2018 Goals + Planning Tips
Happy New Year!
I don’t know about you, but Christmas here came and went in a snap. I feel like I just wrote my Christmas with the Blackmons post, and now I’m looking at the year ahead! Crazy
If I can be honest with y’all, one of my biggest struggles in life is accountability. My goals and plans don’t generally leave my head because of fear of not following through and the perception of me if I don’t follow through. (I know, a little prideful. I’m a work in progress.) This hurts me, though, because it gives me no accountability to actually get things done.
So I’m taking a leap and verbalizing my goals for 2018. I’ve never been much into resolutions or goal planning, so if these seem small…that’s because I’m a believer in baby steps. But I also wanted to share with y’all some tips I’m using for this year’s goal planning and tools to make it happen!
Run a Half Marathon
I talk a little about my running here, but I ran my first half marathon in 2012. I then ran one each following year until I had Oliver in 2015. I was signed up for one in 2016 and then promptly found out I was pregnant with Zoey. Now that there are absolutely no babies on the horizon for us, it’s a goal to get back on track with a half marathon a year! I plan to sign up and run one in the fall to give me plenty of time for training since that is harder to come by with 2 littles.
A quick explanation of my weird love/hate for half marathons- 13.1 miles is long. I’m not a distance runner, so this is truly a challenge for me. But once upon a time, I thought I would never ever in a million years be able to run a half marathon. It wasn’t even in my realm of possibility. But I trained, and I did it, and that feeling was amazing. I love the challenge of pushing myself and accomplishing something difficult. (And I also really like the medal.)
I’ve had a mental home projects list in my head since the day we put in an offer on our house. We have completed exactly one and a half of those projects. There are some that aren’t quite feasible right now. For instance, I’d LOVE nothing more than to gut my bathroom and redo. The budget won’t allow that currently, BUT. There are so many smaller things we can do, like giving our fireplace a face lift and painting our kitchen cabinets. So I’m assigning a manageable home project for each month. Hopefully by the end of the year we’ll have made great progress! I’m not a DIY expert, but I’ll probably blog the projects just to keep me accountable to doing them!
So we have been here for 4.5 years. (That’s crazy.) I’m a bit of a homebody, but I want to explore our city more! We got Oliver and Zoey a membership to Discovery Place, which is a science center here, and I’m so excited to get some good use out of this! I’m also hoping to explore the different parks and greenways instead of the same ones we always go to. I want to go to different restaurants on date nights and take advantage of cultural events our city offers.
Alexandra Blackmon Photography
I have a lot of projects I’m working on for my growing photography business, and there are so many things I want to start planning! There’s a project in the works that I can’t talk about too much yet, BUT I’m hopeful to launch it at the end of February! Overall, I’m hoping for a year of learning and growth in my first full year of business! (Make sure to follow along with my photography journey here!)
I love having my own little space to share my stories, learnings, failures, and tips. I have loved meeting and connecting with some amazing mama’s and companies, and I hope to continue doing so in the new year! I’m hoping to keep posting once a week and be more consistent in sending out a behind the scenes newsletter! (Make sure to sign up for that below!) I also am looking forward to working with some great companies to let you know about their wonderful products. Please know- I would absolutely never recommend or tell you about anything that I don’t actually love and use. I’m not the type of person to post just to post or sell you something that’s crap. I firmly believe I can share great products while staying authentic and true to me and my family.
So there are a few different ways I’m planning my goals AND planning on keeping myself on track that I wanted to share with you!
1. Think big picture
So right off the bat, I think about what I want to tackle in 2018. What do I want to do more of this coming year? What do I want to have accomplished by this time next year? I keep these super general, so for me, it was more home improvement projects, growing my business, building my blog, maximizing time with my family, and getting back into shape. That’s where I left it.
2. What smaller steps will get you there?
This is where I break these big picture goals up into monthly chunks. My planner has a notes section at the beginning of every month. I went through and wrote down these different categories- ABP, Blog, Home, Running. Underneath each category, I wrote what I want to accomplish. For my business in January, it’s completing my website and getting legit. For home, it’s redoing our master closet. Just some examples, but it’s giving me a tangible idea each month, so at the end of January I can look back and see if I completed it or not. No wiggle room.
Some advice- keep it manageable! I put down our kitchen cabinets as an April goal for home improvement. Y’all, with 2 active babies and as many cabinets as we have, it is not realistic for me to plan out another project for May. I’m going to give us two months to complete this project since it’s a bigger, more time consuming one. Also, we have family vacation in July. That will probably be a pretty bare month for other categories, but it will for sure be meeting my goal of maximizing family time!
3. Make it happen
This is my weekly planning. I go into my personal planner and write down EVERYTHING that is happening- Oliver’s preschool, any appointments, play dates, weekend plans, birthday parties, etc. This gives me an idea of what free time I’ll have so I can organize accordingly.
I have to give myself mega grace with this one, y’all. Sometimes I get too rigid with my plans. Then when the kids don’t nap and Zoey is teething, I get really frustrated that my plans aren’t, well, going according to plan. (I actually wrote a whooole post about that here.) I should be clear that my biggest overall goal is to be the best mama to Oliver and Zoey. With starting a business, though, I’m having to switch from thinking of myself as a stay-at-home mom to a part-time-work-at-home-mom. And that can be a hard switch to make. But circling around, if I can set weekly steps to meet my monthly goal, I’ll know I’m making progress towards completing it.
4. Plan your day accordingly
Again, mega grace on this one. Like I did mention in this post, I have a few pockets a day where I’m kid free. For right now, Oliver is in preschool 3 mornings a week. Zoey usually naps, so I can plan at least 30-45 minutes in the morning for some things. Nap times are currently synced (hallelujah), and they go to bed at 7:30 sharp. After that, it’s all about that hustle life, y’all. Just getting it done and finding the time whatever it looks like. For me this is smaller things, like batching taking stock photos or writing one blog post or finishing one part of my website. These need to be manageable because as much as I want to reach my goals, I also need sleep. (insert crying laughing emoji here)
This has been a heck of a post, y’all, and I’m almost done! I wanted to share really quick some tools I use to help me!
A Monthly Calendar
This goes on the side of our fridge, and it’s pretty much just where I keep track of our social life. Any birthday parties, life events, field trips, planned date nights, travel, holidays, etc. If my husband tells me he has something, it goes on here, and it really helps us keep synced!
A Personal Planner
I talked about this a little further up, but this is just for me to plan out my week. This is where any small reminder goes, and also where I write down what blog posts I want to go live when, and what little goals I want to accomplish on any given day. Dinner is sometimes also planned in here.
A Daily List
I found the cutest Morning, Noon, Night planner in the dollar section at Target.
I love this because it will help me plan out our day! So often I think about taking the kids somewhere or an errand we have to run, but it ends up just being a free for all. And it probably still will be to some extent because #babies. But I’m really hoping this will help- and may be the motivational tool to keep me from browsing Pinterest during the little down time I have!
Literally just a little journal. I go through spurts of having all of the thoughts, and they do not go away until I write them down. Having one central place keeps me organized and makes sure I know where they went! I tried doing this on Google Docs, but y’all, I love pen and paper. Call me old fashioned, but I need to actually write it out.
Oh- and also on my goals list? Read more books and wear these amazingly comfortable Pink Blush sweat pants as often as possible. Seriously, this online boutique has everything! So warm for the winter, and perfect for lounging around doing nothing. Which will be worked into the schedule!
Phew. I’m done. If you stuck with me, thanks so much! I love planning, and I’m so excited about all the goals I have set for the year 2018! Hopefully you’ll be following along with me as I tackle all of this. Make sure to stay up to date daily and see some behind the scenes on Instagram where I post daily and story often! 🙂
I’d love to hear in the comments about your goals for the coming year and some ways that you stay organized!
Have a phenomenal day!