I’m a Reluctant Goal-Setter

by | Productivity Advice | 7 comments

I’ve always been ambitious and driven. I love my work, sometimes too much. I plan everything. But other than losing 40 pounds before I got married, I can’t think of a time I actually set a specific personal goal and worked towards it.

I have followed Elise Blaha Cripe‘s work since before she got married, so reading Big Dreams, Daily Joys (Amazon affiliate link) for this month’s Book Club discussion was quite a trip. I’ve long admired her ability to turn anything into a project and work towards goals of all kinds with so much joy and persistence.

It was her recent Instagram posts about attending a specific number of pilates classes in a year that really got me thinking about specific goals I could count. The PowerSheets Goal Planner then helped me put those into a bigger context.

My Personal Goals for 2020

I put together this list as I worked through the first part of the PowerSheets. While I love the snowball effect of the process, I had so many ideas swirling that it was helpful to have a place to start getting them organized.

My vision is to sit with these goals for January and make sure it’s all what I really want. I am so guilty of leveraging a good mental place and ample time (e.g. Christmas break) to be overly ambitious about what I can accomplish.

  • [Home & Family] Invest time in what matters.
    • Complete 10 craft projects with Emily.
    • Plan & execute 10 family day trips.
    • Declutter and organize the basement.
  • [Mental Health] Spend less time working.
    • Read 20 fiction books.
    • Watch 10 documentaries.
    • Go for a walk 2x a week.
  • [Physical Wellness] Lose 25 pounds by June 1.
    • Go to sleep by 10:30 5+ days each week.
    • Track meals 6+ days each week.
    • Attend 50 classes at the YMCA.
  • [Creative Growth] Be a finisher.
    • Complete 40 scrapbook layouts.
      • 12 BLP hybrid layouts
      • 8 Silhouette layouts (past year stories)
      • 10-6×8 layouts from 2019
      • 10-8.5×11 layouts from 2020
    • Finish all remaining December Daily projects.
    • Complete Photo Editing Study Group exercises.
    • Print 6-12×12 and 9-4×6 photos for wall frames.
  • [Work & Security] Hit a specific revenue milestone.
    • Run at least 1 ad campaign each month.
    • End work at 4:30 p.m. and pick up Emily.
    • Collaborate with Steve on a family budget.

Favorite Organizing & Planning Tools

As you heard on episode 43 of the podcast, I’ve tried a lot of different approaches to organizing my life and planning my days over the years. Some things worked for a while and others never did.

I’m excited about the solutions I have in place right now. Yes, it’s a lot. You might need more or much less. I waffle between geeking out over seeing them all together in the photo here and wondering if I am a bit nuts.

Here’s what I’m using:

  • I’m using PowerSheets (gold binding, floral cover) for big picture goal-setting and a Panda Planner Weekly (Amazon affiliate link, black bound book) for weekly/daily tracking. The PowerSheets tending page will be washi-taped into the Panda Planner.
  • Emily and I are also using Elise’s daily goal tracking sheets (not pictured) to monitor our progress on reading 30 minutes a day. These will live on our fridge.
  • I’m using a Carrie Elle 7×9 meal planner (silver binding, black and white cover) and tracking my food with Cronometer on my phone (not pictured). I have the Gold version of Cronometer to remove ads and have more customization.
  • Over the break I set up the green binder to house recipes we enjoy. I’ve never been one to cook the same thing twice and I want to do more of that going forward.
  • I’m using Trello (free version, shown on computer) for project management and my Panda Planner for weekly task management.

One Word for My 40th Year

I’ve mentioned this a million times, but I’m about to turn 40. This milestone birthday certainly has a role in my decision to pivot to a more goal-oriented approach. This year feels like a turning point and I am ready to build an even stronger foundation for the next 40.

I didn’t choose a word last year and I’ll admit, I felt a bit disconnected. I had been sitting with the word “connect” (ironically) since last month’s Book Club meeting, but it didn’t feel quite right. Then when I finally dug in to the PowerSheets, the fog lifted. My word for 2020 is HOME.

I want to love my home and the people in it. I want to leave my work “at the office” so that my home can be more of a sanctuary. I want to find my forever home with food. I want to celebrate my creative home (scrapbooking, of course). I want to build security for my home.

I’ll be using my word in my PowerSheets Goal Planner and in my Panda Planner Weekly. It will likely play a role in my scrapbooking, but I’m not specifically doing a creative project to support it. I know that when I live this word, I will have plenty of stories to document!

So what about you? Are you an avid or a reluctant goal-setter? Are you choosing a word for 2020? Leave a comment sharing how you approach new year planning.

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  1. Peggy

    Looks good Jennifer! You’ve got this. I have several mechanisms in place too. I sometimes feel a little nuts too but some of it has been working for me for years at this point.

  2. Dottie Pennington

    I just finished the book last night. There are several of the activities I marked to work on. Your goal list looks good. I like the way you made for more specific goals instead of the more general ones, The book was an easy read and thought provoking. Looking forward to the book club night and discussion. I have not chosen a word for 2020 and do not plan on choosing one.

  3. Lisa H

    This is a great list. I need to sit down with myself and actually come up with a plan as you have done here. I’m a great one for creating a huge list of random things I’d like to achieve but there’s no system and therefore I rarely achieve much off the list. You’Ve given me a lot of food for thought here. Good luck and I look forward to hearing more about your progress!

  4. Cheri Andrews

    I’m also using the PowerSheets Goal Planner (same cover) for the first time this year and I love the clarity it is providing as I move into 2020. I combine that with a Plum Paper weekly planner and the fitbit app for tracking steps, sleep, and exercise. Plus a small (5×8) softcover notebook for ongoing “to do” lists not specifically related to goals. It’s a lot to maintain, but it definitely helps provide structure for all the goals, big and small.

    • Teaching Assistant - Kim Edsen

      Ooh, off to check out Plum Paper planners! It sounds like you’ve found what works for you!

  5. Jillian

    I’m a reluctant goal-setter but am determined to set some properly this year. My word for the year is “Connection”, which fits with some of my goals and in a number of areas of my life.

  6. Carol White

    I’m very happy that you’re liking your PowerSheets and that the process helped you pick the perfect word for you! I love that your word is HOME. I have to put that on my list for potential future use.

    At first I thought your goals were for just January and I really raised my eyebrows~then the light dawned! I know you can tackle them all and do well. Little by little progress!

    May 2020 be kind to us both as we work to meet our goals!


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