Creating the Sustainable Habit of Goal Setting

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I’m not really a New Year’s resolution kind of gal. I’m more of a live each day better kinda chick. However, I do believe in setting goals at the beginning of the new year.  Last year, I only set two goals but this year I’m setting more and will share them with you for accountability. Perhaps it will even inspire you to set your own goals.

2018 Goals

#1 Pay off debt – achieved early

Originally I was estimating that I’d be paying off my debt early in 2018. However, that was achieved at the end of 2017. I was able to make my final debt payment on December 29, 2017, and become debt free for the first time in 24 years.


#2 Create a will – fail

I set this goal for 2018 and I’ve failed at it. It’s something I need to do but somehow it got pushed to the bottom of my todo list…always. I think as a single woman with no offspring it’s easy to think this is not important. However, wisdom tells me that it is and so I will be setting up a will in 2019.

The one habit I did create in 2018 which will help me achieve my goals in 2019 is that I started using todoist to track reoccurring tasks as well as more detailed projects.

Okay, so I have a 50% success rate for 2018 which is neither good nor bad. Although, the point of setting goals is to ultimately achieve them.  However, I see no reason to beat myself up as I ended up achieving a great many things in 2018 that I never thought were possible…like starting my own blog. 😉

When I consider my reason for not achieving one of my 2018 goals, it’s simply that I did not set aside the time to research the best way to do it. I may need to talk with someone and/or obtain legal assistance but the most important part is setting aside a specific time.

So without further ado, here are my 2019 goals…

2019 Goals

Three of my 2019 goals are concrete and it will be clearly obvious when I achieve them. Two of my 2019 goals are more abstract and not so easy to track. Since I’m a fan of accountability, I’m committing to a mid-year check in on my progress as well as an end of the year wrap of my goals. If you have some new things you’d like to achieve for the new year, I highly recommend you find some form of accountability. Here are some ideas:

  • Me – I’m happy to be your accountability partner. Just reply in the comments with your goals. At the mid-year and end of the year blog post, we can give each other updates.
  • Ask a friend to keep you accountable – Meet with a friend and ask them if they’d like to be accountability partners for 2019. I find I’m exponentially more successful in life when I have others keeping me accountable. Likewise, I see the same success in the women I work with.
  • Keep a journal – If you like journaling, this can be a great way to record and revisit your goals.
  • Announce your goals in some fashion – there are a plethora of avenues for announcing your 2019 goals:
    • Social Media
    • To family
    • With a church group
    • Colleagues
    • Life coach

However you do it, you’ll need to record them down because, well, if we don’t get it out of heads, we are more likely to forget it.

I put my goals into a project in my todoist app:


#1 Create a Will

No surprise here but I’m moving this attempted goal for 2018 to my 2019 goal list. I’ve put this off for so long for two reasons:

  1. Until this past year, my debt outweighed my assets
  2. I’m single with no offspring

While the first one is no longer true, the second one still stands. Regardless, as I understand it, a will is a valuable thing to have in place for when I die so I’m going to do it and create a legal will! I’ll share the deets here. For now, I put a reminder for January 20th as that day looks open; however, ski season is upon us so I reserve the right to re-schedule it if the snow is calling me. 😉

#2 Remember My Word

Michelle from Savvy History posted on Instagram that rather than creating a new year’s resolution for 2019 she was going to choose one word to focus on. I loved that idea and it got me thinking about what my word should be. I’ve settled on it being TRUTH. I strive to be honest with myself and others and find the truth in all situations. If you read my last post, you know I revealed something I lied about. This made me realize I still need work in this area; hence, my word for 2019.  I put this as a daily recurring task in todoist app so I’m reminded daily to focus on it.

#3 Write two pages of my book per week

I’m feeling compelled to write a book/memoir of my life. I have so many miraculous stories in my story that I thought it would be prudent to write a book to share with the world. If God brought me through it, I need to share it. I do that daily but no doubt writing a book will allow me the platform to share more details.

I’m not going to say I’ll finish my book in 2019 but I certainly want to make progress. I don’t really know what I’m doing but how do you eat an elephant but by one bite at a time. That being said, I have a reoccurring task in my todoist app to write two pages of my book per week. #goals

Initially, I labeled this goal as work on my book. However, a colleague turned me onto full focus planner and shared how goals should be specific and action-oriented. I watched some of the tutorials and re-wrote this goal with the specific directive of writing two pages of my book per week. I can always right more but this will be the least.

# 4 Hold My First Annual Review

I first heard about the idea of holding an annual review from ChooseFI episode 058. Kyle Mast actually calls it an annual planning retreat and he has one for his business and his family. He shared that some of their best decisions come from these retreats. Furthermore, he advises getting away to do it. I loved the idea so much that I’m adopting it for 2019.

I figure now that I’ve got investments and plans for my financial future, I will need to review and rebalance their allocations once yearly. I’ll hold this annual review meeting in June with me, myself & I. I plan to review my entire financial portfolio as well as my larger life goals. Additionally, I will review my Investment Policy Statement and make necessary tweaks here.

I’m not really sure that I’ll get away to do it this year but I’m definitely going to take a day to hold the review. You can be certain that I’ll be writing a blog post as to how it goes. 😉

Furthermore, as ongoing maintenance, I have a quarterly reminder to update my progress in OnTrajectory, the best retirement calculator out there, folks!

# 5 Be the Kind of Person My Nice & Nephew Think I Am

I’m sure you’ve heard or seen the expression, “I want to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.” Well, my two nephews and one niece seem to think I’m pretty awesome and want to spend time with me. Ever since they could walk, I’ve loved to hear the pitter patter of their feet running to the door when I arrive to hang out with them. To hear the words, “Auntie Dee is here!!!” is music to my ears. I never want to take for granted this second chance at life I’ve been given. Additionally, I get to be a positive influence in their lives as a sober Christian woman living an intentional life. I don’t take this privilege lightly.

My goal for this year, and really beyond, is to be the kind of person they think I am. Moreover, it means being that person even behind closed doors.

My niece & nephew on the ends with their best friend in the middle.
Niece & two nephews on a 2018 Christmas day walk.

Closing Thoughts

Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

So there you have it, my goals for 2019. What do ya think? Are these realistic goals? Are they worthy of going after? I certainly think so. I know goals are personal and unique to everyone’s situation but I hope by my sharing you’ll be inspired to set some of your own goals for 2019.

In my opinion, here are the ground rules for goal setting:

  1. Have specific & action-oriented goals
  2. Record them somewhere
  3. Tell someone for accountability
  4. Be fluid and know that things might have to change
  5. Schedule specific times to work on the goals
  6. Schedule a mid-year (or even quarterly) check-in time

As you can see below, I’ve got reminders to write a mid-year and end of the year blog post so you can hear about my progress. Additionally, you’ll be able to tell me about yours. #Accountability

Happy New Years to you all!


15 thoughts on “Creating the Sustainable Habit of Goal Setting”

  1. Thanks for sharing your goals! I love how you have a combination of both specific things and things you want to be more intentional about. Specific goals for me include: write 1 blog post/week (52 for the year!), explore investing in real estate, have a consistent morning routine including journaling and meditation on my workdays, and do daily foot strengthening exercises until 1 can walk 3 miles (I’m recovering from surgery). I have a mental health goal that’s more of an “intention”: it’s to be mindful of my emotions and what they are telling me, so that when there’s something happening that is causing negative emotions, that I do something about it immediately – not compartmentalize and let it get out of hand.

    Thanks for sharing! I love the idea of an annual review as well!

    1. Thank you for reading them!

      Aah, we can be accountability partners! Yay! You have some great goals and I love that you included a mental health one. 🙂 All seem specific and action-oriented but the real estate one. I’d challenge you to detail exactly what you’ll do to “explore real estate”. For example, explore listings on Zillow every Saturday for an hour, visit 3 potential properties per month, etc. You get the idea!

  2. We’ve thrown around the idea of creating a will/estate planning but haven’t got around to it 🙁 Maybe 2019 is the year.

    Love the idea of being the person your niece and nephew think you are! I think every adult should strive to be better version of what their children/nieces/nephews/dog think them to be!

    1. A lot of people are talking about wills and that they have not yet created one. Perhaps 2019 will be the year for us all!

      Thank you very much for reading & commenting. I agree with your last statement wholeheartedly!!

  3. Love your goals, especially the last one about being the person your niece and nephew think you are! I don’t have a will either, but I should really make one anyway. Being single and in my 20s doesn’t exempt me from needing one!

    1. Hey Erin! Thank you so much. Yeah, I kinda like the abstract goals the best! Although, I’m going to achieve the concrete ones too.

      You & me both on the will. I’ll share any tips I learn in setting it up!

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  5. Another great post!
    I too am a big believer in goals, and I always write them down but never share them publicly.

    So, here goes…these are the Big Two for 2019 🙂

    1. After a 55 lb weight loss 3 years ago, I have gradually let my weight slide up 17 lbs to 137 (I’m very petite, so that is a lot for me). I resolve to get back down to 120 and make my physical health a priority.

    2. I am between jobs at the moment and am enjoying my sabbatical. (FU money is great! What a relief to have a financial cushion!) However, I do want (and need) to go back to work sometime during the first half of 2019, BUT I want a job that I’m excited about. In the past, I focused on making a lot of $$…. and although I appeared successful to many, I was never happy at work (which is “true” success in my book).

    Thanks for the encouragement to put these out there publically!
    Looking forward to a great 2019!

    1. Hi Tracey!! I’m so honored that you chose to write them down here. Yay!!

      Firstly, congrats on a 55 lb weight loss. Woah! Physical health is always a good priority. Secondly, I love that you are able to be on a sabbatical because of the financial choices you’ve made. Well done. Thirdly, that second goal is golden!

      I support you on your goals and we’ll check in mid-year. 🙂

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