Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Why & How Behind My Goals for 2019 (+ Tips for you!)

My goals, my word of 2019, and how YOU can accomplish your goals THIS year!

It's that time of year again.

That time where we make promises to ourselves, buy a gym membership, and add inspiration quotes to our phone wallpapers. With the passing of each year, I have learned to hone my practices for creating goals and also following through with them. Now that I have a good idea of how the school semester limits my time and ability to focus on other things, it has helped me make better choices regarding what it is that I want to get done this year -- and also HOW these things will be getting done.

My inspiration for my goals and the approaches I'm taking to my goals comes mostly from Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project, as well as YouTube channels like Lavendaire and MuchelleB. Gretchen broke down her Happiness Project into monthly focused goals and I thought that I would try the same thing. Instead of trying to do meet all 12+ of my goals EVERY DAY, I'll try to reach 1 to 3 a month.

My goals for 2019 (in no particular order):

  1. Hang out with people more
  2. Figure out the role of social media in my life >> Post on IG once a week
  3. Get my Associate's >> Decide the next steps for my future (aka what happens after I graduate from my community college)
  4. Write 1 book >> Participate in Camp NaNo
  5. Travel to Japan somewhere beyond my own city
  6. Find and do things that I find fun
  7. Publish 1 blog post a week >> Participate in Blogtober (Publish a blog post every three days)
  8. Connect with people -- from the past, and forge new connections for the future
  9. Edit The Visionaries 2 and The Messy Months
  10. Read 26 books
  11. Work exercise into my routine
  12. Find a church
  13. Lower screen time to < 2hrs/day
Phew, that's a lot, isn't it? As you can see, I'm ambitious this year, aiming big for 2019.

My 2019 word: Explore

I chose this word because I want to explore who I am, the possibilities for my future, and the world around me.

How I plan to accomplish these goals:

1. Getting S.M.A.R.T.

I have talked about SMART goals for the past three years on pretty much every blog I have ever worked on. But it works and I haven't talked about it on here yet so I knew I should share.

What are S.M.A.R.T. goals?

  • Specific - who, what, where, why, how...
  • Measurable - you know what milestones are equal to progress and you can tell how far away you are from meeting your goal
  • Achievable - your goal is something you can complete. Something that doesn't rely on other people too much, but on your own abilities (see #5) and the time you've allowed yourself to complete the goal in.
  • Relevant - the goals you are aiming to achieve are helping you build toward a better and brighter future for yourself. Your aim with this goals align with what you want for yourself, where you see yourself going, and your career path.
  • Time-Bound - you know WHEN you want to complete this goal by.

What does a S.M.A.R.T. goal look like?
Read 26 books in 2019: Every 2 weeks I will read one book by December 31st, 2019. I am doing this because I want to grow my knowledge (non-fiction) as well as give myself some down time each day to escape the world (fiction).

How can I do this with my own goals?
Start out writing out whatever it is you want to achieve.

I want to hang out with people more.

Now go through this S.M.A.R.T. list and change your goal so that it's not so vague. Vague goals leader to unclear action steps which lead to disappointment 6 months when that goal still isn't complete. Sometimes the human brain can make us lazy, so we have to give ourselves the best shot at completing something important to us. That means taking the time to sit down and make sure you know WHO is involved, WHAT you will be doing, WHERE it needs to be done, WHEN it needs to be completed by, WHY you even want to do it in the first place, and HOW you are going to know you completed the goal (and also HOW you are going to complete it!).

2. Giving each month a specific focus

In the past, I've tried giving myself big goals that all needed to be completed by the end of the year. But the thing about that is, I procrastinate until the end of the year. So the goal doesn't get met. This usually happens with bigger things like finishing the edits of a book. With goals I can chunk out -- meaning I can give myself monthly or even weekly completion deadlines that build upon each other in order to achieve this goal -- I find those easier to manage and complete. Such as reading goals or publishing a blog post every week.*

So this year I am trying out giving each of my months a focus. This plays off of Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, in which each month she focused on doing something that made herself happier. I'm kinda doing the same thing.

There are my monthly focuses. Can you guess which goals align with which months? ;)
  • January: Exercise and nutrition
  • February: Church
  • March: Social connections
  • April: Social media
  • May: Future
  • June: Edit/Prep for NaNo
  • July: Camp Nano
  • August: Travel
  • September: Fun
  • October: Blogging
  • November: Read
  • December: People

* Though let's be real: those can be hard too. If you miss one week, it's hard to get back into the flow of things again...

3. Breaking down big goals into daily action steps

This has been the most important for me. Because I get so easily overwhelmed, I have to break things down into actions steps. Otherwise, when I'm super busy, I'll simply push the goal aside and focus on easier things, such as watching YouTube due to my brain being overloaded.

So after making my goals S.M.A.R.T. and giving myself 30 days to focus on them, I break down what I need to do over those 30 days in order to achieve the goal. You can do the same by looking at the end GOAL and working your way backward. What needs to be completed just before you accomplish the goal? What needs to be completed before that? And so on...

4. Building morning and evening routines

I watched a video by Hannah Ashton on creating morning and evening routines and I really loved how she breaks it down. She said when creating morning and evening routines, to ask yourself 2 things:

  • What do I want to accomplish? (Pick 3 to 5 tasks)
  • Why am I starting this morning/evening routine?

She also has a lot of great tips on how to actually implement these routines, so I highly recommend that you check her video out. :)

5. Striving for things I can control

In the past I used to make goals like "reach 1k followers on Instagram" by some random date. I would do the same with the number of email followers or views I got on my blog. And I would be so disappointed when I didn't reach my projected number.

But here's the thing about that: Those goals relied on other people.

If you put YOUR goal in the hands of someone else, you are relinquishing control over it. You are leaving a majority of your goal up to chance rather than to your own hard work or actions.

Instead of focusing on numbers or stats this year, I recommend focusing on producing quality content that attracts the right people. Be genuine. That's how to grow. As for anything else that may rely on someone else, remember to give those goals some leeway. Do what you can to meet the goal, gently remind the other party, and forgive if the situation happens to fall through.


Random note: If you're looking to up your blog views, use this simple formula from Coschedule...
Goal number of posts a month / Current number of views per post = # of blog posts needed a month to meet goal

What are your goals for 2019?

Where do you see yourself a year from now? How are you going to improve? What are you most looking forward to next year? Let me know in the comments below :)

3 Sweet Words:

  1. SO SO SO SO HELPFUL!! I’m planning on making a "Goals" post for my blog soon, and I have a horrible time making good, achievable goals, so I will definitely use this! Great post!

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  2. thanks rosie, these steps were so helpful! I recently watched a vlogbrothers video on youtube "how to make goals, not resoultions" and this kind of reminded me of that. have you seen it? argh, I STILL need to set goals for 2019... maybe one of them should be to get things done on time. anyway, I'll DEFINITELY use this. oh, and happy belated birthday!
    dftba,
    vaishnavi

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  3. THIS POST IS EVERYTHING EVERYONE HAS EVER NEEDED. Thank you. <3333

    xx Kenz

    ReplyDelete