How to make goals you’ll actually keep + some big news

Big News for 2015

Here I am over half-way through the first month of this new year and still feeling unprepared to walk through the coming weeks and months. My goals are still undefined and nebulous, and my reading list could use a whole lot more thought. But I’m not losing sleep over it, and that’s a big deal for me. New Year’s goals have always been super important to me, being a list maker and go getter at heart. This year though, I know things are going to be a lot different. My relationships will change dramatically, my every day routine is going to go through massive changes, and my responsibilities are going to be redefined in a whole new way, at least for the next 4 months. I’ll get to why in a minute, but first, let me share with you how I’ll be tackling goals and plans this year. Everyone accomplishes their goals in different ways that work best for them given their individual personalities, abilities, time constraints, and every day demands, and it’s taken me a long time to find a method that works well for me in this current season of life. Perhaps it’s a method that might suit you and where you’re at too.

First, write out the major categories of your life,

  • soul care
  • blogging
  • marriage
  • cooking
  • housekeeping
  • learning
  • parenting
  • church
  • community
  • health
  • finances

Keep your categories broad. By separating your everyday into categories you can give yourself a way to analyze what areas you want to focus in on and where improvements need to be made. We’re working from big picture into small detail.

Second, consider what subcategories will flow from your main ones.

  • soul care
    • music
    • study
    • mentorship
    • discipleship
    • retreats
  • blogging
    • schedule
    • networking
    • social media
  • marriage
    • listening
    • investing
  • cooking
    • menu planning
    • vegetarian
    • seasonal
    • new recipes
  • housekeeping
    • organization
    • decluttering
    • routine
  • learning
    • reading list
    • photography
  • etc . . .

These subcategories are really where you’re going to start mapping out your game plan.

Third, make measurable and attainable goals all the way down the list. For me, I split the year into quarters and make goals every 3 months. A year is too long for me to work with. I get overwhelmed at the sheer volume of things I’d like to get done and end up cramming a bunch of tasks into November and December when I realize failure is imminent, like waiting to study for a test until the night before. So I plan what 3 books I’ll read, what Bible study I want to tackle, what relationships to focus on, and what projects will be ongoing during that 3-month period.

  • learning
  • parenting
    • routine
      • establish a wake, eat, work, play routine with Aletheia during the weekdays.
    • teaching
      • help her learn her letters, their sounds, and their alphabetical order
      • respond to whining and complaint with truth and instruction in gratefulness consistently. Model this.
  • cooking
    • menu planning
      • create 4 rotatable weekly menus to reduce menu planning stress and cut down on wasted time.
    • vegetarian
      • collect 4 new vegetarian meals to work into the regular meal rotation.
    • seasonal
      • Try Huckle and Goose for 3 months and make 4 out of every 7 meals completely seasonal in preparation.

Make sure every goal (where possible) is measurable, meaning you can look back over any given 3-month period and see how you’re doing in that area. Did I try 3 new lighting situations in photography? Does Aletheia know all her letters by sight, sound, and order? Also be sure your goals are attainable, meaning don’t overestimate how much you can accomplish. It’s always good to reach just beyond your comfort zone and push yourself, but try not to discourage yourself with unrealistic expectations. For me, I know any more than 1 book a month is too much for me. Know your limits and then maybe push slightly beyond that.

Lastly, don’t give up. If you find you had unrealistic expectations or that an unforeseen obstacle prevented you from getting things done the way you had hoped, don’t despair. Carry those goals over into the next 3 months and keep chipping away at them. Remember that you are not defined by your failures or even your accomplishments. Those are artificial yardsticks that can never measure your true value or worth. I’ll definitely be keeping MY WORD for 2015 in mind as I go about planning and working through my goals this year!

And now that I’ve kept you all in suspense, I’ll get back around to telling you why life is going to be vastly different for me over the next 4 months. In a few weeks, I will be packing my bags, kissing my husband long and hard, taking hold of my daughter’s hand, and flying to South Carolina where I’ll be beginning a 3-month long photography internship with Getz Creative Photography! It will be incredibly hard to be apart from Dr. Hubs for so long, but we both feel like this is the best season of life for me to tackle this adventure and focus on my photography. I’m incredibly grateful to TJ Getz for the opportunity and really look forward to pushing my skills to a new level! That being said, I’m not sure what blogging will look like during that time, but I hope to chronicle my journey along the way. I’ll definitely keep you all updated via INSTAGRAM so if you want a little southern charm in your life, you can look for me on there.

I am so grateful for your support and encouragement. If it weren’t for many of you, I know I wouldn’t have had the courage to pursue this internship. You gave me wings, and I couldn’t be more blessed by you. Happy New Year friends!

Comments

  1. Chelsea says:

    Oh my! Getz Creative Photography is a dream!!!

  2. Chelsea says:

    Oh my! Getz Creative Photography is a dream!!!

  3. Leanne says:

    What an exciting adventure! You are a brave lady and this is going to be a wonderful experience!!

  4. Karlyn Blaha says:

    Thanks for sharing!! This was really helpful for me as I try to realistically put my goals into action. So thank you!! And huge congrats on your internship! I’m sure you’ll do amazing things!! Much love, Karlyn

  5. Congratulations! What an amazing opportunity!

  6. […] life is in an odd limbo at the moment. I’m waiting to begin a photography internship in SC, but at the same time I’m trying to live life as normal here in Baltimore for another week. […]

  7. wow! i cannot adore this strategy for list making anymore!! amazing!

    also i congratulations on your photography internship. so so exciting!!

    xo

    • Susanna says:

      I am so glad you found it to be a helpful read!! And thank you for your kind words about my internship! I am loving it!

  8. […] morning readers! My, my, my it has been long time since we got to chat! This photography internship I’ve been going through has been all-consuming and such a blast that I’ve had little […]

  9. Celeste says:

    Thank you so much for your post. I am just finding you from following a link on Relay foods. You are probably starting your internship about now. Exciting and good for you!!! You may not be responding to blog comments at this time, but if you are or can in the next year, I was wondering how you liked Huckle and Goose, and if you had come up with 4 rotatable weekly menus to reduce menu planning. I have 2 children 5.5 and 3 and a baby due in October. I am always on the hunt for a meal plan where we can all be happy. Do you shoot for mostly you and your husband eating the meal, and hope for your little one to come on board and keep a few backups in the refrig (lentils /tortillias) or do you really try to choose things that even your little will relish as well? So frustrating when I am the only one who likes a meal, and the prep has been long. Worried the Huckle and Goose might be more time consuming than I can endeavor just now. Thanks for your time. If you do have a 4 week meal rotation, have you posted it by chance!? I feel so lucky to have access to you expertise. Thank you thank you for including us in your journey.

    • Susanna says:

      Hey Celeste! Thanks so much for reaching out! As I had been out of town for 3 months, I wasn’t able to try Huckle and Goose just yet or come up with a menu plan since I wasn’t really cooking for myself but staying with family. I’m back home now though and getting back into a groove, working on putting together that meal plan I’ve always wanted. Once I do get one down, I’ll definitely post! We have a 4-year-old and one due in October as well! We kinda make her eat what we eat. She’s required to at least try a bite of everything on her plate. If she doesn’t like it, I’ll give her something else light and simple, even cereal. She’s only allowed to have dessert (if I’m serving it that night) if she finishes the food I made though. She typically will eat everything on her plate, after much coaxing though. I don’t make anything too exotic that would be really difficult on her. My husband is pretty good about trying new things too. Super grateful about that. Have you tried Relay Food’s meal planning service? They just launched it. I gave it a try this past week and am going to be reviewing it on my blog tomorrow actually. I definitely encourage you to check it out! Hope some of that helps!

  10. […] way back when I laid out my goals for the new year and my strategies for accomplishing them? Well, if you missed it, meal planning was a big one on the list. It’s always been a […]

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