2013 wasn’t a banner goal-setting year for me. I did manage to cross 13 goals off my list of 25 goals, but I spent the last half of the year feeling frustrated that I wasn’t making more progress in the goal-setting department.
As a person who thrives on productivity, feeling like you’re not making headway can be really discouraging. However, I’m trying to practice what I preach when it comes to giving myself grace, so I refused to beat myself up over the lack of progress.
Instead, stepped back and evaluated what needed to be changed for the coming year. After some thought and discussion with Jesse, I came up with four things that hampered my goal-setting success in 2013:
1. I need to set fewer goals.
This, in turn, set me up for failure in some of my goals. The goals themselves weren’t bad, there were just too many of them.
This year, I’m only setting 12 goals. When I look at my goals list, it feels so much more manageable!
2. I need to make my goals more specific and actionable.
Last year, I made the mistake of putting some goals on my list that weren’t specific enough or actionable enough. For instance, one of my goals was: “Wake up by 6 a.m. and exercise, shower, and dress by 8 a.m. every day.”
While this was somewhat specific, it was sort of one of those goals that was just “out there” — with no concrete ending. If I had said something like: “Wake up by 6 a.m. and exercise, shower, and dress by 8 a.m. every day for 21 days” that would have been much more doable, specific, and actionable.
This year, I tried to have every single goal on my list have a specific time frame or number assigned to it. For instance, instead of saying, “Write more content pieces for my blog” I said, “Write 150 content pieces for the blog.”
This goal has a very specific action point attached to it enabling me to track exactly how I’m doing. Plus, this allows me to break it down into bite-sized pieces (i.e. I’m shooting to write at least 3 content pieces on my blog every week. If I do this, I’ll easily hit the 150 mark by the end of the year.)
3. I need to account more for the expected.
In January of 2013, I knew I was writing a book and doing more speaking/traveling, but I didn’t seem to account for that in my goal-setting. I forgot how much time and effort book-writing and editing and marketing requires and didn’t allow time for that when considering goals.
In 2014, I’m thinking very carefully about what I already know my life is probably going to look like. There will be a lot of book marketing stuff happening in early 2014, I have a full spring travel/speaking schedule, we have a BIG thing happening as a family in April which is going to require time and transition (more on that sometime soon), and we have plans to produce a few more products in 2014.
Plus, then there’s just the daily life stuff of homeschooling and activities for our children, nurturing our marriage, being intentional in my friendships, and other ministry opportunities. So, knowing all of this, I am being much more careful about what goals I’m setting realizing that my plate is already pretty full.
4. I need to account more for the unexpected.
This was my biggest downfall in 2013.
There were some wonderfully unexpected things that happened — namely, the business exploded (our traffic/unique visitors doubled in 2013!). As a result, we had to change a lot of our processes, switch to a new hosting company, and bring on new team members to take over many of my previous responsibilities of running and managing the business so that I could focus on what I do best.
This was all very exciting, but it also meant that there was a 3-4 month period where I spent every spare moment I had available answering questions from new team members, having business meetings and conferences calls, brainstorming new processes, training new team members, and tweaking and experimenting with the new processes. Needless to say, this meant that a lot of other things had to be put on hold in the mean time while we made this transition.
The growing pains were hard, but so very worth it! And I am very grateful for the amazing December212012.com team! Each person on the team is incredible and they’ve willingly taken over so many behind-the-scenes details so that I can now focus most all of my business and blogging time on writing, brainstorming, overseeing, and speaking — the things I love most!
In an effort to prepare for the unexpected in 2014, I’m leaving some breathing room in the goals I set. And it feels so good to know that while my goals are going to stretch and push me, they hopefully won’t overwhelm me when curve balls are thrown my way.
Want to learn more from my goal-setting failures and successes? Be sure to pre-order a copy of my brand-new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode, where I share about the lessons I’ve learned when it comes to goal-setting. If you’re longing to live a more fulfilled and purposeful life, I think you’ll be blessed, encouraged, and inspired by it. Get your copy here.