First we have to chat a bit about 2020 and how its changed my goal setting for 2021

To say 2020 was a very different year might be an understatement. But, the changes that the pandemic forced have brought some positives too! For me, 2020 actually brought a lot of joy! I joined a new office who truely are a team, supporting each other in any way they can. John and I really started to focus on making our house suit us and feel like a long term home. I started this blog, which I had wanted to do for years and just had never taken the time to do! I’m not saying 2020 didn’t have some low points for us too. However, I truely believe we’ve learned so much more about our selves becuase we were forced to have spend more time at home.

3 of the big things I’ve learned about myself this year:

  1. Clutter makes me feel anxious:
    I’ve always known that I need a somewhat tidy space to function so this may not seem very ground breaking. I just didn’t realize how much it effects me! One of the first projects we did this year was using an Ikea Kallax shelf to organize the office closet (click here to see!). Prior to this all of our office and a majority of crafts supplies sat in bins on the floor of the closet. Do you know how much easier it is to start a project when you can grab the materials instead of searching for them? SO MUCH EASIER! Even though I could close the closet door, the disaster inside still nagged at me. I know this might be extremely type A of me, but I am who I am. Now when I come into the office I can just start working. Theres no tidying, no searching, just starting!
  2. I thrive on routine:
    This was actually a shock to me! I thought I was more of a go with the flow kinda gal, but alas I’m a Monica instead of a Pheobe. I’ve read a few books on habits this year and it seems the majority of us are creatures of habit. In their books “Atomic Habits” and “The Power of Habit”, James Clear and Charles Duhigg both discuss habits allowing us to make automatic decisions on small things. This way we can save our decision making power for more important things (or at least this is what I understood). I think the same can be said for routines. To me a routine is a concious habit. I’m chosing to create that routine daily, monthly, or whatever days the routine applies to. Having a similar routine makes it easy to go through the day completing the necessary tasks with out much thought. Then I can use that extra brain power problem solving for work or doing something creative!
  3. Learning new things keeps me motivated:
    I work as a Mortgage Agent for Dominion Lending Centres and they do a ton of events for their agents. I always leave these events feeling excited, ready to think of even more new ideas once I’m home. This year I haven’t been able to attend some sort of in person event. Luckily, the office I joined this year did their annual AGM just before the first shut down and do weekly and monthly meetings to share ideas. I definitely felt a bit of a slump with the change to working from home, until I started attending these consistently. Downloading some creative courses has the same effect. Everytime I work on one, its like a burst of new motivation rushes in!

So how does all of this relate to goal setting for 2021?

Knowing what makes me feel overwhelmed, what keeps my mind clear, and what keeps me motivated is going to make it easier to meet my goals! So for each goal I wrote out my plan, then went through these 3 questions:

  • How does this relate to my physical space? What can I do to change that physical space to make my goals eaiser?
  • How is this going to fit into my routine? How will I make sure I stay consistent?
  • What can I learn about this goal or related topic to keep me motivated? How will I make time for this consistently?
Here’s an example of how I used this in planning for one of my goals:

The goal: 36 Blog Posts Published

How does this relate to my physical space? What can I do to change that physical space to make my goals eaiser?

I write the blog posts on my laptop in my home office, so how do I make this an enjoyable and easy space to work in?

  1. Keep it clean! This isn’t too hard since it already stays pretty clean, but there was a couple of problems! Paperwork seems to pile up on my desk. So I changed where we file our paperwork and reorganzied our files so it’s more convinient to put away. I was also running out of room in the closet organizer. Moving my Christmas craft supplies to a bin in the basement freed up space for things I use all year long. Click here if you want to see our post on creating function storage on the “Craft side” of our home office
  2. Fill up my pin board with images and text that inspire me! I spent a night choosing graphics I wanted to post. Then I did an online order so these could be picked up the next time I was in town. (I still need to add some photos, but see below for how it’s looking!)
  3. Make it comfortable to work at my desk. Right now my screens sit a little low and my chair isn’t very comfortable. So I ordered what I’m hoping will be a better chair. I’m also going to build a stand for my laptop and screen or order one that can turn into a standing desk.

How is this going to fit into my routine? How will I make sure I stay consistent?

If I want 36 blog posts this year, I need to post 3 a month. I have no routine on posting currently, so how do I create a routine that will make it easier to stay consistent?

  1. Pre-write all 3 blog posts at the begining of the month. Each week I’ll take an hour or two on the weekend to scroll pinterest or instagram for some topics I’m interested in. Then the first weekend of the month I’ll pick two of these to write about, find photos, or take photos for. For the third post I’ll plan one project a month that will turn into a blog post.
  2. Don’t make any plans for the last or first weekend of the month so that there is a dedicated time to do these

What can I learn about this goal or related topic to keep me motivated? How will I make time for this consistently?

This one was pretty easy, as I just downloaded a new course on blogging, but making time for this consistently is another story. Friday afternoons are typically a little slower at work, so I’m going to dedicate 2 hours Fiiday afternoon to this couse. That way I’ll be ready and motivated for the weekend which is typically when I work on anything blog related.

Was this a lot of work? Heck ya! Do I think its going to make a difference in meeting my goals? 100%! Getting started is usually the hardest part for me and having a plan of where to start each goal has made me feel so prepared instead of overwhelmed.

How do I keep track of my goals and progress on them?

This year I downloaded a digital planner rather than purchasing a physical planner. I love a physical planner, but I struggle using one becuase I want it to look a certain way (I know, I might be a little ridiculous). Instead I found a beautiful template for GoodNotes from Thiss Planner on etsy. I made a couple minor adjustment to suite my needs and boom I was ready to plan!

What I like about the planner is I have everything in one! Daily gratitude, a workout tracker, sleep tracker, blog planner, reading list, etc are all on in document. I can add pages as I please or duplicate a template which makes it super versitile! I also love that with GoodNotes that I can still physically write it in my journal (so many benefits to physically writing something out, google it!), but if I want I can have my writing turned into text. This helps fulfill my Type A ways.

That being said I have used physical planners and there is a ton of awesome ones! If you are a physical planner fan, here are some links to some of my favourite ones:

  • The Content Planner – Social media & content marketing
    • A beautiful planner, with a ton of ideas as well! Kat also shares so many awesome resources online and even hosts virtual (and in person normally) workshops on content planning!
  • Rifle Paper Co Planner – General Planner
    • Can we all just agree that all Rifle Paper Co products are beautiful!?
  • Passion Planner – General Planner
    • I have not personally used this one, but have a ton of friends who are die hard fans!
  • Start Today Journal – Grattitude & Goals
    • Again, I don’t have this personally but I did purchase it as a gift for some one who loves it!
  • Thiss Planner – Digital Planner
    • I’m loving this planner so far, plus Aileen offers some sticker packs to with your planners on her website here

Why use a planner or a journal?

  • Having everything written out where I can mark tasks off makes it more likely I’ll do them. Plus, life gets busy!
  • Starting and ending the day with my planner is an easy way to keep my goals top of mind.
  • I’m forgetful. Writing things down (especially the actionable steps) just makes sense for me!
  • You have something to go back and review. This is a big one! I might remember my goals in a years time, but writing down my plan and the steps took to meet those goals could really help in recreating a plan for a new goal or sharing that info with another.

Check out my video below if you want to see s few of the templates in my digital planner from Thiss Planner