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Growing up, my version of goal setting was planning on going to college to become a nurse and putting every penny I earned in the bank toward that goal. Everything revolved around that goal – nursing camp, volunteer work at the hospital, getting my CNA at 16, and working as an aid to save for college.
Okay, so I didn’t put all of my money in the bank. I would buy gifts for others and I even went on one shopping spree where I spent $200 on an updated wardrobe for college (I remember the amount because I had never spent so much money on myself in one afternoon!). I also paid for my own gas and car insurance once I had my drivers license.
Once I got married, reality hit. We had bills to pay, a baby to feed, and not a whole lot left over once those were taken care of. Everything inside screamed, “Save! Save!” But we were unable to save to the degree that I had become accustomed to.
My husband, on the other hand, dealt much better with the whole concept of short term savings. However, he had a bit more trouble with my long term mentality. Why worry about the long term when we have things right in front of us to deal with?
I’m happy to report that we’ve learned a lot in the last 7 years of marriage about saving. We’ve made plenty of mistakes, but those have brought about a deeper level of understanding of one another as well as what it means to set goals for our family.
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that goal setting is important. It helps us to be more intentional with our family, our lives, and our time. They keep us on track as we pursue our dreams.
I don’t know about you, but we would get so overwhelmed by where we are vs. where we wanted to be. It almost seemed hopeless. Goal setting allows us to be hopeful, and to chunk our dreams down into small steps that will eventually lead us to where we want to go in this life as well as in the next.
Here are some tips we’re working with that I hope you find helpful:
Many times we have these dreams and goals that are no where near where we are now. That’s completely okay – you will get there! But remember, it’s okay to take baby steps. Each dream starts with small tasks. Define what tasks will bring you closer to your goal and work on them daily. You may dream of having this big, influential blog, but you first need to have content. Set a goal to write 24 blog posts in the next quarter instead, then work on that daily.
Instead of bunching all of your life goals into one, long, disorganized list, create categories that allow you to balance your goals across all areas of life. You may notice that our categories are very similar to my blog categories: Faith, Health, Finance, Family, Friends/Fun, Career/Vocation, Intellectual, Homesteading.
Break it down
Many times you’ll hear people say to break your goals down into 1 year, 5 year, and 10 year categories. We found that to be a bit daunting, so we decided to break our goals/actions down into more manageable chunks. We create quarterly goals which we can then assess each quarter. And guess what!? This helped us to have a clearer picture of what our long(er) term goals should look like!
The 4th quarter starts in October, so here’s what I have left for September:
Faith: Enroll children in Religious Ed by 1st week of September; Daily Mass 2+X/wk once kids are in school
Finance: Secure part-time job with goal of additional $x/month
Family: Personalized time with each kid (25+ min/wk): Brush/Braid V’s hair at night and talk; Cuddle T at least 5 min/day; Draw with D at least 5 min/day; Play cars with Mi at least 5 min/day; Be on floor with Ma at least 5 min/day; Read 1-4 books to kids each night or work on school required reading with them; Go on a date with hubby
Friends/Fun: Call 1+ friends/wk to chat and catch up; Skype twins 1x/wk; Friday morning playdates; Learn 3 guitar chords
Career/Vocation: Outline webinar; Write 10 blog posts; Check on 2 YL members/wk; Office Organization: Every has a home and purge papers/scan to computer
Intellectual: Finish EntreLeader Book (10pgs/day); Plan/Start reading 2 other books (finish in next quarter)
Homesteading: Complete the Homestead Binder