ead any motivational book and it will tell you that you MUST write down your goals if you want them to be effective. I’ve read so many of those books…but have I written down my goals and tracked them? Nope, not in a long time.
This had to change. A couple days ago, I pulled out my post-its and rapidly started writing down my vision for this upcoming year. Post-its were ideal because I was able to color code.
Then I began to line them up according to month. January got the top row, February the second row and so on. I felt like a goal-setting MACHINE.
Then came the challenge of transferring these onto some type of tracker.
I was inspired by a goal tracking system that Elise Blaha came up with. You can see her creation below. (You can also get a PDF of it here if it inspires you!)
While I love the singularity of focus with her tracker, I have a number of habits that I want to solidify – and I also wanted a place to write down my goals (in this case, resolutions and habits = ongoing, while goals = finite project). Here were my requirements for my tracker:
1) All resolutions and goals are in one place.
2) Tracker is broken into three sections: Daily Habits/Resolutions, Creative Goals, and Life Goals.
3) Incorporate a way to track progress of resolutions and completion of goals.
4) Must be beautiful to look at so I can post it somewhere and be inspired.
Requirement number 4 had me immediately thumbing through my stack of Martha Stewart magazines and Anthropologie catalogs (I’m telling you, those things are so multi-purpose and like oxygen to me).
I pulled out 12 beautiful images, one for each month, and sorted them according to which month they fit best. Then I pulled out my calligraphy book and did some lettering across the top of each image, writing the month big and bold.
I wanted a splash of color across the month, so the former 1st grade teacher in me rejoiced as I grabbed some tempera paints and added a streak of color across each month. Seriously, those paints are as good for six year-olds as they are for adults.
The second those colors went on the images, I knew it was the right choice.
After the paint had dried, I got down to the business of writing out my resolutions and goals onto each month. Here is what January looks like:
I only got through April because A) drawing all those little circles started to make my wrist hurt and there is NO WAY I’m going back to physical therapy for an extreme crafting injury and B) I’m going to continue to add new goals as the year progresses. I know what I want to accomplish for these first few months of the year, but plan to let that list grow and mature as I move throughout the year – so I’ll add them as I get closer to that actual month.
I’ve posted the January image on our bathroom mirror along with a permanent marker hanging by it (to fill in those little circles or triangles every day that I stick to my resolution and/or complete a goal). I already got to fill in one circle because I followed through on my morning routine this morning. SO SATISFYING.
As I brush my teeth in the morning, I’ll read through the list so everything is fresh on my brain. Then at night, I’ll fill in my circles and triangles.
Next week, I’ll delve into some of my specific resolutions and goals – nothing like a little public accountability to make things happen!
2015, I’m ALL IN.
P.S. If you’ve made some goals or resolutions for yourself, tell me about them either in the comments of via email – email@example.com. I’m always inspired by hearing about what others are working on and I’d love to cheer you on as you make things happen in this new year!
I’m peaking on your list and i see something about the Storyline course. I went to the conference in Nashville last year and is was amazing! I might have told you about it.
Allison, that’s so cool! I remember that you went to a Donald Millard conference but I don’t think I ever pieced together the fact that it was for Storyline. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts in depth at some point – I bought the e-course awhile ago but haven’t delved in yet. Thought that January would be the perfect time for it!
Feeling super inspired by 2015! Just collages a vision board but thinking I may copy you too!
Ooo I bet your vision board is so colorful and glorious! Yes, totally copy me if you’d like! I just had another friend who did a super simple version of this with her goal written at the top of a small white board and then 30 circles running down. Whatever version it may take for you, I hope it continues to keep you inspired and alive for 2015!
I love the idea of putting your list some place you can see it and review it every morning and night, that’s so smart! And making it beautiful for inspiration.
This system looks like it is a perfect fit for you. :)
Tempera paints are pretty cool. I especially like using them as an underlayer to pastel or colored pencil drawings.
I remember starting a Japanese learning course earlier in the summer that had a day tracker for keeping your goal of studying the language that was quite similar to your circles and triangles. Trouble was, I was so nervous to start filling in, (knowing how powerful it could be to forming a new habit that I wasn’t sure I wanted to lose sleep over) that I never did!
I regret it now though, habit-forming is such a good skill to acquire. I think the more promises you can keep with yourself, the more confidence you can have, and success you can find. It’s just so hard in the beginning to stick with things, through their failures and awkward stages.
As for goals, I have to say, I’m a little nervous to write them here (you know, public accountability and all that). My main goal this year is organization and accountability. I’ve always been a little lackadaisical in my approach to the adult life: finances, files, healthy diet, you name it. I’m starting with my finances and computer files and trying to set habits about recipes and exercise. However, I haven’t concretely determined by month what I’m doing, I think that’s the next step!
So glad to hear all your ideas around the subject, as I know you’re much more well-read on it. Also excited to see you reach for and achieve your habits and goals!
Have you been reading my mind? :) I’ve actually been planning for my next step with the tempera paints to involve some work with oil pastels alongside! Glad to hear a hearty endorsement from you as I haven’t actually tried it yet. I just saw it done at an art show and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it!
So interesting about your resistance to the Japanese learning course goal tracker – I totally know the feeling…”huh, if I actually start this, it’s probably going to work and I don’t know if I’m ready for that.” Such an fascinating conundrum!
I’m majorly cheering you on in your main goals with “adult life.” I know that it can be overwhelming! Bobby and I have also pegged finances as a big area for us to get super organized and focused with in this upcoming year. Are you using any particular programs or apps that you’re a fan of? I’d love to hear them! We started to use mint.com over a year ago but never used it to its full capacity – so I think we’ll try to get on there again and really utilize it well!