It’s January 1st, which means everyone is making resolutions, picking their One Word and setting goals for the New Year. I just spent 7 hours driving from Crowley, LA to Dallas, TX so I’m too tired to even think about my goals for 2018. Instead, I am sitting on the couch eating pizza, watching college bowl games with my husband and catching up on pug kisses after being gone for the weekend.
If you have already made resolutions, set goals for the New Year or settled on your One Word, that’s amazing. Please share them with me in the comments below. However if you haven’t even taken down your Christmas lights, I suggest you give yourself some grace. Start by putting down the Christmas cookies and changing out of your pajamas into some real clothes. Then head to the nearest coffee shop, find a quiet spot in the corner and start thinking about the year ahead.
How to Set Goals for the New Year
- First, write down all your goals for the year. No filter needed, just sit down and write a list of things you want to accomplish. It can be big and scary, but the process of writing it down is important. You can prioritize and make action plans later. Remember that 2018 has 12 months, so you don’t need to accomplish everything at once. Instead of setting goals for the entire year, which can be overwhelming, take it one month at a time
- Once you have ideas on paper, the next step is to group them according to the themes you start to see emerging. You will have your own but my themes are often running, writing, travel, family, healthy living and home life. My running theme includes: run the Zooma women’s half marathon in march, train for that half marathon, sign up for local races with my neighbors, and write a blog series about running. Look for themes from the ideas on your list so you can group them together. This helps when it comes time for the next steps.
- Set specific, measurable goals and create action plans. As I mentioned before, 2018 has 12 months. Instead of trying to tackle all your goals in January, pick ONE (two at the most) big goal each month and create an action plan to accomplish that goal. One month at a time. Of course you can include several smaller goals too. But don’t, for example, try to train for a marathon and start writing a novel in the same month. Also, you don’t have to plan each month out in advance right now. Just pick the ONE biggest thing on your list, something that excites you, or maybe the most pressing item and focus on it in January. After you pick your ONE thing for January, set a specific measurable goal around this idea and create an action plan. Then in February and the 10 months after that, do it all again.
It is hard to hold back from setting several big goals, but I know that setting ONE big goal each month is more achievable. I still need to sit down and finish my list of ideas about what I want to accomplish in 2018. Most of them have to do with writing, running, and traveling. Once I set my monthly goals, I will be sharing them on the blog for accountability.
Getting back to healthy habits is also a big goal but I know from experience that adding in 3 days of week of running and changing my diet at the same time will lead to fatigue, stress and failure. So while I do plan to make healthier choices in January, I’m not going to focus on a major change to my eating habits this month. Instead, it makes more sense to make major changes after Spring Break, once I wind down my half marathon training.
Speaking of Spring Break, I can finally share a secret that I’ve wanted to share for over a month. I am taking my daughter, Sophia, to Paris in March! This is a huge bucket list travel item for us together. Although I’ve been to Paris twice, my daughter has been asking to go for almost 3 years. This means my February goals will include travel planning and learning conversational French. As my busy work season comes to an end in March, I plan to make some goals and action plans for my writing. Maybe search for some freelance work, magazine articles, or writing contests.How to set goals for the New Year (it's easier than you think)! Click To Tweet
My ONE thing – January
For example, my goal is to cross the finish line at the Zooma women’s half marathon in March. However, I know I can’t accomplish that goal without a training plan. So my ONE thing for January is to start training for my half marathon. This was actually a November goal and I did start training the week after Thanksgiving. Then work got busy, I got sick, spent my lunch breaks Christmas shopping, it was too cold… I could go on and on with the excuses but the truth is, I did not run in December.
My Action Plan – January
Since I don’t want to race a half marathon in March without any training, I need to get back on track with running. My action plan for January is to run 3-4 miles every Tuesday & Thursday, with longer runs (5-8 miles) on the weekends. In February, I won’t stop training but running will have already become a part of my routine and I will be able to move on to the next item on my list. I’ve also signed up for TWO races with my neighbors this month, I am running the Bold in the Cold (signed up for the 15K but need to drop down to the 5K) and the Too Cold to Hold 10K.
Do one thing every day that scares you. – Eleanor Roosevelt
Okay, it’s your turn. Once you have your ONE thing for January, share it with me in the comments!