How I’m Going to Suck Less at Goals

I'm bad at goals! What I'm going to do to overcome it.

You know how people always preach about the importance of goal setting? Especially at this time of year when New Years Resolutions are flooding your feeds. Well, I have a confession…I am terrible at goals. I’m terrible at setting goals, and I’m even more terrible at following through with them. I’m working on it though. I guess you could say that one of my goals is to be better at goals.

The Goals

This year I’ve got five goals I’m going after, and they cross most sectors of my life. Some of them are big important goals and others, well…not so much. None of them are incredibly lofty, but I’m trying to set myself up for success here.

Workout Four Times a Week

Ok, this is one of those resolutions I make every year that ends up being a fail. Exercise and I are not BFF’s. I go through spells where I love it and then (longer) spells where I have zero motivation to get my butt off the couch.

I’m hoping that by setting a firm but realistic ‘days per week’ number, it will be easier to stick to throughout the year. Instead of splurging on a gym membership, I’ll be getting my workouts done at home. I tend to go all out on fitness goals at the beginning instead of building up a habit that is sustainable. This year I’m going to be myself into the groove by doing less taxing workouts (like yoga and pilates) at the beginning, so I don’t psych myself out in the first week.

Eat Less, Not Better

This probably sounds like bad advice but let me explain. Minus the last couple of weeks of too many Christmas treats, I tend to eat reasonably well. The bf and I eat at home regularly, cook fairly healthy dinners and don’t keep junk food in the house. My problem is snacking. Running out to grab an after-dinner treat, Sunday afternoon coffee shop runs that include doughnuts…you get the idea. These little extras are bad for my wallet and my waistline, and since I want to improve both, I’m nixing the snacking.

One of the best tips I’ve heard for combatting evening binges is to brush your teeth right after dinner. The taste of toothpaste does not mix well with food and is a good reminder to put down the chips!

Pay Off Line of Credit and Increase RRSP Contributions

Other than my mortgage (which I’m good with keeping), the only debt I have is a line of credit from a couple of home improvement projects. It’s secured, so the interest rate is low, but I want it off the books once and for all. No debt is better than any debt.

Once that is paid off in full I want to redirect those payments straight into my RRSP. I’ve been focusing on shorter-term savings goals recently and need to get more serious about retirement savings. I’m as guilty as anyone of thinking retirement is a long way off!

Blog Productivity

You could say that my blogging career is a combination of coasting and procrastination. I always have a long list of things I want to implement, but few actually happen. Overall, I’ve been happy with how the last year of blogging has gone. It’s a challenge and a lot more work than I initially thought, but I’ve seen gains in page views and interaction the last few months which is exciting.

One of my biggest goals for the blog won’t impact you guys at all but will help my sanity! That’s to build up a backlog of posts, so I’m not always stressing to get a post out every week. I love the writing part and am committed to posting once a week, but I need to get away from finishing posts at the last possible second (and you know, save time for editing).

I’d also love to make it to FinCon (a conference for the personal finance community) this year. I’ve never been, but it looks like such a great time. However, it’s in Orlando for 2018 which is about as far from home as possible for this Canadian, and that means it will be pricey. I’m hopeful I can make enough off the blog between now and September to pay for the trip.

Find a Signature Lipstick

Clearly, this is the not so important goal I hinted at above, but I wanted to add in a fun one. I love lipstick. Wearing it always makes me feel more put together even when everything else is a hot mess. I also own a lot of lipstick already but gravitate to buying bolder colours that I’ll only wear for special occasions. What I need is an everyday lipstick that is perfect for the office.

I want it to be in between red and pink (that’s a thing right?), not too bold, longish wearing but not drying. So…recommendations?

The Sucking Less

Step one in sticking to my goals was making myself accountable to you guys by actually writing this post. But let’s be honest…you’re not nearly judgy enough to motivate me 😉

Go Schedule Crazy

I might be terrible at goals, but I am a total pro when it comes to sticking to a schedule. If it’s written in my daytimer (aka Google yells at me to get it done), it will get accomplished. I am not a rule breaker, and I need to use this character trait to my advantage. Write it down, make myself accountable to myself, and make it that much more challenging to avoid. Netflix will always win unless my calendar says no.

I’ve always been the kind of person who gets excited about cracking open a new daytimer, but it’s been a few years since I’ve had a paper planner. Lately, I’ve been all about the Google calendar. This year I’m going old school. I think there’s something more motivating about writing out your tasks and being able to check things off manually.

Confession: I’ve always thought those goal-based planners are a little hokey, but my lacklustre history doesn’t exactly make me an expert. So…I’m going for it and got myself the Slay Your Goals Planner from Nadalie at It’s All You Boo. It’s jam-packed full of fillable monthly and yearly planners and includes worksheets to get you thinking about your goals. I’ve been enjoying filling it out, and it’s undoubtedly been motivating. Plus, it’s helping me set smaller milestones throughout the year to keep me accountable and motivated to reach my broader goals.

I’m also setting aside a small chunk of time every evening to do blog ‘stuff’. As many of you fellow bloggers know, the actual post writing part is not that time-consuming. It’s all the social media, promoting, checking in with other blogs, answering emails, etc. that fills the bulk of your time. Doing a little bit of this every night (even while watching TV) will keep me up to date and my writing time will be focused on writing and not scheduling pins.

Combatting Decision Fatigue

I am the person who comes home from work at the end of the day and has zero motivation to do anything. Ask me what I want for dinner and 99% of the time my answer will be ‘I don’t know, whatever you want, but no, not that!’ I’ve never claimed to be the easiest person to live with.

Decision fatigue is real, and I find it affects me more in winter when the sun disappears before dinner is on the table. What can I do about that? Eliminate as many small decisions as possible to keep things simple. What does that look like in action? For me, it’s all about planning; assigning household chores for each day of the week, meal planning (emphasis on dinners that will have leftovers for lunch), laying out outfits for the week, etc.

J. Money from Budgets are Sexy recently wrote a post about making bad money decisions after 6 pm and this is 100% me…about everything! If it hits 6 pm and I don’t know what we’re eating for dinner, you can almost guarantee that Skip the Dishes will be showing up at the door. To make sure this doesn’t end up happening to you, I’ve got a 30 days of easy dinners post next to keep your January on track.

So, I’ve set my goals and this year I’ve got a better plan to make sure I can actually accomplish them. I’d love to hear if you guys have set New Year’s resolutions for yourselves? And if so, what tips you might be able to share to make sure you stay on track? 

I'm bad at goals! What I'm going to do to overcome it.

This post was proofread by Grammarly

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16 comments

  1. I love Anne Hathaway.

    I can’t help at all with lipstick but my totally frivolous thing for next year is to get two more pairs of dangly earrings because apparently they make me seem to be put together when I’m not, and a nice lightweight handbag that’s been on my list for ten years. This is the year! (Once I find a sale.)

    We combat the meal decision fatigue by stocking the freezer and pantry with a lot of basics and I throw something together in the hour before husband and child get home. It’s working way better than traditional meal planning because I have to cook depending on my mood, energy, and how my hands feel. Some days I can make meatloaf. Some days it has to be a quick pasta dish. If I planned one thing and can’t do it, I’m inevitably disappointed in myself. This way, we’re all happy. And surprised.

    That’s actually how I handle scheduling for most things. I schedule for the week and then shift things around from one day to another depending on how well I’m feeling. As long as I get it all done by the end of the week without having messed myself up, I call that a win!

    1. Weekly planning works for me too, I can plan things out on Sunday and when I do that things flow better.

      I don’t do much of the cooking in our house (I’m terrible at it) but we do a similar thing. We buy all the groceries for the week and then usually decide that morning what we’ll eat for dinner and take the meat out of the freezer.

      Good luck on the dangly earrings and handbag mission!

  2. I feel you on the backlog. After 18 months of blogging, the past two weeks are the first time that I’ve had any real backlog of articles. I’m going into 2018 with a plan to build it up and keep it full. We’ll see how it goes.

    Good luck!

  3. I’m with you on having a problem keeping up with exercise! Some weeks I knock it out of the park, other weeks I can’t find the motivation. What helped me is challenging myself to get just 10 minutes in. I find that mentally, you can’t find a reason to NOT do 10 minutes and once you start it gets you moving and in the mood for more. Sometimes you have to play tricks on your mind! 🙂

    I totally get the lipstick too – I’m in the market for a perfect pinkish nude for work. So hard to find the perfect one!

    1. That 10 minute rule is a good one, I’ll have to try that for sure!

      I got a sample size of a Marc Jacobs lipstick in ‘slow burn’ and it’s a nice pinkish nude. I wear it a lot but want something a little brighter. It’s expensive but the formula is great.

  4. Hey, Sarah. I don’t want to be a downer, but I have over 30 drafts in the hopper in varying stages of completion and writing STILL SUCKS, and I’m STILL SQUEEZED FOR TIME! And my Islanders are in last place in their division. And it’s in the 20s here in North Carolina. And Mrs. Groovy can’t find the new health insurance cards that we received in the mail just a couple of weeks ago. And you think you have problems! Haha. Only kidding. Best of luck on your awesome goals. I’m sure 2018 will be very kind to you. Cheers.

    1. This made me laugh, but I have a couple rebuttal points…
      1. I’ll take your ‘in the 20s’ any day until about April.
      2. Have you seen the Oilers?

      Let’s hope 2018 gets better for both of us 😉

  5. Hello Sarah!

    That’s a nice goal to have — to be better at goals! 😊

    I actually like to work out at home rather than the gym too! Not bc of saving money (though it’s an added benefit) but I focus better when I am by myself than when there’s so many ppl. I also like how it’s efficient and convenient — you save so much time! Triple win!!!

    I can understand the random snacking. I tend to do that all the time on weekends and I want to stop myself. I’d indulge in ice cream at random times on weekends (one of my biggest weaknesses).

    Let 2018 be a year where we all crush our goals! Happy new year to you. I’m sure you will do great especially when you said you write them down 😉👍

    1. Happy New Year!

      Ice cream is a weakness for me too. I very rarely buy it because know I’ll eat the whole carton in just a few days.

      Good luck on all your goals this year, and thanks for stopping by.

  6. Can’t help with lipstick because I’m not a lipstick wearer except for the approximately eight times a year I wear the bright red one I own. Maybe I should make 2018 the year of wearing the bold color just for fun!

    Good luck with all your goals this year, especially the having posts drafted ahead of time! That’s definitely something I’d love to have done, but I suspect 2018 will look much the same as 2017 in terms of writing everything the night before I have a post going up!

    1. Yes to making 2018 the year of the bold lipstick. I’m like that too, I have a red lipstick I love but it I only comes out for the fancy nights.

      I’m really hoping I can get ahead on some posts this year. Writing last minute is the one thing about blogging that stresses me out. I’ve got next week’s post all ready to go, so that’s something.

      Happy New Year Erin 🙂

  7. Sorry, can’t help you on the lipstick ;), but I certainly relate to the other goals you’ve listed here. I’ve been following a similar plan of eating less, not better, which seems to be working well. I hear you on the dark before dinner thing as well, it’s tough to get motivated when there’s no daylight left as you leave the office.

    1. No lipstick tips, what the heck!

      At least we’re on the ‘days are getting longer’ side of things, hopefully it will start to be noticeable.

  8. I so miss the days of easily fitting in 4 days a week of exercise (more like 5 or 6 to be honest), but since having a kid I’ve been stuck at 1-2 days a week. Since this is key to my overall happiness and wellbeing, I should figure out a way to up my game this year. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    1. No problem, thanks for stopping by and commenting! I have a hard enough time getting my butt in gear and can’t even imagine how much harder it would be with a little one running around. Good luck on getting back at it 🙂

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