When January 1st rolls around we all get in a frenzy to set goals, organize #allthethings, and start the year off on the right note. It's easy to feel like a failure when February 1st hits and you haven't made any progress and don't have it all figured out. But the truth is that you can start on your goals at any time. Even if you get halfway through the year without setting a single goal, it's never too late to start. And if this is you, trust me when I say that you're not alone. So many of us, myself included, fail to set or reach goals several months out of the year and we feel like the whole year is a waste if we haven't been active in our goal setting since January 1st.
How to stay motivated throughout the year
So maybe you haven't set any goals for 2017. Maybe you are still trying to figure out where this year is going to take you. Maybe you just don't know where to start and are afraid to write anything down. Or maybe you’ve set your goals but are already tired from the hustle and ready to give up on the progress. I'm here to tell you that you're not the only one who faces goal burnout one month into the year.
Setting goals can be the easy part. Sticking to them and making progress can be harder than you think. It is tough to stay motivated for an entire year to work towards the goals we set for ourselves, but these quick tips can help you keep the motivation going all year:
Focus on the progress you’re making
Keep it simple and slow (while deadlines are great, there’s no need to rush!)
Don’t be afraid to change or adjust your goals if needed
Take a break from your goals and come back to them
Remind yourself of what really matters and give yourself grace for things that go wrong
Planning monthly goals
Setting monthly goals for yourself is a great way to stay motivated and keep making progress towards your bigger goals. The key for planning your monthly goals is to keep your yearly goals in mind. By planning a monthly goal or two that will help you work towards those bigger goals you set at the beginning of the year, you are actively working in your goals each month. Instead of setting that goal in January (or February) and forgetting about it until the end of the year, you can use monthly, weekly, and even daily goals to help you take action towards those goals.
My February goals
I haven't blogged about monthly goals in the past but wanted to this year for two reasons. One, because we often talk about goals at the beginning of the year and then forget about them as time goes on. And two, because this helps me to stay on track in reaching my big picture goals and keeps me accountable and I want to encourage you to do the same every month too.
January recap and progress:
I didn't set any specific goals for January because I was still playing catch up from maternity leave last year and I was focusing on planning and organizing myself for the year to come. Instead, I took my time settling into this year and praying over where God wanted to take me with my goals.
Stay up to date on my photo organization project: One of my goals this year is to be better about creating and organizing a legacy. This means taking lots of photos and creating keepsakes, but also staying on top of keeping them organized too. I’ve started a new system thanks to Nancy Ray, and even though I haven’t organized past photos yet, I plan to implement this system from here out to stay organized moving forward.
Complete the Intentional Business Workbook content: This is a project I started working on last Fall and had to put it on hold when the new baby was born, but it’s back on my calendar and I plan to finish up the content this month so I can release it soon.
Finish updating client workflow and assets: This is another thing I had to put on hold from the Fall, but I have been organizing, updating, and automating as much of my client workflow as I can and I’ve just about combed through all the details.
Write free email course opt in: I’ve wanted to update my email list opt in for a while and just recently the perfect idea came to me. I’ll be putting together a new email course full of value and I want to be able to get it ready as soon as possible so I can start offering it to serve more people.
Research book publishing: This is still one of my scariest goals, but I am diving into the process of writing a book. With lots of love, encouragement, and guidance from Lara Casey, Valerie Woerner and a few others, I am researching what exactly will go into this book writing process. (PS: If you’ve got any tips, I’d love to hear them!)
Complete Tax prep and 2016 audit: We all have the not so fun goals on our list and this is one of them. We like to try to get our yearly taxes done as soon as we can so it is one less thing to worry about. I’m planning to take this month to organize all of our files and audit our 2016 expenses before we hand it over to the CPA.
Read books, devotional and bible 2 days a week: This may not sound like a lot, but for me, in this season, devoting some time a couple days a week is a lot. Life has been busy and with 2 littles I have my hands full often so I haven’t gotten much time to myself lately. I recently decided to make it #thenewnormal to spend more time doing what I want to do instead of what I have to do and this is one of those things.
Stick to new weekly sabbath plan: Going along with #thenewnormal, I’m starting a new routine on Sundays. The idea of taking a true Sabbath day has been on my heart and mind for a while, and I just never made the commitment to make it happen. I was inspired by Val’s book The Finishing School (if you haven’t read this, add it to your list now) to finally buckle down and do it, and I’m never looking back. This means I’m planning ahead and adjusting my schedule so that Sundays are strictly for resting in the Lord (more on this later - it deserves its own blog post).
Plan Logan's 3rd birthday party: It’s hard to believe that the boy that made me a mama will be 3 years old, but he is the most precious 3 year old I know (yes, I’m biased). I’m excited to celebrate his 3rd birthday next month, but I want to be able to be present and enjoy every moment of it so I’m doing all the planning now.
Once I set my monthly goals, I use those as a guide to plan out my days and weeks with even smaller tasks to help me reach those goals. When you break it down like this one step at a time, even the biggest goal becomes easier to achieve and feels less daunting.