Are you ready to absolutely CRUSH your goals for 2021 and create your absolute best year ever? As a busy Mama, I know you are always on the go and giving to everyone around you. But don’t let your dreams and goals always be tossed aside. You deserve to live a life you freaking love. Take some time just for you, use this complete guide to personal growth, goal planning and habit tracking to make the most of 2021.
Do you set a New Year’s Resolution?
Setting resolutions are about as popular as champagne on New Year’s Eve, the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day or that elusive and magical kiss at midnight. Champagne is delicious, football is fun, and a passionate kiss from the hubs at the strike of midnight is oh so sweet. These are all great traditions in my opinion, but resolutions my friend…well they are an absolute crock!
So ditch the resolution entirely and instead take the most efficient path to personal growth by planning goals for 2021 and tracking your habits for happiness!
Mama, I see you. I feel your struggles. You are so busy. Every. Single. Day! You give so much at work, as a wife, as a mother. The constant cooking and cleaning. Of course, you are an absolute boss in your career, amazing mom at home, and the CEO of your entire home. And that never ending to do list seems to grow more often than it shrinks. Girl, I get it. It is exhausting, but are you putting yourself and your goals on the backburner in order to constantly give for everyone else?
Well Mama, I am here to tell you, heck I am here to shout it as loud as I possibly can that YOU MATTER TOO. Your happiness matters. And you should continually strive to be the abso-freaking-lutely best version of yourself that you can be.
RESOLUTIONS ARE A CROCK
Kiss that resolution good-bye and let’s set some crazy BIG goals for 2021!
Think about it, how many resolutions have you made in the past? And, how many have you actually kept?
If you are anything like me, I am willing to bet that the number of resolutions you have made far exceeds the number of resolutions you have kept. Resolutions in my opinion are nothing more than a fun little tradition we often participate in.
Some of you right now are thinking if resolutions are a crock, then why do so many of us do it? Aside from tradition of course. I think it is built into our very core. You see, I think our inner selves truly want us to be our best selves. So as we flip the calendar to a new year, we are filled with thoughts of hope and possibility. We have visions of our future selves, who we want to be, and what we want to achieve. We see a new future is right in front of us. And we say, heck yeah, this is our year! This is the year that I finally…. blank, blank, blankety-blank. You of course get to fill in your own blank.
And so, we half heartedly declare resolutions. Some grand, some small. Maybe we have an entire list of resolutions we spew off to our significant others just after that romantic midnight kiss.
Guess what? I am absolutely certain we mean every word when we say them.
THE PROBLEM with resolutions
The problem is we say these resolutions and yes we mean them, but we have no actual plan behind them.
You say something like, “This year I am finally going to eat healthy.” And you leave it at that. Great, but then what…. How? What is the plan girl?
Or perhaps even more commonly, you have a plan, but it is completely unrealistic to achieve.
Maybe you say something like, “I am going to lose 15 pounds this year.” (OK raise your hand if you ever had some form of this resolution, gosh I bet we all have, in fact I have one this year). You say, “Yeah I have a plan, starting tomorrow I am going to drink 8 glasses of water a day, exercise 30 minutes a day, count my calories, eliminate all sugar, give up my Diet Coke, and walk 10,000 steps a day.”
Whoa there girlfriend, hold up…that is an aggressive list! Sorry, not sorry, but spoiler alert, YOU WILL FAIL with that kind of plan.
In fact, I would be willing to bet you will be watching the Super Bowl with deep dish pizza, homemade cookies and a diet coke in hand, because that kind of plan is going to make you fail fast. Those are all wonderful goals for the year, but you may as well say I am going to run a marathon in 4 weeks even if you have never run more than a mile at a time. It is simply too much, too quick, and is unrealistic.
Too many goals or too big of goals at once is a quick and easy path straight to a dead end.
PLANNING YOUR GOALS FOR 2021
But I am here to tell you – you can achieve any goal you have this year and I wanna help you. So ditch the resolution with no plan, or the resolution with unrealistic expectations and let’s really set some goals for 2021 that you can (& will) crush.
The first step is to actually set your goals for this year.
“Hi, I am Jillian and I am a goal addict.” OK there certainly has to be worse addictions than that (I may or may not have a few of those as well, but I digress). While, I am not entirely sure when this all started, I definitely would have to credit much of it to my Dad who always had a tendency to push me for greatness as I was growing up (thanks Dad)! But it is a definite fact that I literally love planning for the future and am constantly setting new goals (my 3 degrees are small proof of this obsession).
So it’s safe to assume I have learned a thing or two along the way and I wanna share with you my goal planning process in hopes that maybe it will help you.
“If you fail to plan you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Goal Planning Process:
You may want to download the FREE Goal Planning Map to complete this exercise.
1. DEVOTE THE TIME:
You will want to try to find a couple hours of uninterrupted time (which for me usually means first thing in the morning with my coffee or while my toddler is napping in the afternoon). If it works better for you, split this up into 2 one hour sessions, or even 4 half hour sessions.
To get started, first just ask yourself where (or who) do you want to be in 1 year? What do you want to have accomplished in the next year? Just do a brain dump, write down everything that comes to mind in the next 10-15 minutes.
Then take a look at your list and pick your 1-3 top priorities of what you most hope to accomplish this year. Your goals should excite you, heck maybe even scare you a little. Today, at this very moment, you should be motivated to achieve them. You should now have your 1-3 BIG Goals for 2021.
“You should set goals beyond your reach so you always have something to live for.” -Ted Turner
4. BREAK INTO MONTHLY GOALS:
Now, let’s take those BIG goals and break them down into smaller, more manageable monthly goals. Let’s say you have a BIG goal to lose 10 pounds this year, a smaller monthly goal may be to lose one pound per month. Maybe you want to read 12 books this year, so one per month. Maybe you want to run a marathon this fall, so in January your goal is to jog 30 minutes per day, February 45 minutes, March 1 hour, April you run your first 5K, etc.
You now have monthly goals that are more achievable and manageable. And you now have monthly goals for the entire year that will help you ultimately crush those BIG goals.
Take some time at the end of each month to review your progress and celebrate all you have accomplished. Tracking your progress and accomplishments will help keep you motivated toward those BIG goals for this year. And you deserve to celebrate the successes.
This review session also allows you to identify any areas for improvement. If you find you are struggling with any one monthly goal in particular that might ultimately prevent you from hitting the BIG goals, it is time to give that goal some more thought and attention. Brainstorm ideas (or turn to google) for ways to focus on the areas you may be struggling with.
DO YOU HAVE SMART GOALS FOR 2021?
If you have ever practiced, or read anything on goal planning you probably have heard of smart goals. But, it is worth mentioning here for anyone who may not be familiar, or in case you need a quick refresher. I definitely recommend that all of your goals this year should in fact be SMART.
You want your goal to be specific, well-defined. “I want to feel better/sleep better/exercise more/practice self care,” these probably are not gonna cut it. They are too general, try to be as specific and clear as possible when setting your goal. For example, I want to feel better this year by eating healthier, drinking more water and getting more sleep is more specific than simply saying I want to feel better.
You should be able to ultimately measure your goal. So you don’t wanna just say I want to lose weight, instead decide exactly how much weight you want to lose. For example, “I want to lose 15 pounds,” adding the 15 makes this a measurable goal.
Your goal should be attainable and possible to achieve. I might not want to set the goal to become a millionaire this year (take a look at my bank account and I think we will all agree this is not achievable).
Make your goal relevant, realistic and within reach. For example, as someone who does not run regularly, it would be unrealistic for me to set the goal of running a marathon in one month, but it may in fact be realistic for me to say I will run a half marathon this fall if I am willing to train (to be clear, I am not).
You want a sense of urgency behind your goals, so they should all have a time-frame or a deadline. For example. “I want to run a half-marathon in September,” or “I want to lose 15 pounds by the end of the year,” both have a deadline attached to them.
“A goal without a timeline is just a dream.” – Robert Herjavec
Go through the BIG Goals you planned for the year and your monthly goals and make sure each important goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
Look at you girl, you now have 1-3 BIG Goals for 2021 that are SMART, and have broken them down into monthly goals. You my friend are definitely not planning to fail! I am absolutely pumped up for you. Can you already see how much more actionable this is than some silly New Year’s Resolution?
But wait, you say. How will I be accountable for my monthly goals?
HABIT TRACKER TO CRUSH YOUR GOALS IN 2021
Enter the habit tracker. A habit tracker is an amazing tool that will help keep you accountable to achieving those monthly goals. And when you hit those monthly goals….you are going to crush those BIG goals for the year too.
Here is the deal, motivation gets you started, but habit keeps you going! Long term habit development is truly one of the best ways to achieve your goals for 2021 and reach long term success. Habit Trackers allow you to become more intentional with your behaviors, while encouraging consistency and accountability. Download your FREE Daily Habit Tracker now. (There are also a variety of habit tracking apps available for your phone if you prefer digital tracking over paper).
let’s put this all together using an example:
Continuing with the weight loss example, let’s say one of my BIG goals for 2021 is to lose 20 pounds (which it is by the way). I decided to break this down to 2 pounds per month (with the exception of July for Vacation and December for Christmas, where I will strive to just maintain my weight those months).
Lost 20 pounds?! Wow that feels so big. Just saying that makes me immediately shutter a little on the inside. It feels overwhelming and a little unrealistic.
BUT saying lose 2 pounds per month, heck who couldn’t do that if they tried? That is less than half a pound per week. Of course I can do that! I now have manageable and realistic monthly goals.
Exactly, how will I do that though? Well as one of my favorite ever mentors, Jenna Kutcher says, Start Small and Work Big.
So I started my January Goal Planning Map with the goal of lose 2 pounds, under that I decided the actions I would take would be to:
- Avoid alcohol
- Count my Calories every day
- Drink 80 oz. of water
In February, my goal will be to lose 2 pounds, I will:
- Avoid alcohol
- Consume less than 1600 calories every day
- Drink at least 80 oz. of water
In March, my goal will be to lose 2 pounds, I will:
- Avoid alcohol
- Consume less than 1600 calories every day
- Drink at least 80 oz. of water
- Exercise 30 minutes a day 5 days a week
Can you see how taking your BIG goals for the year and breaking them into smaller monthly goals makes everything seem more achievable? More manageable?
COmplete your habit tracker:
Now it is your turn, take your monthly goals and decide the actions you will take to achieve them and you can create your monthly habit tracker.
Did you know it only takes about 4 weeks to form a habit?
So then, I also know that if I focus on drinking 80 ounces of water every day in January, come February I will have formed a new habit, it will just be automatic. In fact, it will feel weird not to. At this very moment, as I sit here typing this I am currently enjoying an ice cold Coca-Cola Zero because well, I drink diet soda all day, every day (side note, yes I am Nurse, yes I know how badly my body wants and craves water…that is why it is on my habit tracker y’all).
So once that habit has been formed, you can comfortably add more actions to my habit tracker to help reach my BIG goals for 2021.
HABIT TRACKER TIPS:
You can literally make any habit you are practicing an automatic action in just 3-4 weeks. So plan for a month, use the tracker to help you track your progress and stay consistent with your actions.
Consistency is absolutely critical to your success.
Remember, start simple and work big.
Allow for mistakes along the way, allow yourself some grace. Just do not quit, this is not the place to have an all or nothing mentality. Trying to eat healthier, but feel bad because you devoured a doughnut in the breakroom? Whatevs girl, it happens to the best of us (and hello… doughnuts are delicious and somehow free doughnuts in the breakroom are even more delish!) Remind yourself that you are striving for progress not perfection and one little doughnut certainly will not derail you entirely…just keep going.
Try implementing a yet statement. When you find yourself saying or thinking. “I am not where I want to be.” Instead try saying, “I am not where I want to be yet, but I am getting there.”
Habit Trackers are a great tool to help you reach your goals, except that you kinda have to get in the habit of using a habit tracker (it’s cool if a little Alanis Morrisette just played in your head, “Isn’t it Ironic…don’t ya think?”) If you have never used a habit tracker try including “complete habit tracker” as one of the line items on your tracker for the first month, if you think it might help.
Once you start using a habit tracker you will be amazed at how helpful they can be for implementing new habits, reaching your overall goals for the year, or even eliminating those old pesky habits you want to kick to the curb.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR WHY FOR YOUR GOALS FOR 2021
The last thing that is essential to discuss before you run out there and smash all of your goals this year is your Why. You should get crystal clear with your Why. Know and understand your Why for each of your BIG goals this year. Becoming intimate with your Why will help you stay motivated and drastically increase your chances for success.
It isn’t enough to say I want to lose weight. That’s great, but why? Because you want to look and feel good in those skinny jeans? So you can toss your frumpy bathing suit in the garbage and rock your bikini body on your summer vacation? To have more energy to keep up with your rambunctious children? Everyone’s why for each and every goal is different, but it is important to know and understand Your Why.
Your why should be extremely personal and meaningful to you and should be at the very core of your goals. When you have a powerful why you are far more likely to achieve any goal you set.
NOW… GO CRUSH ALL YOUR GOALS FOR 2021 GIRLFRIEND
Phew! You made it; I am proud of you for making it this far. I know that means you are serious about crushing your goals this year.
Let’s do a quick review.
- Ditch the New Year’s Resolutions
- Brainstorm goals you want to achieve this year
- Prioritize your list and decide on your 1-3 BIG goals for 2021
- Break those BIG goals into smaller, more manageable monthly goals
- Make sure all of your goals are SMART
- Decide on the daily actions you will commit to in order to achieve your BIG goals
- Consider using a Habit Tracker to hold yourself accountable to those daily actions
- Review your goals and progress monthly. Celebrate the wins and adjust future goals and plans accordingly
- Know and understand your Why
“Goals. There’s no telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There’s no telling what you can do when you believe in them. And there’s no telling what will happen when you act upon them.” -Jim Rohn
You can do this, have fun with your goal planning, get creative with the free goal planning map and free habit tracker.
Wanna really show up as the best Mama? Wife? Sister? Daughter? Friend? You have to show up first and foremost as your best self. Just remember along the way, that you matter. Your happiness matters and the most efficient path to personal growth is through goal planning and habit tracking.
And if, or shall I say when, things get tough, that is OK because guess what girlfriend, you are tougher!
Craving even more deets? Check out How to Set and Achieve Life Goals the Right Way for additional information. You can make this year your best year yet. Now get to it…set some amazing goals for 2021 and crush them!
DON’T FORGET TO GRAB YOUR FREE GOAL PLANNING MAP & FREE HABIT TRACKER
I believe in you and will be rooting for you always. In fact, I would love to hear from you, tell me in the comments below what is one BIG goal you have for this year?