Revive Your Goals in 4 Steps

Four easy steps to revive your goals when motivation has stalled.

It’s only a month into the new year, and studies show that 90% of resolutions and goals have already been cast aside. The excitement of a clean slate has worn off and motivation has stalled. Maybe you already feel defeated, but you can still revive your goals for this year!

Even if you’ve completely fallen off the wagon, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve the plans you set out for the year. As Lara Casey of Cultivate What Matters says, “There is nothing magical about January.” You don’t have to start on January 1st to reach your goals.

I’ll be the first to say that accomplishing goals is hard, especially if you’ve got big goals. It takes commitment, perseverance, and focus to keep moving forward.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes the biggest challenge for me is sticking to it when I’m seeing really slow progress. Our attention span as a society is getting shorter all the time. We’re used to getting answers at the click of a button. So when progress is minimal, we get anxious to see those bigger results.

How do you reignite that motivation you felt when you were mapping out all those awesome goals? How do you recognize even the smallest steps forward as movement in the right direction?

Here are 4 steps to get you fired up to revive your goals:

1 | Reflect on the past month.

If you’re feeling a little let down by how quickly you let go of your ambitions, it’s a good idea to first examine where you lost sight of the path.

What worked well as you jump-started your goals this past month? Maybe you had strategies in place to get you started off on the right foot. Maybe you did prep work ahead of time. Take a look at the ways you initially set yourself up for success.

Then look at what didn’t work. Did you start giving in to small temptations that snowballed into giving up altogether? Maybe you stopped doing those daily action steps that makes a giant goal feel manageable.

By pinpointing where you lost your motivation, you can more clearly see what steps you need to take to get back on track. But by looking at what worked well, you’ll remember the progress you did make.

2 | Revisit your priorities.

If you didn’t do so before you laid out your goals, make a list of your priorities. What truly matters to you right now? Where do you want your focus to be aimed?

Don’t worry about what you think your priorities should be. If you try to direct your focus on an area just because you think you should, your heart won’t be in it. It’s a better use of your time and energy to be honest about what you really want.

Once you have your priority list, look at your goals and make sure they align with your priorities. If one of your priorities is financial stability, then a goal to travel more might not make sense. However, a goal to save money for a specific trip or future travel is still in line with that priority.

I recently heard that your intention matters much more than your level of discipline when it comes to reaching goals. If you have an important reason/priority behind your goal, you’re much more likely to be committed and willing to make changes in order to succeed.

3 | Refine your action steps.

Be specific about the action plan for accomplishing your goals. If you were too vague when you initially mapped out a plan for reaching a specific goal, refine the steps you need to take in order to succeed.

“Lose weight” is not measurable so it gives you less direction. “Lose 10lbs by June 1st” not only gives you a set definition of success, but also makes it easier to set benchmarks along the way. Your action plan can include losing 2.5lbs per month.

4 | Add specific action items to your weekly/daily calendar.

Once you have your action plan nailed down, add set action items to your calendar. Using the example above, one of the action items might be checking your weight every Monday morning. Another might be adding certain classes at the gym into your schedule.

By putting clear-cut tasks into your calendar, you’re setting yourself up for success. Instead of a casual idea in your mind about exercising regularly, you’re eliminating the mental energy that it takes to find the time and place to do so.

Checking off those action items on your schedule or to-do list gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to keep moving forward towards your goal.

Remember to recognize your small achievements. Progress doesn’t have to be monumental to matter. Use these strategies to get back on track so that you’ll be able to really celebrate when you finally reach your goal!

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10 Goals for 2017

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that the holidays are over. But, I also love the feeling of possibility that the new year brings! I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few weeks about what I hope to accomplish in 2017. I used to come up with resolutions, but I’ve found that isn’t very useful. Instead of just a wish or a hope to improve in some way, I like having a list of tangible, measurable goals.

Setting measurable goals is a great way to start off the new year. What do you hope to achieve in 2017?

I broke down my list into categories to make it easier to track my progress: Personal, Family, Home and Blog. I decided to limit my list to ten goals. Too many goals can feel overwhelming and gives me less chance of success. Too few can make each goal seem overly important. So ten is my number.

Personal

1. Lose another 10 lbs. As of right now, I weigh 7 lbs less than I did this time last year. At one point, I was down 9 lbs, but… the holidays. I credit some of my weight loss to more exercise and making better food choices like (mostly) cutting out soda. The bulk of my weight loss happened during and after my first round of the Whole30 in October. I plan to do another round soon, but for now I’m continuing to incorporate many Whole30 habits into my diet, while not sticking to all the rules.

2. Read 18 books. I love reading. I enjoy all different genres and so appreciate good book recommendations. I also love sharing them like I did here, here and here. One of my most valuable resources for a steady stream of good reading material is Anne Bogel who authors the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy and hosts the podcast What Should I Read Next. I’m using her 2017 Reading Challenge to map out the books I really hope to read this year instead of just flying by the seat of my pants. I’ll be posting my full list on Thursday!

Family

3. Plan date night once a month. I’m a lucky girl. I have a wonderful husband, and we both do our best to make our relationship a priority. Between work and kids and just life in general, it can easily get lost in the shuffle if we don’t pay attention. Making time for one another in spite of being tired or busy is extremely important. I want to make sure that we get out on our own at least once a month.

4. Create a homework schedule that works for both kids. With one in kindergarten and one in third grade, the homework is still pretty minimal. However, the habits we instill now set the tone for the future when the work load increases. As the official manager of their schedules, it’s my job to make sure they learn good habits. Setting up consistent times for homework not only lays a foundation for the future, but also helps me feel more relaxed, knowing I won’t need to worry if everyone’s work is done.

Home

5. Control the clutter. If I had a dime for every item in our house that isn’t in the best spot it could be, I’d be one rich chick! We bring so much STUFF into our home. It’s hard to know what to do with it all so I find myself doing a lot of shuffling. I move things from one place to another, but how much more peace would we all feel in our home if instead of just shuffling, we were actually organized?!? I’m not 100% sure how to measure the progress on this one yet.

6. Finish our patio. When we moved into our house two years ago, we completely overhauled the back yard. While the landscaping is beautiful, the patio area still needs some fine tuning. Last summer we added a seating area, sheltered “temporarily” with an easy-up, which was still out there until two weeks ago when all the rain we’ve been getting thrashed it and we had to take it down before it collapsed on our new furniture. I want our patio ready for summer so we can really enjoy our beautiful back yard this year.

7. Update the master bedroom. Isn’t it funny how often this is the last room to get finished in a new house? Ours isn’t a complete disaster, but it could use some attention for sure. We put in new floors and painted before we moved in. We have a relatively new bed and a new area rug beneath it. The furniture isn’t really working and this room often becomes a dumping ground when we’re trying to keep the rest of the house clean for company. I’ve got lots of ideas on how to make it the haven that it should be.

Blog

8. Consistently post twice a week. I’ve done better with this in the past few months aside from the last two weeks, but consistency is the key word. I tend to go strong for a while and then lose my focus and the posts  begin to dwindle. I’m working hard to get ahead on the calendar this year so that when I’m busy or need a break, the blog doesn’t get completely neglected.

9. Develop a plan for social media. This is another goal I have for my little creative space that involves that magic word: consistency. Since I can be a very inconsistent blogger, it’s hard to gain the momentum I need to sustain a higher number of visitors. Posting regularly and using social media to my advantage are important if I want to amp up my blog traffic. I need to figure out how to utilize schedulers to create a consistent presence on my various social media channels to help keep people interested. Maintaining readers will help me towards one more goal I have for 2017.

10. Reach 10k monthly page views. 10,000 page views might seem like a small amount, but to me it would be a big deal! My highest month so far was about 3500 views. By posting quality content on a regular basis and promoting it properly, I’m hoping to keep readers interested and increase my overall traffic. I love being able to share my ideas and inspiration from others here on Sweeter Still. I’m thankful for those who continue to support me, and I have some big ideas for 2017.

Studies show that sharing goals or intentions with others is a big step towards success. It’s easy to forget about your plans or ignore your lack of progress when no one else knows. Having some accountability goes a long way in helping you achieve what you set out to do. Thanks for letting me share my plans with you. Posting them is a little scary, but also very motivating! Don’t forget to come back on Thursday to see what I’m planning to read this year!

What are your goals for 2017?

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12 For 2012

2011 was a big year for our family. BIG. We started the year off with a brand new baby boy, added in preschool for our little girl, and threw in some major (but good) changes in the husband’s business right in time for the holidays. I feel like we’ve been going at break-neck pace for the past couple months and I’m ready for the new year to bring a little restoration to our home and our routine. In honor of the new year, here are some big and not so big goals for the next twelve months…

1. Lose the baby belly ~ Both the husband and I are deeming 2012 the year that we reclaim our health. We’ve let busyness and laziness get in the way of taking care of ourselves as we should and it’s time for that to end. Goodbye skinny fat, hello skinny jeans!

2. Get that baby sleeping through the night ~ Ah, the thorn in my side. Lack of sleep is a big contributor to the issue prompting #1 and I blame myself for being a softy on this one. My little ones have both been hard to sleep-train, but I vow to win the war on this one.

3. Break my little one of her computer/tv fixation ~ This one is completely my fault and one of the highest, if not the top priority on my list. It’s slowly progressing to a better point but between bed rest and a newborn at the beginning of the year, we’ve let PBS kids and Dora take up too much time in our house this year. 

4. Remember to floss ~ Pretty sure this one is self-explanatory.

5. Take control of the clutter ~ Like any house with people living in it, ours is prone to the clutter that comes with daily life. Bills, school papers, mail, etc. all seem to find themselves in the wrong place most of the time. Add to that the toys that end up scattered around plus all the random crap that seems to forget where it lives and it can feel pretty chaotic. Time to take back the limited space in our house and use it efficiently.

6. Blog more and blog better ~ The past year was busy and difficult in many ways as I adjusted to having two kiddos and my husband’s company became more demanding of his time. I really do enjoy blogging as a creative outlet so I’m hoping to make it more of a priority as much as life allows.

7. Read more ~ I love to read, but at the end of the day sometimes a magazine or home blogs just hold stronger appeal. I miss the feeling of being captivated by a story that is not remotely close to resembling your own life. 

8. Waste less food ~ We made a lot of movement on this in the past year, but I still feel like we could do better at using what we have and eating leftovers before they are so toxic they have nowhere to go but the trashcan.

9. Have regular date nights ~ We’re pretty good at getting out semi-regularly but we’ve let it slip in recent months as life has gotten more hectic. Sometimes it’s just easier to get time by yourself than it is together, but we both recognize that the cornerstone of a strong family is a strong marriage. Definitely need to get back in the habit of going out as a couple more often.

10. Find a kitchen designer and really take the time to plan our renovation ~ We are planning a large scale kitchen redo this year. Not the DIY kind but the DNDIY (do not do it yourself) kind where walls are blown out and new cabinets are put in and appliances are replaced and heinous countertops are removed. I’m really excited for how this will improve our little house but I want to be careful that we invest the appropriate time and energy into planning so this is done right.

11. Have at least one girl’s weekend ~ Again… self-explanatory right??

12. Focus on today as much as possible and be grateful for how blessed we are in this life. 

Cheers to a fabulous new year full of possibilities!

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