Setting Successful Goals in 2018

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This is no extra cost to you, but it does enable my addiction to Target. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

Setting Successful Goals in 2018

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be.” –Mark Victor Hansen

I love the above quote because it paints such a clear paper about why goal setting is important. I love going through and setting yearly goals each year in an effort to guide my year and grow as much as possible. Writing down your goals is a key component to setting successful goals, and we are going to go through how to do that step by step today!


I have also learned, in my years of goal setting, that all things in life are not up to you. There will be things that happen, out of your control that will set you back or remove your ability to achieve a goal entirely. But in those situations, remember that there is an abundance of grace and that making progress is more important than a perfectly completed task.



I like to follow a goal setting process laid out in the Powersheets Goal Planner, but you can absolutely do this on your own as well.


There are a few foundational activities I do before I set my yearly goals as well. These aren’t mandatory, but I highly recommend taking the time to go through all the steps so you have a good mindset and can feel clear about where your focus is for your goals.


First, I like to take some time to do a personal end of year reflection. This way, you are able to see how the last year worked for you and can really identify what you actually need to work/improve on.


Then, I like to choose a focus word for the year, which helps me set goals that are aligned even if they are targeting different areas of my life.


And finally, you get to goal setting!
As you write out your goals, I would recommend shooting for 10 or less. You can be generic here, which I know goes against all the major goal setting advice, but stick with me for a bit!


These are goals like “Be a better employee” and “Love others Well”. They sound more like resolutions than goals sometimes, but we will drill down deeper in the next step.


After you have your yearly goals (less than 10), take some time to write out 3-4 action items for each goal. For example, if one of your yearly goals was to “Be a better employee” how might you do that?


Action Items might include “take a productivity course”, “volunteer for 3 additional projects this quarter” or “set routine check-in’s with the team members I manage”.


Your action items need to be clear, measurable and attainable. If you are able, jot down a date of when you will complete that action item by so you give yourself a deadline.


Once you have all your action items, sit down with your calendar and make a rough (feel free to use pencil) roadmap of when you are going to make progress on or complete each action items.


If it is something routine (do XYZ every week) then go ahead and mark those in your calendar as reminders. The best part of this step is that you are giving yourself a clear roadmap to successful goals all year long!


Once you have all your action items marked down on your calendar, you are all set!


I break my goals down into monthly, weekly and daily bites with help from my Powersheets Tending List, but you can do the same in any cute journal you own.



Read the entire Bible in one year – This goal was actually on my 2017 goals list, but I fell off the wagon in August. This year, Eric was thoughtful enough to get us both 1-year reading plan Bibles so we could tackle this goal together. I am excited about it because it will help me grow my faith and help us grow a more connected marriage.


Action Items: 
          – Find time together to read the Bible
          – Encourage each other when we miss days


Spend Intentional Time Investing in our Marriage – I am learning more and more that marriage doesn’t just “happen”. You really have to work at it daily. We haven’t been married even 5 years yet, but I feel like we have been through quite a few events that have given us some life experience. Sometimes, it just feels easier to withdraw and cope with hardships alone than fighting through it together, and that is sort of where we are at the start of this year. Spending intentional time together discussing family decisions (big and small) and taking time to have fun just the two of us is much needed. But it won’t just “happen”. We have to be a team in planning for these moments and commit to making them happen.


Action Items: 
          – At least 1 date night each month
          – One Phone Free Night a week
          – Weekly “business meetings” 


Build Strong Friendships – I have some really great friends who have bent over backward for me over the last year (or 3 years) and in 2018 I really want to make sure that I am pouring back into our relationships.


Action Items: 
          – Write 1 encouragement card each week
          – Pray for one friend specifically each month


Don’t Stop Learning – 2017 was a big year of learning for me in all aspects of life. I learned how to be a mom, grew a ton in my day job, learned a lot about blogging and even got another crash course in adulting thanks to Hurricane Harvey. But I love those learning opportunities. They help keep me from staying stagnant. I have a few lofty action items for this goal, but even if I don’t cross everything off my list, I will still be better for it.


Action Items: 
          – Read 1 book a month (see my 2018 Reading List here)
          – Complete all Google Certifications (day job related) 
          – Complete 6 writing classes


Be a Good Steward of My Health – I shared on the blog a couple of times, but 2017 was not a banner year for me healthwise. After a pretty draining pregnancy and surgery in 2016, I had another hefty surgery in 2017 that really kept me from putting in much physical effort for the first half of the year. I had to reevaluate my original 2017 goal of getting back down to my pre-pregnancy weight and instead opted for a goal of finding a workout that I loved.


I have since found spin and I really do love it. So my goal for 2018 is to use spin classes as a way to help me feel strong again. I don’t have a specific weight in mind because it really is deeper than that. I want to feel physically capable of doing the things I took for granted before my surgeries. I would love to fit back into all of my clothes again too, but if not, I have a plan for those as well. ?


     Action Items: 
          – Use all my ClassPasses each month
          – Be intentional about blocking out time for workouts each week
          – Do more family bike rides


Be a Good Steward of our Finances – You might have noticed a theme, that my word for 2018 is STEWARDSHIP and I am loving it. If you haven’t picked your own word for the year, be sure to check out my how to pick your yearly focus word guide!


Our finances aren’t in the best shape after having to sell our house for lot value due to flooding, but we did finish up our 2017 goal of paying off all debts aside from our mortgage!


In our house, we follow the Dave Ramsey plan, so our action items are the next 3 baby steps.


 Action Items: 
          – Baby Step 3: Put 3-6 months expenses in savings
          – Baby Step 4: Put away 15% of our income into retirement savings
          – Baby Step 5: Start funding college accounts for kids


Give Well – I did a series in November about how giving your time, attention and money can lead to increased gratitude, and a few weeks after that, I realized I wasn’t completely taking my own advice. While we do tithe, more often than not, I hog time and attention because there are more things that I want to get done for myself. I haven’t done as much volunteering in Q4 as I would have liked, and I do give myself grace because we have been caught up in the holidays and moving. But I want to be committed to giving up my time and not just hoping it will happen when I have some free time (which feels like never).


Action Items: 
          – Block out and protect time to volunteer each month
          – Resist the urge to scroll social media when in waiting rooms or in the mornings. Use that time to pray instead. 


Make Family Memories – This is the goal I am most excited about because I really can’t wait to look back on 2018 and have so many highlights. While we do have a family vacation on our action items list, this isn’t just about big experiences, but about the simple traditions or activities, we can do as a family to make lasting memories. For example, we got some bath time finger paint soaps as a Christmas gift and I can’t wait to have our own bathtub where we can open those up for Kinsley to play with.


We are moving into a new neighborhood this month with lots of free family activities (this weekend they are creating a snow-covered hill for family sledding!) so that we are looking forward to all of the fun memories we will bet to create right in our own neighborhood!


Action Items: 
          – Create a family bucket list
          – Plan our family vacation
          – Search for cheap (or free!) weekend activities


And those are my yearly goals! Pretty simple, but I am looking forward to tackling these and giving me my best year yet.
What are your yearly goals! Please share one (or all!) in the comments below! I would love to check in with you and help you stay accountable!

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *