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Goal Setting… for the Type B Personality

Guest post from Dawn of One Faithful Mom

In January of 2012, I made a long list of goals for the year and divided into different areas of my life. I had spiritual goals, physical goals, personal goals, and writing goals.

By the summer, I had already failed at most of them. So at the beginning of 2013, I knew that if I was to be successful in making needed changes, I had to do it in a way that would suit my more Type B personality.

I decided to make just a few, simple goals. I focused on things that I knew would make a difference in my life, but that would not overwhelm me. Here are the four things I chose:

1. Wash and moisturize my face every morning and night.

I know, silly right? But I have never been totally consistent with this. My skin, at 45, is not like it was at 20, and it was beginning to show!

I was almost embarrassed to say this one out loud when our family shared our goals with each other, because it kind of seemed ridiculous. But two of my teenagers made it one of their goals also! It helps that this goal shows very quick results. That motivates me in my other areas.

2. Plan out our evening meal.

What? A mother of ten has issues with planning meals? The answer is yes!

I know that many of you have a working meal plan, and perhaps even shop according to that plan. But my Type B self just does not work that way. I’ve tried, I really have!

So, I set this goal to help me learn to be consistent in planning our meals, even if that means I just know what leftovers are available. This has relieved the 5:00 stress of wondering what’s for supper!

3. Spend time with my children every day.

Again, this seems obvious, but I have noticed that I am often distracted with other things. Every day, I want to take time to read a book, do a puzzle, sing, play, or even work together in the kitchen.

In the book How to Really Love Your Child, author Ross Campbell suggest three things parents should do every day: give focused attention, make eye contact, and show physical affection. Those are the three things I am working toward.

And again, this type of goal gives near instant results. The smiles and laughter of my children tell me I am getting this one right!

4. Write.

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I lie in bed at night with all these ideas swirling around in my brain for writing projects.

So this year, I decided to make it a goal to write something every day; even if it is just a couple of sentences. I have asked two of my writing friends to collaborate on some things. Bringing someone else into the goal keeps me accountable. I can’t be lazy about it when someone else is waiting for my part!

It has brought a spark back into my writing, and I am excited to see what I can accomplish this year.

Well, those are my four goals. You may be laughing right now at the sheer simplicity of them. Maybe you can’t believe that someone could be that undisciplined. Or maybe you are like me, and need to hone in on the small things in your life.

When the small things are out of control, it seems like everything is out of control. And who knows…maybe next year I will be ready for some big, crazy, outrageous goal?

After I wash and moisturize, that is!

Dawn has been married to Andy, her high school sweetheart, for over 28 years. They have ten children, two beautiful daughters-in-love, and a precious grandson. She blogs over at One Faithful Mom, where she encourages mothers to be faithful in the everyday lives of their children.

photo source

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  • Dawn, I love that your goals are things that excite and energize you… not just things that a person “should” be doing. I think this list would motivate me too! Good luck!

    • Dawn says:

      Yes, exactly! I couldn’t get excited about stuff that wasn’t important to me!

      • sona says:

        Thank you. I can speak for many I know, burnout comes when trying to do what others do. We cant do it all…..well. We must find our own stride that works. If it isnt working, some goals/self challenges may be called for. Is there room for spontaniety?

        Wow, ten children? Just getting up some days is a challenge for me!! Bless you.

  • Elysha says:

    I’m Type B too. In fact I was going to reply later but decided to just do it now. Goal setting makes me hyperventilate. Planning also makes me anxious. I recall when Jesus said, “Do not worry about tomorrow. Today has enough trouble of its own.” So I focus on the daily goals, and step by step I’m pretty sure I’ll finish the big goals. I like your writing goal. Perhaps I will follow suit.

  • Stacy says:

    I like this idea…I think we achieve less goals because we try to set to many when we are first starting out and we do get overwhelmed.

  • Karen says:

    I feel the same way also. I had along list last year and I didn’t get anything done all year. This year I made some smaller goals and then I made some really out there goals that I would like to get done but I am not sure how or if they will be acomplished. I figured I had to get those 3 items out there to work toward those also.

  • Sarabell says:

    I like that you’re focusing on just a few goals! I always made huge lists for myself in the past but now I know to keep my goals around five per year. I can always add a new goal if I feel underwhelmed, can’t remove a goal without feeling a little like a failure!

  • Holly says:

    LOVE these goals! Mine have been super simple as well, an example is drink a glass of water at every meal. I like the idea of crossing stuff off my list but I don’t like to make a list for the year because life is crazy! What if we take home another foster kid this year? I would have to throw my list out the window. So I just try to take each day and make my 6 to do list items for that day.

  • Katie says:

    Hi! I love to hear your goals and that they are simple. It makes me feel better about my simple goals! I actually recently started a blog- organization for the type B. It is nice to hear from other type b- ers!

  • anon says:

    Not laughing at all, I am just the same type personality! Meal planning has been a real struggle and since I went back to work part time it’s been even worse.

  • Lynne says:

    I’m completely with you on item #1! Why does it seem so much more like a chore, than a personal refreshment? Maybe it’s because it’s “done,” and then “undone”, and then “done” again, over and over and over… Unfortunately, wash/moisturize routines remind me of laundry and dishes! 🙂 Ah, but it, too, must be done!

  • Amy says:

    I am more of a type B myself, and I made those same goals myself. The only difference from your list and mine is that I do not have “write” as a goal. My fourth goal is to listen to the Daily Audio Bible poscast everyday.
    I felt funny having the skincare routine as a goal, but I had been skipping that most nights ever since my fifth child was born, and yes, it showed!
    Thank you for your post.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I know this is off the topic of goal setting but i saw on “the doctors” thay washing your face in the morning is a mistake most people make that makes your skin age faster i .think they said at night was fine though. I guess it’s something about washing away natural oils that are good for your skin. He said to splash your face with water in the morning and then apply moisturizer and don’t forget it on your neck. I’ve been doing it that way and it actually seems better!

    • Dawn says:

      Hmm, that is interesting! I’ll have to check it out. And yes, that moisturizer goes all the way down!!

    • Em says:

      I wonder if it is more the ‘twice a day’ part not necessarily morning or night?

      I am 37 and people tell me my skin looks great and know what? I wear blush, eyeliner and mascara almost everyday, no coverup or foundation and I do not wash my face at night! I do nothing to it after I wash and moisturize in the morning. (and yes I do my neck).
      I think not having a layer on my skin keeps it fresh and I hate washing my face in the sink so I don’t do it at night. I wash it in the shower and if I do not shower…well my face may just not get washed that day, but I always put on moisturizer 🙂

  • Kelly says:

    Way to go Dawn! Love the personal, manageable-sized goals!
    Your friend in the Middle East:)

  • I love this post! I’m definitely the type B personality (married to a type A!), and more of a procrastinator and dilly-dallier than I should be.

    I always make goals for each day, but I tend to dawdle and have a hard time accomplishing everything before I burn out. As a result, I get overwhelmed and just scrap everything. Lately, I’ve started assigning a time value to each chore or goal for the day or week, and I’ve been able to get so much more done! To see on paper how long it’s going to take, I’ve been able to start and complete more tasks than usual because I can dedicate my attention for that time. (Instead of starting a bunch of projects only to run out of time and energy halfway through!)

    Thanks for the insight Dawn!

  • Lynn says:

    Not laughing here at all…Just shouting “Amen!” I think this post has probably brought much peace , joy and relief to many moms who have felt like failures for not setting 10 goals in 5 categories and being able to cross off 90% of them on a regular basis. One of the awesome things about our Father God is that he has created each and every one of us uniquely and there is no “one size fits all” strategy for how to be an effective and God-pleasing person (wife, mother, employee, etc.). Thank you for this refreshing post!

  • Patty says:

    I loved this post and your simple goals are probably ones that most of us type b’s need to work on. I recently found a new natural soap shop in my area so I have been washing and using a serum twice daily and I have had many compliments on my skin. Not sure if it is the products or just the fact that I am doing it that is making the difference. I of course gave credit to the products. Also spending ” time” with my children is something I need to work on more. My daughter is graduating high school this year and I can really feel the time slipping away. I have always wanted to write and often come up with book ideas in my head but this year I bought a notebook and started jotting those ideas down, who knows where that will lead.

    • Dawn says:

      Oh I can relate!! I blogged in the shower for years before I ever did it for real! I still blog in the shower, but now I try to write it down as soon as I get out!
      I am right now just using Dove soap, so nothing fancy, but my skin looks so much better!
      I like using better stuff, but I am using what my budget allows instead of deciding why bother if I can’t get the good stuff!

    • Em says:

      I think I am type A in some areas and type B in others.
      I love to have lists and routines, etc but want them to be casual. I want the flexibility of not having a routine, but without one, I feel like nothing gets done. I like meal planning but it has to be 7 meals that we eat on whatever night they fall. I have an OCD about how organized my fridge and cupboards are, but have a pile of clothes on the side of my bed almost all the time. I can multi-task in certain areas and others not at all.
      so maybe I am AB 🙂

      My goals for this year:

      Lose 51 pounds: more water, veggies, and walking.

      Be more present with my husband and children: read at bedtime, listen and hear what he has to say; be with them all one on one once in a while.

      Clean out some clutter from my life: organize some spaces to be able to spend less time cleaning and organizing.

      Read my 365 day Bible…most of the time many days get read in one sitting to catch up.

  • Shelly says:

    When I read this post I thought she could be writing for me. I too get all these ideas swirling around in my head at night but then by the next day they get pushed out with all the have to do things. I will start writing everyday, so these great ideas are not lost.

    I am also one who has a hard time washing and moisturizing my face each day. For a while I had the wash in the shower and by using the oil cleansing method I was able to do both at the same time but I haven’t made up any new cleanser which is really easy to do. I know it will only take a few minutes to make a new batch so I am going to add it to my list today.

  • Ugh, I need to be washing my face every day! Sad thing is that I have horrible skin and so you think I would be motivated to wash my face before going to bed…but I am just so lazy!! I exfoliate and wash in the shower at least. haha

    • My skin was horrible too. It wasn’t until May of 2011, when I went for a makeover at a department store counter, that I started taking care of my skin. I did great for a while, then fell off the wagon again. Thank goodness for new starts!!

  • Thank you! I chuckled when I read the post title, as I’m totally Type B and understand! 🙂

  • AMY says:

    Love this refreshing…

  • whitney says:

    what a breath of fresh air! While I love Crystal and her advice, she is waaay to organized and sometimes not realistic for me. I love to see the other side and know I’m not the only one out there who isn’t crazy organized and has it all together. Thanks for the great post.

  • Amanda C says:

    Great post, Dawn. It made me happy. . . esp the part about scrounging around at 5 pm wondering what’s for dinner. So can relate — except, I don’t have 10 kids, yet!

  • Becca B. says:

    Last year my one goal I made for myself was to floss daily. I didn’t quite make it, but I’m definitely doing a better job with it. I decided I hated the dentist, but I would hate it even more if I had to have major work done, so I needed to start to floss. I totally “get” having small goals. They can sometimes have a big impact in the long run.

    • Yes!! I would love to have at least one of my books done and published in 3 years, so I need to write right now! The small decisions we make every day quickly add up. They either add up to a negative or a positive. This year, I am going for the positive!!

  • Katherine says:

    I love the simpleness of your goals.

  • jennie says:

    Hurray for a blog post from type B!!! 🙂

    After diligently blog-reading and trying to implement plans/goals/menus and whatever, I had decided that I must be a mega failure or have a screw lose somewhere cos apparently everyone is able to follow these instuctions and implement them in some form.
    But me ? NO.

    But this – Wash and moisturize my face every morning and night –> Absolutely going to steal and implement that!! Not at all ridiculous!!

    • Jennie,
      I love you!! Your comment made me laugh right out loud!!
      And I think my husband would concur on the “screw loose” thing. Pretty sure I have a couple loose though.
      And I, too, was so tired of feeling like that mega failure you speak of. I always wondered, “Why can’t I be disciplined? Everybody else is!!” So relieved to know there are others out there like me!!

    • Lynn says:

      Jennie, You are definitely NOT a failure! Not all of us were created to be type A list makers. You were created to be YOU, not someone else….celebrate that! 🙂

      • Crystal says:

        I so agree! Start where you are, do what you can do, and celebrate your uniqueness.

        While I try to share things here that I hope will be inspirational and motivational for many people, what works for me or others, won’t necessarily work for YOU. Do what works for you.

        The most important thing is that you’re moving in the right direction, not that you’re taking the same road or same vehicle as someone else. 🙂

    • jennie says:

      Thank you Dawn, Lynn and Crystal for your words of encouragement!

      I am going to start with one goal (mentioned above) and then when I have habit of it, i’ll start another one.

      I think the same principle of Crystal/Ramsey’s credit card debt reduction principle works here – choose the one that shows the quickest results, that will motivate to get another goal and then yet another goal and so on.

      Since the wash-moisturize shows really quick results, its a good goal to start with for a type B perfectionist personality like mine!!

      Thanks again ladies.

  • Lor says:

    I can so relate. I made tons of goals for 2012 and those fizzled out about May. Even though I didn’t accomplish all my goals I still tried many more new things and was more purposeful with my time with my family overall. I love the idea of fewer goals so maybe I will try that. I truly thought I had to have lots of goals but you gave me a great idea of fewer and more manageable goals that really fit me. Now to pray about it and see what God reveals!

  • Courtney says:

    Good job, Dawn! I love these goals, because it reminds me that sometimes I set expectations for myself too high and then get frustrated when I don’t meet them. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s the type A in me. I need to remember to do the basics (especially what God wants from me) and to let the rest go.

    • You know, I am an only child, so I technically should be Type A. However, I only got the perfectionist part of the only child personality. Type B mixed with perfectionism is a deadly mix. I’m relaxed, and since nothing can be perfect, I often just don’t bother.
      That is what I am trying to change this year.
      Trying to be more intentional in a few things, rather than deciding, “Oh what the heck, let’s scrap it all.” LOL!
      And yes, on learning to lower my totally unrealistic expectations.

    • Lynn says:

      Courtney, I think you’ve got it exactly right when you say “especially what God wants from me”. Sometimes I think we look at all everyone does and think that we need to do the same in order to “measure up”. There is nothing wrong with setting goals, but I think it is important to make sure the goals we set are the ones God wants US to be working on. 🙂

    • Courtney,
      I am an only child, so many would think I am a super Type A. But I am a Type B, with all the perfectionist tendencies of an only. That is a bad mix!
      If something can’t be perfect, I will often just scrap the whole thing! I, too, have had to greatly lower my unrealistic expectations of myself…and others.
      BTW- My youngest daughter’s name is Courtney!

  • Melissa says:

    I must be largely a “type B” personality as well. I tend to be overwhelmed with too many details and goals and majorly stress out when there is too much on a list.

    My energy is low and duties many in addition. My goals for this year are:

    1. Read through the entire Bible
    2. Plan and institute a time in the schedule to spend one on one alone time with each older child twice a month.
    3. Read 12 books.
    4. Write notes to my grandpas and other lonely people once a month.

  • Monica says:

    Hi Friend! 🙂

    I love what the first comment below says from Jamie R – yes, that these are things you are not doing because of others expectations but because they are right for YOU!

    Another thing we now share in common, posts here at MSM! 🙂

  • Fantastic, Dawn! I love this post. Start where you are and go from there. Better to have a few goals that you accomplish than many tossed by the wayside. Thanks for the reminder to moisturize. My almost-40-year-old face needs some more attention. Blessings!

    • Dawn says:

      Well your profile pic is gorgeous, so I think you’re doing okay!
      Thank you for the encouragement!

      • Thanks, Dawn. One of my goals last year was to drink 8 glasses of water each day. By December, I had worked up to 4 glasses. Glad for the improvement, I made this goal more of a priority, and I have consumed 64 oz. of water each day in January. The water really helps, but my rough patch will need that moisturizer. 🙂

        Loved your post! Thanks for sharing.

  • Well I don’t make goals at all yet, unless New Year’s resolutions count. So you have inspired me, yes! And I recently determined that not only do I need to set goals but I also need to identify potential road blocks, set out timelines, etc!

    • Dawn says:

      Identifying road blocks…my husband helped me with this. He asked when and how I would make these things happen, which helped me think through whether they were realistic or not.

  • Beth Anne says:

    Hey Dawn, I LOVE your goals! Simple and achievable, yet many of them are so important and will have lasting results. Especially spending time with your children.

    Your approach to goal-setting is pretty similar to what we talk about in our book – Time Management Mama. And… once several of these have become a true habit, you can move on to other things.

    Or not… you can be a happy Type B person who’s doing what matters most 🙂

    You got this, Dawn!

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