Goal Setting For People Who Usually Hate It

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i thought i would be nice and offer to make breakfast for my husband this morning. i asked him, “what would you like your last breakfast to be?” while forgetting to add “…in 2014.” i swear i’m not poisoning him but happy new year’s eve!

as you are well aware, it’s the last day of 2014. not everyone loves setting goals/new year’s resolutions/whatever you call them. how about we just put ourselves in the category of goal setting for people who usually hate it but are willing to do it anyways?

i used to be full of excuses of why i didn’t want to set goals or really anything that had to with putting concrete things out there. i get it…it’s scary and the fear of not reaching those goals is real and can be paralyzing.

Goal Setting

my husband comes from a family that LOVES setting goals. i resisted for a few years once my now-husband and i started dating because sometimes i think i’m too cool for school (and if you’ve seen pictures of me in high school, you know this wasn’t actually the case).

my excuse was usually something along the lines of “well…i don’t really need to set goals in order to achieve things. i know them. i don’t need to write them down. kbye.”

when i finally caved decided to write a few goals down, it was terrifying. what if i don’t accomplish them? what if i fail? what if people make fun of me? what if people don’t think i can do them? has anyone ever done this before? i don’t think this can actually happen for me…things of that nature. i get it. it is scary. what if you do fail?

what i’m slowly coming to realize is that i can neither fail OR succeed if i never even try. chances are i already don’t have most of what i’m trying to achieve so why not go for it?

i never really got behind ‘new year’s resolution’ but couldn’t quite figure out why so i turned to trusty google and typed “definition of resolution.” this is what popped up:

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 8.50.55 AM

take a gander at that first definition of “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” of course there are probably a ton of slightly varying definitions of ‘resolution’ but in this one, there is no action associated with it, it’s just about making a firm decision.

immediately i thought of making a firm decision not to work out today and leaving it at that, which sounds so so tempting but not what i know needs to happen to feel mentally happy for the day.

the word ‘goal’ sometimes doesn’t sit quite right with me either but this definition is better:

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 8.51.07 AM

let’s skip past the first definition and go to the second one, ‘a person’s ambition or effort” this one has action to it so i like it much more. for this reason, i’m going to go with setting goals instead of resolutions because it gives us the responsibility of doing something about them.

before you get to setting any goals, i would highly recommend you do the exercise my husband and i did of creating a list of everything that makes you happy. it will not only help you realize how many little things occur every day that make you happy but also help guide you in what areas of you life you could be happier in.

once you’ve created the two lists, think about what you need to do to maintain what currently makes you happy. the second list is where you can work on developing some goals for yourself.

with a background in social work, i’m all about the S.M.A.R.T. goals (and talking about feelings but you already know this). SMART stands for “specific/measurable/attainable/realistic/timely.”

for me to feel well-rounded in my goals, i set them in specific categories.

these categories are:

  • mental health
  • physical health
  • my marriage
  • family
  • career
  • blog
  • financial

under each of these, i have set anywhere from 1-3 SMART goals.

one of my goals is to ‘get back on a regular workout schedule’ for my physical health. written like that, it is not a SMART goal. here is how you would turn it into one:

“i will work out at least 3 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes for 2015.”

as you can see, it’s specific, measured by the amount and duration, attainable and realistic for me even when traveling and it’s within a timeframe. be sure to take your goals and use this formula around them because it is what will hold you accountable.

it’s much harder to wiggle around these when written like this. i’m basically a professional wiggle-arounder/excuse-maker so these help me achieve what i’m after. a lot of my goals are very scary and foreign to me this year so i’ve decided to choose a word of the year and mine is CAPABLE.

the last key piece (and often the scariest and hardest) is to publicize them. share them with your spouse, type them up and send them to your family, post them on your blog or on facebook, post them around your house. heck, you can even send me an email about your goals!

even though this can be scary to share your goals with people, even those closest to you, the act of putting it out there is HUGE. now you have people to not only hold you accountable but also to help you get where you want to go!

even if you find goal setting terrifying or cheesy, i can personally attest that there is more benefit to setting them and sharing them rather than just making fun of them (guilty).

because goal setting does still sort of freak me out, i always go to a fun place and get a fancy coffee while i write my goals out. makes it more fun, especially when they put heart designs in it.

goal setting


happy new year’s eve and i am thankful for this little corner of the internet to share my thoughts, meet amazing people and have a “reason” to take pictures of my coffee. be safe, have fun and see you next year!

1) let’s have some publicizing….care to share a goal you have for 2015?
2) did you grow up setting goals with your family?
3) what are you doing to ring in the new year tonight?


  1. Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties

    January 1, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    I love your goal setting method! I’ve never thought to make goals in specific areas of your life! I don’t usually make resolutions but you’re kinda tempting me to reconsider 🙂 And I totally believe in the SMART goals– I need to get better about making those kind of goals in my biz too!
    Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties recently posted…New Year Things

    • chelsea

      January 2, 2015 at 9:14 am

      totally ashley! it’s really helpful to set SMART goals for our business (although mine totally freak me out) but it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you write it down!
      chelsea recently posted…Goal Setting For People Who Usually Hate It

  2. Amanda Wood

    January 1, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    This has got to be the best thing I’ve read about setting goals in a while. Legit I suck at them. But this makes it sound so much better to me.
    Amanda Wood recently posted…See Ya Later 2014!

    • chelsea

      January 2, 2015 at 9:15 am

      wow thanks amanda! i’m glad you liked it…it’s mostly because i know first hand how scary it can be to set goals and intentions in the world! let me know when you set some 🙂

  3. Trish @ The Trish List

    January 5, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I love this! I only just started setting goals since I started blogging (Last May). I like this idea better then setting a resolution. New reader btw! Cute blog!

    Trish @ The Trish List recently posted…2015 Blog Updates

    • chelsea

      January 5, 2015 at 9:09 pm

      congratulations on getting your blog up and going trish, can’t wait to check it out! yes i’m all about those goals instead of resolutions!