New Year – New Goals

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English: Picture I made for my goals article

In a previous post, I mentioned that I would be posting my 2012 Goals.  Not just my list of planned projects, but how I plan to improve/sustain my life in the various aspects of career, financial, family, physical, social, intellectual and most importantly, spiritual.  These are not New Year’s Resolutions, but rather a list of Pending Dreams.

I believe that setting goals is as important as making a grocery list.  If you don’t have a plan, you are just wandering aimlessly through (the aisles of) life. I also subscribe to the school of thought that by clearly defining and framing a goal and putting it “out there” into the universe you are a giant step closer to achieving that goal.

Setting goals requires some unfettered daydreaming.  If I was living the ideal life, what would it look like?  Oh, yea, sure, sipping fruity cocktails on the beach sounds like an ideal life, but difficult to finance.  Instead, I look at each of the categories I listed above (career, financial….) and think how my life should look through that filter.

For example, my career dreams look something like this:  I am self-employed with a flexible schedule, a passion for my work, and unlimited potential for growth.   (Notice my positive affirmation like I am already living this life.) My goal for this year is to:  Start my own blog with the intention of developing a following and finding advertisers.    With a blog, I will be self-employed, I will blog about things that excite me and there is unlimited potential for growth.

Next, I run this goal through yet another filter call SMART, which is explained very well in this link.  Setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely Goals….. SMART.  This step confirms that my dream statement has successfully converted to a goal with a specific outcome.   Again, let’s take this example to the next level.

Start a Blog

Specific:  Yes, this very specific goal

Measurable:  Yes, I can confirm this has been completed

Attainable:  Yes, this can be done with little funds or programming knowledge

Realistic:  Yes, I have a lot to offer in a blog environment

Timely: Yes, this can be completed in the 1st quarter of 2012

My Goal has passed the SMART criteria!

SCORE!

Now it’s time to identify specific steps needed to complete this goal.

1.  Identify a brand for your blog.

2. Identify and Secure a domain name.

3. Find a host for your blog

4. Plan a strategy for developing content

5. Write your first 10 blogs

6. Plan ways to draw an audience

7. Look for advertisers for your blog

And then I assign due dates to each of these steps.  Suddenly, it doesn’t seem so overwhelming.

As you can see, I did start my blog and I am on step 5.  I plan to have Step 5 completed within the next 2 weeks.  At this point, I am not worried about audience.  That is another step entirely.

Okay, there is a beach somewhere in my plan…..

So, lets get back to my Goals for 2012.

Career:

1. Start a blog

2. Obtain 22 PDU’s to maintain my Project Management Professional certification which expires in 9/2012

3. Improve my Production Company services and pricing structure.  Target a new project each month.

4. Complete additional Photography Training to improve my skill

Save Money

Financial:

1.  Pay off all debt by June 1st

2. Save 10% of income to savings

3. Increase Savings to a Target $$$  by August 1st.  This is my Emergency Fund

4.  Start Savings for New-to-me car with a target this year of $$$

5.  Increase Retirement Savings to 15% by end of the year

A Date with Your Family

Family:

1.  Plan and implement a family vacation to Virginia

2.  Write and Document a Family Mission

3.  Plan and implement a family adventure each month

4.  Have a ticklefest every 2 weeks

Physical:

1.  Train for and Complete a 10K

2.  Remove artificial sweeteners from our diet

3.  Take a walk with my kids 1x a week and laugh with them daily

Social:

1. Schedule time to socialize with my friends one weekend night a month.

Intellectual

1. Additional Training in Project Management

2. Read 1 Non-Fiction book a month in areas that support my goals

3.  Write a personal Mission Statement

4. Play strategy games that stimulate logical thinking at least 1x a month

Spiritual

1.  Increase Church Attendance by at least 2x a month

2. Read Scripture Daily

3. Supplement our Spiritual Training by attending a study group offered by our church.

4.  Thank God Daily for all my blessing

That’s it.  Lots to get done this year!  Look for this list in a reference page on the right side-bar and you can track with me or even hold me accountable through out the year.  After all, even Single Gals need to be accountable to someone.

Have you set some goals for you and your family this year?  Did you choose some fun goals or are they all so so so serious?  I went back and rewrote mine to add some lighthearted goals that are pretty easy to meet.  Write down your goals, have fun and Thrive in 2012!

Recommended Links:

http://topachievement.com/goalsetting.html

http://www.goal-setting-guide.com/goal-setting-tutorials/smart-goal-setting

http://www.mindtools.com/page6.html

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