I am pretty obsessed with goal setting.
I know a lot of people who make fun of New Years resolution. It’s become the running joke to fail. Frequently hearing people boast in February or in March well there goes that New Year’s resolution. I’ve even seen on my Facebook people complain because the gym is so packed in January wishing for all the newbies to fail. Stuff like I want to lose weight or I want to exercise more will fill our Facebook feeds in January.
Some people do try admirable resolutions like I want to be a better person or I want to spend more time with my kids. But then what happens? how many months go by? how many changes have been made?
If you listen to them they don’t sound too bad. Most people really are trying to improve. But how can you tell? how do you know you’ve reached that resolution ? Most of the times you don’t and it’s because you never really made a plan.
I don’t remember when it started exactly my goal setting…. Scratch that! I know exactly when it started. It started when I was in college and I was expecting. I had so many things on my plate to balance; classes , extracurricular stuff and now going to the doctor and not missing any appointments. I had to learn to manage my time much more carefully. This led me to creating quarterly goals.
Every quarter for each school term I would make goals. Goals about my classes, goals about my activities, goals about my personal life. I was scared I was going to get stuck, I worried I was going to fail, so I worked to be proactive.
The habit stuck and Now I make them yearly.
The differences? They aren’t resolutions, they aren’t wishful thinking. They are what are called SMART goals. They are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely or Time constrained.
Making SMART goals is a great way to set a solid foundation for succeeding but that’s not enough. Another key factor is Visibility.
To be successful with my goals I’ve learned that I have to print them out, make them visible. Lately that has usually meant attaching them to my planner. So that I can see them everyday and measure where I stand and what I need to work on. However this year I’m going to up it a notch. You know what they say making it public helps with motivation and keeping you accountable.
So this year I’m pleased to publish my 2015 goals.
So why are these goals? Lets go into each a bit in more detail.
Currently I don’t follow any religion, but if I am then I like to make an educated decision. Instead of following a religion just because that is what I was taught I’d rather do some research. Not the research were you ask someone who let say practices Christianity about Buddhism.( Not that Buddhism technically is a religion) No instead I’d like to ask the people who practice that religion about that religion. So it is a goal of mine to educate myself by attending different religious services. I’ll let you know how I do. This has been a repeat goal because if I have a chance this is the one that get put in the back burner.
I use to be a runner. Nuf said. okay okay, I just generally use to be more active. I was never really concerned with baby weight staying on (if you recall my daughter turned one this year) but now that I’ve stopped nursing I am seeing the mid section going down hill. My goal ( which I just realized is missing) is to put on 10-15 lbs of muscle weight. My definition is almost non existent and I want to remedy that. Mr. Roamer also doesn’t participate in college sports now a days so I’ve included doing exercise together.
For me language has always been interesting. I come from a bilingual background and its something I really want my kids to learn. To me language helps you connect and in my future travels I want to be immersed in the locations culture. But you can only get so far when you don’t speak the language.
So its relevant as preparation for my future travels.
I also feel language is an art. So instead of painting this is my creative pursuit.
One of the main reasons that I am so taken with FI is because of how conflicting work is for nurturing the relationships I value most. However, if I plan correctly I don’t have to wait until FI to help strengthen them. This section really focuses on carving out some one on one time for all my special people. My time is allotted in the following order
and I rarely get past number 2.
In this we just keep the momentum. Building on this years success. We will continue to take advantage of our Tax advantage accounts through our 401k and all the rest will be saved in an online account with a better interest rate, saving until we are ready to take the home mortgage dive.
This is a new section. This community has been fun and I want to keep growing and learning. I know that means being a more active writer. It also means getting out there. This weekend I am going to have a chance to meet jlcollinsnh who’s work I recommend here.
FinCon is also on the hit list this year. I am sure it will be fun and informative and I plan to attend that as well.
Work has been a pain and I’ve resolved to quit many times. Guess I’m scared to make the jump. So I changed my tune a bit and will instead focus on making some changes so that I am happier during my working time until I build up the courage to quit. This will include scouting out some new options and getting better compensation so that I can build my F U money to the point of courage creation.
If you glimpse my goals you’ll see that most follow the SMART goal format. They are I was detailed in exactly what I want to accomplish and by when. They are specific enough and measurable that I can see if I’m on track.
Are you making Goals
I hope you take the time to make some goals for yourself. The New Year is a nice time because of new beginnings. But really you can make them anytime during the year. Like I said before I used to have to make them 4 times a year because of my schooling schedule.
Some quick tips for setting goals.
Really importantly is setting baselines. This just means documenting the current state. Easy example of this are those before pictures you see in weight loss testimonials. So take a picture of your current state for any goals you want to identify because then you can better pin point your goal.
Then head over to Dividend Mantra for his explanation on how to make SMART goals.
Also check out Good Financial Cent’s post. I’ve been making yearly goals for the last 5 years but this article really made me remember the importance of setting quarterly goals (like I use to do) but also the longer where do you see yourself in 5 years kind of goals.
So gather your thoughts and set some goals. I am looking forward to hearing from you about them below in the comments
And seeing them pop up on bloggers sites everywhere.
* You will also find some of my 2015 goals added to my Goal page .