My favorite thing about months is that they start over; a fresh start every 30 days. A new month lets you try again to not go over budget or restart that “clean the house every day” plan you intended. For me, the first of the month brings the newness I always anticipate from the new year. When I failed my resolutions by the end of January, I had a difficult time picking myself back up. I’ve learned that giving myself 30 days to make a change instead of 365, made attaining my goals much more attainable. I was able to give myself more grace and encouragement, while having a time frame that didn’t overwhelm me. By setting SMART goals, I could track my progress and feel good about the tiny successes! Bullet journaling was the best way I’ve found that gives me a creative outlet while helping me grow. I’m no expert, and my pages aren’t perfect, but it gives me such joy!
Setting my goals was a huge part of making Bullet Journaling work for my world. I use the SMART method for setting goals with my students every 6 weeks. It’s a method I’ve found to work swimmingly, so I thought “Why not use it on myself?”.
S=Specific. “Eating better” was a surefire way to set myself up for cop outs or complete failure. It was way too broad of a goal, and how could I track it? Instead, I would target the specific “behavior” I wanted to track or change. What EXACTLY was I trying to achieve here? “Eating better” became “Eat Vegetables”, “Cut out daily soda”, or “One sugar in my coffee”.
M=Measurable. Again “Eating better” is extremely difficult to measure. If you can’t measure it, how can you know if you’ve been successful? “Better” is such a subjective word. What’s better to one person may not be better to the next. Instead, when I chose a specific goal, I could measure my success. Making a goal measurable breaks it down into pieces. Even if I do want to cut out soda and sugar completely, I need to chunk it. “I will have soda only 2 days a week”, “I will only put 1 sugar in my coffee”. Those were goals I could put in my Bullet Journal to track. It was very clear if I had achieved it or not.
A= Attainable. This part was the most eye-opening for me. Was my goal really reachable for me? Of course in a perfect world I could say “NO MORE SUGAR OR SODA AT ALL”, but would that really be something I could do? Is that a reasonable goal that I could succeed with? Absolutely not. I was setting myself up for failure and falling down even faster. I started off small with my goals making it one or two days a week. When I felt the success with those parts and got my feet planted, I could up it with “Soda once a week”, or “Eating a serving of vegetables at 10 meals a week”. If you don’t have the resources or time to achieve that goal, it’s not attainable. If your goal is to go to the gym every day”, but you’re working double shifts two days a week, you might be setting yourself up to fail. I’ve also found that I need to limit the amount of things I want to change at once. Having maybe 3 goals instead of 6, makes your goals much more attainable
R=Relevant/Reasonable. Is this something you even WANT to do? Does it spark your interest? Does it matter to you? Believe it or not, this is a huge part of creating your goals. Sometimes we create goals we think we should have or we copy others’ goals. In reality, you probably aren’t going to stick to goals you don’t really want to accomplish for yourself. The goals must be relevant to your life and have meaning to you!!
Also, your goals need to be reasonable. This means that you have to challenge yourself. Don’t make a goal you know will be too easy to achieve! You’re stronger than you think!!
T=Timely. It’s important to give yourself a time frame and plan for achieving your goals. “By the end of the week” or “By the end of the month” gives you a time frame to hold yourself too. When you’re time is the whole 365 days of the year, it can seem daunting. Some of my goals are even daily and THAT’S OK!
- Remember these are YOUR goals. You can choose to share them or not, it’s your business.
- Stay positive! Speak kindly to yourself during the hard times and give yourself grace during the small failures.
- Don’t be afraid to edit your goals and plans! No one is grading you. If something isn’t working, change it! There’s no use in doing something that isn’t getting you toward your goals.
- Try an accountability parter! Chances are there is someone in your circle who has a similar goal as you. Get together to encourage one another!
- Create a pretty tracker you want to look at every day! It’s simple, but I always want to track my habits on a tracker that looks nice!
- Track your habits for a month before creating goals. Track specific behaviors that you want to change or that you notice. See where your gaps are and where improvements can be made. This will help you create goals that are SMART!
Here’s a look into my December bullet journal!
My December goals:
- By the end of December, I will have drank 90oz of water a day for at least 25 days.
- By the end of December, I will have walked at least a mile 3 days a week.
- By the end of December, I will have read 1 book.
I hope this helps you start your own bullet journal goal setting! If you’re interested in my materials for bullet journaling and more check out my October Bullet Journal Post HERE!