you will accomplish it, and how. By setting a goal to weigh 175 pounds you will be more likely to achieve highly than if you only state that you want to get healthy or that you want to loose some weight. A measurable goal has certain criteria to tell you if and when you have accomplished it. With this goal you will know the exact point in which it has been accomplished. Reading more books would be an alright goal, but reading 10 books this year is a better goal. Attainable is fairly simple. Can you actually accomplish it? A goal to have a bachelor degree by the time you are 25 may not be accomplish-able if you are 24 and have not even begun school yet. A better goal would be to have a bachelor degree by the time you are 28 or maybe 29. A realistic goal should be something within your capabilities. If you don't know how to knit, you should not set a goal to knit 10 blankets this year. Instead make your goal to learn how to knit and make one blanket. Lastly, a timely goal will be easier to achieve as well. Set a goal and tell yourself when you want to accomplish it by. If you are setting a goal for the year, the time-frame you have to reach the goal is December 31.

Go ahead and give it a try. Let me know how it goes!

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