New Year’s Goals (& A Free Planning Sheet)

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I  love this week of the year. Not only do the kids and I have a week off school and my husband has a week off work, but I usually get a chance to catch my breath and think about the year we’re finishing and the year that’s beginning.

I feel like my system gets “reset” during this week. Our home has new gadgets and toys, requiring some dejunking and rearranging. We finish house projects and put things in order for a fresh start when we go back to school and hubs goes back to work.

I get a “do over” this time of year.

Even though nothing really changes, it’s a wonderful landmark for me to remember what works, what we like, what was successful of the past year. And it’s a great oportunity to ditch the habits and things that don’t benefit me or my family.

And the days between Christmas and New Years are usually days when I set some big goals and dreams for the new year. You can read last year’s goals and laugh that they aren’t terribly different than this year’s.

This year, I organized my goals differently. I decided to create four kinds of goals for the coming year. I approached it from the aspects of personal, family, home, and financial.

Setting Goals

Here’s a peek at my goals for the year:


  • Write a cookbook – This is going to consume the next 6 months in earnest. Pray for me!
  • Read good books – Stay tuned for news later this week about our Booking It reading program. I am really excited about it!
  • Manage my time better – I’ve fallen back into the bad habit of attempting too many things at one time. I need to take a step back and focus better.
  • Get healthy – I’m long overdue for a physical, and I definitely need to get back to exercising and eating well. I get winded easily and want to make sure that it’s just laziness and not an underlying problem.


  • Enjoy more down-time with my husband and kids – I want more personal connections with each member of my household, more conversations, more fun, more un-plugging.


  • Do something with our photos – The girls don’t have baby books and most of our framed photos are sitting in boxes. We all enjoy looking at photos, so I want to do something to make that happen.
  • Dejunk and reorganize – We’re due for a huge simplification process around here. You all inspired me in the comments of this post to downsize, so before Christmas I filled the minivan with discards. And I’m afraid I’ve only scratched the surface.


  • Save for the Big Kahuna – We don’t know what TBK is at this moment, but we know that we have room to save, so we’re going to try.
  • Enjoy the freedom of our frugality – Our trips to Monterey and Mammoth were so fun, it was definitely worth it to eat  bean and rice dinners to be able to pull it off. Having enjoyed such a nice vacation encourages me to keep scrimping so our family can enjoy some more adventures.

Breaking it down into doable steps

It’s great to say that I’m going to do these things in the next year. But, it’s an altogether different thing to actually do them.

I’ve found that if I break down the bigger goal into smaller, more doable steps, I feel more confident about making it happen. And that’s half the battle right there, believing that you can do it. It’s also more likely to happen if I’ve identified the steps to take between point A and point B.

For instance, I want to get healthy in the new year. I’ve had a few injuries and illnesses that have set me back over the last year, a few new rolls around my waist that I don’t recognize, and I get winded quite easily. Not to mention the fact that I’m gonna be forty…. someday.

Take a Bite

“To get healthy” can be my goal, but that’s rather vague. To take it further, I need to break it down into smaller, bite-size pieces. Here are some steps I’ve identified for myself as some to take toward my goal this year.

  • Make the dr. appt and go.
  • Get to bed by 10 every night.
  • Take a regular supplement.
  • Drink more water.
  • Start exercising.
  • Eliminate processed sugars.

Calling for a doctor’s appointment is an easy thing to do — and so much less intimidating than “getting healthy.” I can do that!

Since I think so much better on paper than I do in my head, I created a worksheet to help me break down the different steps of my goals. I also included a space for “resources to make it happen.” For instance, I need childcare so I can be free to go to the dr. This helps me think through my goal and how to achieve it. It also gives me a nudge to seek out those resources.

You can download a copy of this New Year’s Goal Setting form for free.

Enjoy the journey.

I confess that it is way too easy for me to get caught up in my to do’s. I’m reading a great book right now (more on that later) that is helping me clarify what I want from my to do list. In the process, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the “chief end of man,” to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

I think part of glorifying God is to enjoy the life that He’s given me. While I see plenty of room for self-improvement, I want to enjoy the way things are as well as enjoy them in the process of becoming something new. I want to cultivate thanksgiving in my heart and not take these moments for granted.

I want to find ways to enjoy exercising. I want to enjoy the decluttered room, but also be cheerful about the decluttering process. I want to find freedom in unplugging, not just a shoulda to check off my list. I want to enjoy the journey.

Want to learn more about goal setting and getting your act together? Buy my ebook, Organizing Life as MOM. It’s 173 pages of inspiration for organizing and getting things done so that you can enjoy life more. Only 9 bucks. Homeschooling and Blogging add-ons are available.

What about YOU?

Do you set goals for the new year? Does this help you be more purposeful? What is your experience with resolution making?

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  1. Hi,
    I enjoyed this post a lot!!!
    If you want to start excercing you might want to try Teresa Tapp’s 15 minute workout. Or if you are pretty behind in your fitness there is one called MORE, it’s a toned down version to get you going. That is the one I am doing. Her workouts are fabulous, you lose inches more than weight. You get a lot of bang for your buck. In other words you don’t have to spend much time to get great results!!!! I have the book and the DVD. It is really hard to learn the exercises from her book, the moving pictures are much easier to follow!!! Just a suggestion!!!!
    Have a good day!!!

  2. Like many, I just wrote a post about resolutions, or to me, GOALS. I am still narrowing down the specifics, but have the broad categories and have begun to make a plan.

    Thanks for the planning sheet.

  3. Great post on setting goals. You have inspired me to set my own goal for 2011, which is to run a 5k. Hopefully, it will inspire to get a little healthier, as I train for my race. Thanks!

  4. I loved your New Year’s Goals and can so relate! Ditto for me! I’ll keep you posted! 🙂

  5. thank you for your blog and posts, they really have helped me re-focus. This is a great week to do it-any day is a great day to do it-I have done so many planning worksheets for my work but hardly ever for myself. Oprah did a great workbook years ago, I may dig that out. I never journal anymore but that is the idea of being mindful and purposeful in our commitment to ourselves. so very important. Will be hitting 41 in April. Have felt the ground slip under me the past 6 months. Time to regroup I think focus on my strengths and find resources where I need support-this will be one I will refer to again and again, thanks and best wishes on your journey too!

  6. This was an inspiring post! This week of the year is my favorite, too. I love reflecting and thinking about the new year. My goals are going to include growing spiritually…through reading the Bible each day (1st time ever) and practicing yoga. Also, paying off debt and becoming a better financial steward, taking a really special trip with my husband and creating a home that is a haven instead of a source of mess, clutter and stress.

    A few thoughts on exercise: I used to be a runner, but I really dreaded it. It worked for the waistline, but I didn’t have the willpower to make myself do something that felt like so much *work*. LOL. Have you tried yoga? It can be hard to sneak away to a class, but I have found it to be absolutely life-giving…a place for me to get still, to nurture and move my body, to connect with God and to really treat myself. I squeeze in a few classes a week and then walk with a friend, our dogs or an audio book on the other days and my body is leaner and stronger and it feels like me time. Just a thought.

    Happy new year! Looking forward to another wonderful year with you on Life as Mom.


    1. @Libby, awww. So glad you were inspired. Sounds like you have some great goals.

      And thanks for the exercise tips. We have an exercise bike and I have a yoga DVD. It’s just not realistic for me to take off to exercise, but I’ve got what I need. Just need to do it. 😉

  7. Wow even setting the goals seems overwhelming right now but it won’t fix it self will it. As far as decluttering I seem to be a pack rat when it comes to my childrens toys and clothes. Our children age range 1 to 11, I don’t want to throw things away that someone else could use and then have to rebuy it later but we are being overwhelmed with “stuff”. Any ideas?

    1. @charlotte, I know the feeling! We have about the same age range. But, I just had to bite the bullet. The items that they really don’t play with — or the ones that I don’t want to pick up — had to go. It is so freeing! And they’re playing more now, not less. I think you’d be surprised at how much excess you probably have.

  8. Thanks for the encouragment to break down the big ideas into manageable tasks. This is the step I usually get stuck at. And I like the nod to a certain movie. “I’m gonna be forty…someday” too and want to be healthy enough to enjoy that and the next forty years after them!

    1. Oh, I’m so glad that someone caught that quote. 😉 Unfortunately, it’s only 1 1/2 years away instead of the 8 that Sally was counting down. Sigh….

      1. @Jessica Fisher,

        You’ll be okay. I hit 40 over 2 years ago. It’s actually rather liberating. Once you get past the idea that another decade just flew by It’s kinda cool to see the kidlings come into their own.

  9. Great job! I am calling my “new year’s goals” this year. I am going to try to set 10 total in all different categories and then break them down as you have. I am a planner/worrier and I am already worried that as the freshness of the new year wears off, the “goals” will fall by the wayside. Any tips on how to stay motivated?? May be that should be a goal!

    My personal health goals are almost exactly the same as yours. (Probably many people too) I am hoping you will keep us updated on the processed sugar goal because that is on my list but I have no idea how to eliminate them! I will continue to follow here and your other blog for updates! Keep up the great work in the new year!

    1. @Kelley, the sugar thing is ongoing since last year. I fell off the wagon a little near the holidays. OK, a lot. But, I’m getting sick of the taste a little.

  10. Loved this post and the beautiful pictures! I have been thinking about this the past month or so. I usually am not one for new year resolutions, but I have a lot of health, organizing, and financial goals that I need to work towards this year. I like how you broke it down into speicific things.

  11. This hits the nail on the head. Tonight is our planning meeting for 2011. Yippee! This worksheet is a nice push in the right direction.

    My goal categories total 6:
    health, spiritual, financial, personal growth, hubby, kids

    🙂 Allie

  12. A great encouragement as I’m desperately trying to “declutter” and simplify right now in order to FUNCTION better. Love the encouragement to have joy in the process. 🙂

  13. Due to some life changing events in the past two months, my life has been somewhat chaotic. This form will be helpful in trying to determine how I can stay more together in the coming months. I’ll add spiritual goals also in one of the blank categories. (Prayer and spending time with God, etc.) Thanks for the simple, but so helpful form! I hope the next few months are better than the past few!!

  14. First of all, what a wonderful goal, to be able to take nice vacations! Many families do this, but are going into debt to do so. I just love that you are debt-free and are paying for these vacations with your real, hard-earned money. So freeing, so wonderful. We’re trying hard to get there — debt-free (we have our mortgage and one last college loan now! Almost there!) — and haven’t taken any vacations at all. We plan to once we are debt-free too. We’re trying so hard to teach our children the value of money, and this is just so wonderful.

    Also, be careful with supplements. I’ve come to be cautious of them. I’ve had doctors tell me that many supplements have nutrients that are not very available to the body, and require extra nutrients to try to break down the fillers and other stuff in them and extract the few nutrients there. There are a couple I feel are worth it, with a traditional fermented cod liver oil being at the top of the list (it’s made a huge difference in our health this winter). But I wouldn’t take a multi-vitamin. A healthy diet is so much more important than that. I have some information about this on my site if you’re interested!

  15. Thanks for this post, you have really inspired me and this is exactly what I need right now!

  16. Thanks for the New Year’s goal planning sheet – it’s exactly what I need right now. I’m looking forward to your Booking It posts next year. I followed you last year and read 34 books – more than I have in years!