5 Tips for Setting Goals

Happy New Year to you! We are one day into the New Year and if you are like me- you haven't quite had the chance to sit down and plan out your year or your goals for it. Maybe you 've had some ideas floating around in your head, but haven't moved on them yet. I'm still looking forward to a good planning session with myself and I thought I'd share my tips for setting goals and maintaining them throughout the year. 

1. Dump them all
I've found the most effective way to start the year is to just write down every single thing. I brainstorm anything that I want to do, become, work on or check off a to-do list. These are all of the ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for the last week and pop into my head in the shower or while I'm folding laundry. They can be short term (doable tomorrow) or long term (later this year) or really long term (years away). Keep this list somewhere you can refer to later- this is gold.

2. Categorize
In general, whenever I'm making to-do lists I always categorize them into the major hats that I wear and/or areas of my life. The categories I usually list are Mom/Wife, Self, Spiritual, Work, Home. It helps me to remember the most important things I need to do as well as keep life balanced. I love seeing the big picture and need to make sure I'm not only working on work or cleaning the house- but I'm fitting in time for my husband, spirituality or specific time for my kids.

So when making goals for the year, I'll also categorize my goals into these areas. I want to make sure I have several important things to work on in each area so that I'm improving in all directions. So I'll make a second list that specifically lists 2-4 goals I want to work on for the year in each area.

3. Set Monthly Goals that Correlate
In the past I've been able to keep these major goals in mind and slowly work on some of them- but not all of them get attention that way. This year my plan is to make monthly goals that correlate with my larger goals. I am going to set them for the first quarter of the year and then in April- I'll look at where I'm at and set goals for the next three months. These will be very small goals so that they are manageable and effective. One example for me is that my January goal for my health/self is to drink more water. I'm chronically dehydrated and rather than make a goal like eating clean for the month or working out four days a week- I just plan on drinking a ton of water.

4.  Make Them Visible
The biggest factor in my goals being met in the past has been how visible they are. When I was a freshman in college one of my goals that year was to run a marathon. I had post its, quotes, a running schedule and inspiring magazine pages all over my dorm room. The constant reminders of my goal made a big difference in me accomplishing my goal. I'm big into a paper planner so I will be writing down my monthly goals in several places in my planner. I'll also be posting a note on my fridge and my bathroom mirror to remind me.

5. Expect Mess Ups
I fully expect plenty of non-compliance from myself. It seems impossible to have both high hopes of making changes while also expecting to fail- but I think that is the only way things work. It can take a long time to make actual changes. Last year one of my goals was to start family scripture reading every night as a habit and it took us the entire year for me to feel like- yep, its a habit for us now. We skipped PLENTY of nights but we also started up and read again every time we skipped. That goal now serves as a good example for me and our family that no matter how many times we missed, we still ended up with a good habit out of it.

 This year's planner. I can't wait to dive in.

Apparently Kesler couldn't either. He took out half of January. (Not to be confusing- Knox is pictured- Kesler is responsible for the graffiti.)

It's customary for bloggers to post their beautiful home offices right? Eat your heart out. :)

And that is that. These really are five ways that I work on my goals and make things happen. These are my best efforts at keeping my life balanced and moving forward in all areas. They aren't complicated, perfect or over done- but they help me.

What do you find helps you make/accomplish your goals? What are your goals this year?


  1. Love your recommendations. Thank you for sharing. Like you, I'm looking forward to taking some time for myself today to start planning this new year and appreciate your tips as I sit down to make goals. Great ideas.

    Side note: is that pair of earrings on your desk a sneak peek at a new color coming soon?

  2. Writing lists is the best! Ive had the same day planner since high school (with new yearly inserts ha) that I probably couldn't function without. Happy New Year!

  3. Great tips, Kilee! Love your planner and the graffiti! Here's to 2015 being a great one!

  4. I love a good planner! hey, love the color of those earrings in your home office....are those in the shop? or new? so cute!

  5. These recommendations are so helpful, thank you so much! I had planned to write down my goals, but not to categorize them or set monthly goals, so this is exactly what I needed to see! Thank you and Happy New Year! Oh I also need to buy that Day Designer, just waiting for their Etsy shop to re open!!! x

  6. I use all of these tips too! I have to make my goals specific and put them on the calendar or I will forget about them. I love that planner! Too bad about January. Luckily there are 11 other months to go! =)

  7. I love the look of your planner? Where did you get it?

  8. My friend recommended daily water app to help you remember to drink regularly throughout the day. I'm going to give it a try. I also try and leave a water bottle in the car because sometimes I forget to grab mine and throw it in my purse.

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