After I complete my yearly review, I try to set goals for the next year. I also look at my list of what added and what subtracted to my life and I keep all of those in mind as I set goals and plan events. To do this, I have several supplies at my fingertips AND several hours (sometimes spread over a few days) to complete this process. I recommend the following supplies:
Goal Setting 101:
I have 8 areas in which I set goals each year:
Here's an example of a SMART goal:
Read 10 books in one year.
It is Specific. Measurable. Achievable (I allow 2 months without a book at all). Relevant and realistic (education or entertainment is always good!). Time bound. I have a start and an end date. I can also easily track the goal throughout the year (I keep a "books read" in the back of my planner).
Selecting your word of the year. This is optional, but I enjoy the process each year and it does help me try to maintain a central theme or focus each year. Some of my previous years' words have been:
Now the hard part. Actually planning out your year and setting goals for the year. These two steps are intertwined and can truly be life-changing if you take the time to do BOTH. If perhaps you are reading this in March or August or on a random Tuesday in November, that's OKAY. Your "year" can start at any time. You may be home with a new baby or off work for a health flare-up or surgery and you're just now having time to even remember your name. Sometimes these unexpected pockets in time are goldmines. Use this downtime to evaluate and future-plan.
As I've hit this midlife bubble of feeling young and old all at the same time, my goals have changed. My expectations are lower for myself and others (thank you, therapy). My drive is more internally-based but is now redeemed by others just as much as it is myself. In short, my years of people-pleasing are behind me, BUT following my true self has led to a more community-focused and family-focused mindset. The cool part is that me, myself, and I benefit from that mindset shift as much or more than my loved ones and my community. Kinda hard to explain, but the moral of the story is to follow your heart. Everyone wins when we do that.