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Tag Archive: Goal-Setting

4 Lessons I Learned From Goal-Setting “Failure” in 2013

benefits of setting goals on blackboard

2013 wasn’t a banner goal-setting year for me. I did manage to cross 13 goals off my list of 25 goals, but I spent the last half of the year feeling frustrated that I wasn’t making more progress in the goal-setting department.

As a person who thrives on productivity, feeling like you’re not making headway can be really discouraging. However, I’m trying to practice what I preach when it comes to giving myself grace, so I refused to beat myself up over the lack of progress.

Instead, stepped back and evaluated what needed to be changed for the coming year. After some thought and discussion with Jesse, I came up with four things that hampered my goal-setting success in 2013:

1. I need to set fewer goals.

I bit off more than I could chew last year in setting 25 goals. I got excited and pumped up when I was doing my goal-setting and didn’t think truly realistically — even though I really tried to.

This, in turn, set me up for failure in some of my goals. The goals themselves weren’t bad, there were just too many of them.

This year, I’m only setting 12 goals. When I look at my goals list, it feels so much more manageable!

2. I need to make my goals more specific and actionable.

Last year, I made the mistake of putting some goals on my list that weren’t specific enough or actionable enough. For instance, one of my goals was: “Wake up by 6 a.m. and exercise, shower, and dress by 8 a.m. every day.”

While this was somewhat specific, it was sort of one of those goals that was just “out there” — with no concrete ending. If I had said something like: “Wake up by 6 a.m. and exercise, shower, and dress by 8 a.m. every day for 21 days” that would have been much more doable, specific, and actionable.

This year, I tried to have every single goal on my list have a specific time frame or number assigned to it. For instance, instead of saying, “Write more content pieces for my blog” I said, Write 150 content pieces for the blog.”

This goal has a very specific action point attached to it enabling me to track exactly how I’m doing. Plus, this allows me to break it down into bite-sized pieces (i.e. I’m shooting to write at least 3 content pieces on my blog every week. If I do this, I’ll easily hit the 150 mark by the end of the year.)

mistakes

3. I need to account more for the expected.

In January of 2013, I knew I was writing a book and doing more speaking/traveling, but I didn’t seem to account for that in my goal-setting. I forgot how much time and effort book-writing and editing and marketing requires and didn’t allow time for that when considering goals.

In 2014, I’m thinking very carefully about what I already know my life is probably going to look like. There will be a lot of book marketing stuff happening in early 2014, I have a full spring travel/speaking schedule, we have a BIG thing happening as a family in April which is going to require time and transition (more on that sometime soon), and we have plans to produce a few more products in 2014.

Plus, then there’s just the daily life stuff of homeschooling and activities for our children, nurturing our marriage, being intentional in my friendships, and other ministry opportunities. So, knowing all of this, I am being much more careful about what goals I’m setting realizing that my plate is already pretty full.

4. I need to account more for the unexpected.

This was my biggest downfall in 2013.

There were some wonderfully unexpected things that happened — namely, the business exploded (our traffic/unique visitors doubled in 2013!). As a result, we had to change a lot of our processes, switch to a new hosting company, and bring on new team members to take over many of my previous responsibilities of running and managing the business so that I could focus on what I do best.

This was all very exciting, but it also meant that there was a 3-4 month period where I spent every spare moment I had available answering questions from new team members, having business meetings and conferences calls, brainstorming new processes, training new team members, and tweaking and experimenting with the new processes. Needless to say, this meant that a lot of other things had to be put on hold in the mean time while we made this transition.

The growing pains were hard, but so very worth it! And I am very grateful for the amazing MoneySavingMom.com team! Each person on the team is incredible and they’ve willingly taken over so many behind-the-scenes details so that I can now focus most all of my business and blogging time on writing, brainstorming, overseeing, and speaking — the things I love most!

In an effort to prepare for the unexpected in 2014, I’m leaving some breathing room in the goals I set. And it feels so good to know that while my goals are going to stretch and push me, they hopefully won’t overwhelm me when curve balls are thrown my way.

Want to learn more from my goal-setting failures and successes? Be sure to pre-order a copy of my brand-new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, where I share about the lessons I’ve learned when it comes to goal-setting. If you’re longing to live a more fulfilled and purposeful life, I think you’ll be blessed, encouraged, and inspired by it. Get your copy here.

My 25 Goals for 2013

As I mentioned in my 2012 Goals Final Tally post, I’m trying to be much more specific and simplistic in my goals this year. I not only want to keep in mind what is realistic, but also make sure that all of my goals are clearly measurable.

If you’re brand-new to goal-setting, be sure to read my post on How to Change Your Life By Setting Goals.

Here’s my list of 25 Goals for 2013:

Personal Goals

Read through the Bible in a year using this plan.
Run in at least one 5K race.
Complete the Couch to 10K program.
Memorize Romans 1 and 2 with Jesse.
Wake up by 6 a.m. and exercise, shower, and dress by 8 a.m. every day. (I’ll explain more about this goal tomorrow when I share about my one word focus for 2013.)
Read 150 books/ebooks (see my list of 48 books I’m for sure planning to read here; the other 102 or so books will be ones that I discover throughout the year and want to read.)

Marriage Goals

Read 3 marriage books (I’m not sure which ones yet. Any recommendations?).
Finish reading through the Psalms together as a couple.
Have overnight stay (sans children) at least every other month.
Go on at least one date per month.

Mothering Goals

Continue Grace and Truth memory book.
Ice-skating lessons for all three children during the first quarter of 2013.
Swimming lessons for all three children during the summer.
Finish at least 37 read-aloud books (see my planned list here, along with details on how we incorporate a lot of read aloud time into our everyday lives).

Ministry/Friendships/Extended Family Goals

Begin weekly accountability meetings with my friend Jerica.
Get together with friends for a playdate or lunch at least once a month.
Continue being involved in our local church, couple’s group, and blogging accountability group.
Continue with weekly get-togethers with both sides of our extended family.

Financial Goals

Use a portion of the proceeds from my next book project to fund a well project.
Fund our Child Survival Program for 2013.
Buy a new bedroom set.
Invest in another rental property.

Business/Blogging Goals

Release two new ebooks.
Attend one speaking conference.
Finish and submit the manuscript for my next book.

photo credit

Have you set goals for 2013? If so, tell us what they are or leave a link to your blog post below.

At the end of each month in 2013, I’ll be posting an update on my goals and encouraging you to share the progress you’re making on your 2013 goals, too. Let’s encourage one another to live lives of intention and purpose!


2012 Goals: February’s Update

In early January, I shared about my Goals for 2012 and promised an update at the end of each month. So here’s February’s update:

Personal
Read through the Bible in a year. {I’ve been keeping up with this faithfully}
Read through the 24 books on my 2012 booklist. {I’ve almost finished my February books plus read quite a few other books!}
Listen to 12 audiobooks. {Finished February’s audiobook.}
Run in at least one 5K race. {Almost finished with week 6 of the Couch to 5K program.}
Complete the Couch to 10K program.
Tackle 12 Do-It-Yourself Projects. {I’m making homemade Naan this week–hopefully!}
Focus on one habit per month. {I made early bedtimes a big priority in February and got so much more sleep this month. Still working on consistently getting up at the same time each day.}
Learn to use my new DSLR camera (huge surprise Christmas present from Jesse!!) & improve my photography skills.
Take at least one photo a day and put together a page every week for my Project Life album. {I almost have all of February done.}
Memorize Colossians using the plan and free download here. {I’m almost caught up with this.}

Marriage
Go on the Love Like You Mean It Cruise. {Done–read my recap here.}
Go on two Marriage Retreats (overnight trips sans children for planning, talking, goal accountability).
Have monthly date nights. {We had one date in February plus the cruise.}
Read four books together. {We’ve read a few more pages of one book together so I guess that counts for something!}
Read at least 3 books on marriage. {Almost finished with Rekindling the Romance–loving it!}

Children/Homeschooling
Continue regular dates/outings with each of the children individually. {I didn’t do so great at this with the cruise and us being sick this month. I’ll try again in March!}
Continue Grace and Truth memory book. {The children memorized four more verses plus two verses to a hymn this month.}
Ice-skating lessons for all three children. {The children just finished their first round of classes and we decided to go on to the next round because they all enjoyed them so much!}
Swimming lessons for all three children.
Finish second grade, begin third grade with Kathrynne. {Plugging away at this!}
Finish kindergarten, begin first grade with Kaitlynn. {Plugging away at this}
Start preschool with Silas.
Go on at least one field trip every month. {We didn’t get to go on a field trip because of the cruise and sickness.}
Go on at least one family vacation.
Finish at least 15 read-aloud books. {We’ve almost finished five read-alouds so far this year.}

Ministry/Friendships/Extended Family
Write at least two handwritten notes every month to encourage someone. {I wrote & mailed three handwritten notes this month.}
Continue being involved in our local church, homeschool group, young couple’s group, and blogging accountability group. {Ongoing}
Continue with weekly get-togethers with both sides of our extended family. {Ongoing}

Business/Blogging
Continue to take Sundays off from blogging/business work. {Ongoing}
Continue keeping strict Office Hours for the business/blogging time each day. {Working on this–making a tiny bit of progress!}
Switch to a paperless planning system. {This is going well for me, though I’ve decided I’m probably never going to be 100% paperless for all things.}
Follow my weekly blogging plan. {I didn’t do this perfectly in February, but I adhered to it somewhat.}
Plan blog posts out at least a month in advance. {Not quite there, but I’m at least being much more intentional with my blogging this year than I’ve ever been before!}
Write and schedule blog posts at least a week in advance. {Making some headway with this, though I’m far from where I want to be!}

Financial
Continue to tithe 10% of our income. {Ongoing}
Give generously to needs in our community and around the world, as God prompts us. {Ongoing}
Pay cash for a new-to-us vehicle to replace our family’s van. {We were able to finish funding our vehicle fund this month. Now we’re starting to look at vehicles and hoping to find something in the next few months. We’ll see!}
Finish saving for and purchase a rental property with cash. {We were able to set aside some for this in February.}

How Are You Doing on Your Goals for 2012?

If you’ve posted goals for 2012, I’d love for you to post an update on how things are going and share your link in the comments. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to just leave your update as a comment. Let’s encourage one another to live lives of intention and purpose!

Achieving My Audacious Goal: My First Novel

Guest post by MK Jorgenson, author of Regardless

I have a distinct memory from when I was five. There are no images or places or events attached to it, but the memory is strong: it was the moment I decided that I would write a book someday.

The planted seed of that dream remained buried during my growing-up years, building deep roots as I wrote essays and stories for classes and poetry in my spare time. My dream lay dormant during the busy days of college, the blur of getting married, moving to a new state, setting up a home, and welcoming our first precious baby.

Then it crept up on me, a tiny bud pushing through the soil of my new life, whispering that it was now or never: “The baby naps so well, you have an encouraging husband, you have a plot…”

It’s been nearly a year in the making, but it’s finished! Though the process was sweet and life-changing, there were some very practical steps that made this possible:

  • I created stakes. November is National Novel Writing Month, in which aspiring authors can sign up, post their daily word count, and “win” a certificate if they write 50,000 words during November. The website has forums where writers can connect locally and by genre. Going after a prize (even one as silly as a print-yourself certificate) helped spur me on to “win”.
  • I set daily goals. Crystal talks often about breaking big goals into smaller ones, which I found crucial during NaNoWriMo. To reach the 50,000 word count goal, I had to write 1,667 words a day—more than that to avoid writing on Sundays.  Knowing I had to hit that number within my writing time helped a lot.
  • I made the time. Not everybody’s in the place to write a novel; I was fortunate to have a newborn who napped very well and at predictable times, so I knew when I could work. Now, she is fourteen months old but still takes one big nap, so I can still write every day.
  • I made myself accountable. Every day when I finished writing, I posted my word count on Facebook. People were very supportive, which only spurred me on all the more.
  • I gave myself grace. 50,000 words does not a novel make; after the NaNoWriMo challenge was over, there was still more work to be done. Then there was editing, formatting, and artwork. Plus there was a grad student husband who needed encouraging, a baby girl who needed loving, and a house that needed cleaning. If I had kept up my NaNo pace, I would have published six months ago, but I am truly loving the balance I’ve struck between my “work” (which is my passion) and my “job” as mother and wife (which is my greater passion).

So a seedling dream becomes a reality, and now that I’m pre-writing my next novel, it might become an entire orchard.

MK Jorgenson is a first-time author, wife, mother, and Jesus follower. When she’s not frantically typing during naptime, she loves walks to the park and reading story after story with her daughter. Her debut novel, Regardless (inspired by events in the book of Acts), is available on Kindle, Nook, and in paperback through Amazon. She can also be found blogging at mkjorgenson.blogspot.com.

Photo Credit

January’s Update: Goals for 2012

In early January, I shared about my Goals for 2012 and promised an update at the end of the month. I was so encouraged in going through this list to realize the progress I’d made on my goals, even though it was a whirlwind month with lots of new things and new challenges with my husband’s business and my book launch.

It’s amazing how mapping out a plan and then being intentional to chip away at it bit by bit can really start to add up to some significant progress! Here’s my goal list with updates in brackets next to each goal item that I/we made some progress on:

Personal
Read through the Bible in a year. {I’ve finished all the reading up to today–yay!}
Read through the 24 books on my 2012 booklist. {Finished both books on my January list + 1 on my February list!}
Listen to 12 audiobooks. {Working on finishing listening to January’s audiobook.}
Run in at least one 5K race. {Almost finished with week 3 of Couch to 5K program.}
Complete the Couch to 10K program.
Tackle 12 Do-It-Yourself Projects. {I made Homemade Detangler this week.}
Focus on one habit per month. {Making some headway on January’s goal. Not as much as I’d hoped, but I’m trying at least!}
Learn to use my new DSLR camera (huge surprise Christmas present from Jesse!!) & improve my photography skills.
Take at least one photo a day and put together a page every week for my Project Life album. {I almost have the first 3 weeks of January done.}
Memorize Colossians using the plan and free download here. {I’ve almost memorized the first four verses, so I’m a little behind, but I’m hoping to catch up in the next two weeks.}

Marriage
Go on the Love Like You Mean It Cruise.
Go on two Marriage Retreats (overnight trips sans children for planning, talking, goal accountability).
Have monthly date nights. {We’ve had 3 dates in January so far!}
Read four books together. {We’ve read a few pages of one book together so I guess that counts for something!}
Read at least 3 books on marriage.

Children/Homeschooling
Continue regular dates/outings with each of the children individually. {I took each of the children on individual dates in January.}
Continue Grace and Truth memory book. {The children have memorized five verses plus two verses of one hymn this month.}
Ice-skating lessons for all three children. {Started these two weeks ago.}
Swimming lessons for all three children.
Finish second grade, begin third grade with Kathrynne. {Plugging away at this!}
Finish kindergarten, begin first grade with Kaitlynn. {Plugging away at this}
Start preschool with Silas.
Go on at least one field trip every month. {We went on one field trip this month.}
Go on at least one family vacation.
Finish at least 15 read-aloud books. {We’ve almost finished two read-aloud books in January.}

Ministry/Friendships/Extended Family
Write at least two handwritten notes every month to encourage someone. {I wrote & mailed three handwritten notes this month.}
Continue being involved in our local church, homeschool group, young couple’s group, and blogging accountability group. {Ongoing}
Continue with weekly get-togethers with both sides of our extended family. {Ongoing}

Business/Blogging
Continue to take Sundays off from blogging/business work. {Ongoing}
Continue keeping strict Office Hours for the business/blogging time each day. {Working on this–making a tiny bit of progress!}
Switch to a paperless planning system. {This is going well for me, though I’ve decided I’m probably never going to be 100% paperless for all things.}
Follow my weekly blogging plan. {I didn’t do this perfectly in January, but I adhered to it pretty closely.}
Plan blog posts out at least a month in advance. {Not quite there, but I’m at least being much more intentional with my blogging this year than I’ve ever been before!}
Write and schedule blog posts at least a week in advance. {Making some headway with this, though I’m far from where I want to be!}

Financial
Continue to tithe 10% of our income. {Ongoing}
Give generously to needs in our community and around the world, as God prompts us. {Ongoing}
Pay cash for a new-to-us vehicle to replace our family’s van. {We were able to set aside a good amount toward this goal this month. Our van continues to have a number of issues, so I’m happy we decided to have this goal this year–instead of waiting a few more years.}
Finish saving for and purchase a rental property with cash. {We were able to set aside some for this in January.}

How Are You Doing on Your Goals for 2012?

If you’ve posted goals for 2012, I’d love for you to post an update on how things are going and share your link in the comments (Mr. Linky is refusing to let me add the HTML to this post for some reason!). Let’s encourage one another to live lives of intention and purpose!

Doing Something is Always Better Than Doing Nothing

It’s so easy when you start considering goal-setting to become overwhelmed by all the areas in your life you feel are in desperate need of change.

From improving as a wife and mom, to starting a business or blog, to writing a book, to learning a new skill, to starting a new ministry or being involved in one that’s already existing, to eating more healthfully, to learning to cook from scratch, to cutting your grocery bill, to experimenting with do-it-yourself ideas, to remodeling part of the house or redecorating a room, to getting in shape, to being more involved in your church or community… and on and on the list goes.

We women have so many responsibilities on our plates and we have dreams, ideas, and all sorts of things we’d love to do if we could ever find an extra ten hours in our day. But the reality is that those extra ten hours probably aren’t going to be falling from the sky any time in the near future. So we must work with what we have–and do the best we can with that.

Recognize Your Limitations.

We’re all in different seasons and stages of life. We all have different challenges and struggles. Therefore, it’s imperative that each of us recognizes our own limitations.

Think about your own unique challenges. Some of you are in school full-time. Some of you work full-time. Some of you have lots of little children. Some of you have a brand-new baby (or twins!). Some of you have health issues. Some of you are caring for elderly parents or grandparents. Some of you are in the middle of moving cross country. Some of you are dealing with a death of someone you love. Some of you are pregnant or in the middle of adopting. Some of you have children with special needs. Some of you are going through heart-breaking circumstances that many of us can’t even begin to imagine.

No matter your age or stage of life, you have your own set of difficulties and things to juggle. If it’s not something you can change, accept it realizing that what you’re able to accomplish will not be what someone else who is in a different season of life is able to accomplish. And that’s perfectly okay!

Focus on What Matters Most

If you only have a small amount of time to devote to goal-setting, you’ll want to maximize upon it by making sure you’re focusing on the most important things. Here’s what I’d suggest doing:

  • Jot Down Ideas. Over the course of the next 3-5 days, just start jotting down every goal idea that pops into your head that you’d really like to tackle soon. If you’re anything like me, your list will probably be long. Don’t be overwhelmed! You’re just brainstorming to help you narrow down and prioritize your goals list.
  • Prioritize Your List. After you have a nice long list, go over it carefully and thoughtfully considering which items on the list are really going to make a specific and near-immediate impact upon your everyday life. Learning to make woven baskets might be fun goal to pursue at some time, but it probably isn’t going to have a direct impact upon your everyday life like exercising, going to bed early, or menu-planning will.
  • Pare Down Your List. After you’ve prioritized the list, pare that list down to the top two or three. If this is a struggle for you, step back and try to think of how each goal will directly affect your life. Thinking things through to the direct effects over the course of the next few months usually is all it takes for me to prioritize and decide upon the most important priorities. However, if you’re struggling with this exercise, I’d suggest asking your husband or a good friend to help you.
  • Make a Specific Plan. Once you have this list of 2-3, think how you will fit these goals into your everyday life. You have to make a specific plan for how it will happen, or it likely will just be a good idea that never gets off the ground. If you want to read 12 books this year, you need to read 1/4 of a book each week–or about 5-10 pages per day, depending upon how long the books are that you read.
  • Be Realistic! It’s imperative that you think long and hard about what you can realistically commit to. You’re better off sticking with one goal that only takes 15 minutes a week and actually following through with it, than trying to do five goals you don’t have time for and then not following through at all.

Commit to Do What You Can Do.

No matter your limitations, adopt Teddy Roosevelt’s motto: “Do what you can with what you’ve got where you are.”

All we can do is all we can do. Spending time wishing we were in someone else’s shoes doesn’t change or improve our situation. If you’re in a really busy season of life, you may only be able to devote an extra 10 minutes five times per week to tackling your goals. Don’t be discouraged.

Do what you can do and don’t worry about what you can’t do! Doing something is always better than doing nothing.

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