How to plan and achieve your goals for the year

Let's take you back to New Years day. You have great ideas on what you want to achieve, change and do this year...full of excitement and lots of goals for the year ahead. Forward a few weeks and it's nearly the end of January and well reality has sunk in and those goals just look like silly ideas that you are never going to achieve....But it actually doesn't need to be that way. Let me take you through how Pete and I plan our goals at the start of each year and more importantly how we actually achieve them.


Types of Goals

Generally speaking there are long term, medium and short term goals. These can be personal, career, financial or life goals.

Pete and I have a long term goal, which is to grow old and crazy together and drive our kids but seriously....

Ours is to be able to enjoy retirement together, which is a challenge as Pete is 10 years older than me. Therefore that means when I hit 55 I have to be in a position to have some flexibility with my career as well as financial freedom to enable us to have choices and time together. I know it sounds strange that at 47 I am thinking and planning for retirement however we will never achieve our goal if we don't. So each year we ensure that we are on track to achieving that goal and make changes as we need to.

My medium term goal is building up of my new business 'Tidying with Tania'. Pete is a Tradie and still on the tools so it's pretty physical work and he is not 20 anymore, so for him it's about hanging in to retirement and supporting his lovely wife. There will be a few trips thrown in along the way, like the Orient Express to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, or a tropical island holiday and doing the bike rail trails and the Tongariro Crossing. I'm sure we will add more.

We have also got medium goals for our home which we purchased 5 years ago, these are renovation goals.

Our shorter term goals are focused on the current year. How we decide on the goals and achieve them is what I will share in this post. It's not rocket science however it may be helpful if you are struggling with setting and achieving your goals.


Identify and prioritise the goals

As we are slowly renovating our house most of our goals for the year are based on the home. This year we have also included some RnR (Rest and Recreation) goals......that I`ll talk about in my Feb post.

Deciding on the house goals is really easy and fun. Pete and I do a "walk around" ...a what!  We literally walk around the inside and outside of the house documenting everything that we see that needs fixing, renovating, changing etc. 

The "walk around" with helpers in tow

The "walk around" with helpers in tow


The next step is to narrow down the list to the things that are a priority and part of your short to medium goals. For example at the 5 year mark our goal is to renovate the kitchen and upstairs bathrooms. 

It is year 5 this year so we know that this is likely to be our main goal so we do not want to load up too much around this. Last year it was painting the outside of the house, so that was the main goal, however I did manage to sneak in decorating my office.

We also align the goals to our financial budget which we set annually from July to June, so we allow for the cost of these really helps to ensure that you budget for them, it's makes it much easier to actually achieve them.  

As an example our kitchen and bathrooms costs will be included into the 2017/18 budget, therefore the goal to the end of June will be to plan and get cost estimates.

Our landscaping of the side garden is already budgeted for in this financial year so the goal here is to finish the plan, buy the plants and complete the landscaping in autumn.

Our west facing garden awaiting landscaping this year

Our west facing garden awaiting landscaping this year


From the "walk around" there are a number of one off jobs which essentially make up our "to do list" and the actual goals we make into "projects" as they have a number of things that have to be completed to achieve them.

Documenting and Planning the goals

At this point can I just say how much easier this process is if you have a home folder or house file etc. If you want to create a really useful home folder just see my post here where I take you through the steps to create a folder.

We have a Goals and Projects section in our home folder which is where we list out all the "to do's" and the goals and actions needed. 

I then take the "to do`s" and put them into my yearly planner so we can break these tasks down over the year, makes it so much easier to achieve them.

For the goals it's really important to detail the actions steps that you need to take to achieve the goal. I have an example here of what we need to do for the goal of Landscaping the side garden.

Printable from  StrangeCharmed  

Printable from StrangeCharmed 


By breaking the goal down into key actions, you simply focus on one action at a time and before you know it you have achieved your goal. It's the old saying To eat an Elephant you have to take one bite at a time. I do find focusing on the actions and not the goal does help you to achieve it. The final point on goal setting is timeframes. You must give yourself a timeframe for the goals , so you can then work backwards on when you need to do to get the individual actions done. So for us the landscaping goal is to be completed by autumn. Therefore all the actions have to be done between now and May/June. The same goes for the plan and costings of the kitchen & bathroom renovation. We need to have this done by June when we work through the budget for the new year. 

Achieveing the Goals

Easy as! just focus on the individual action steps as I discussed above. If you are not convinced then let me illustrate.

Below is a list of all the goals that Pete and I have done since moving into our house, just on 5 years ago. And I mean what we actually did ourselves. 

Complete redo of the downstairs; [painting/wallpaper/shelving/flooring/upcycling furniture]

  • Entertainment room
  • Laundry
  • Toilet
  • Bedroom
  • Study
  • Office

Decorated the guest room upstairs - painting/made bedding

Reworked old ensuite to maintain until complete reno - wardrobe makeover/shower makeover

Complete and extensive redo of the sunroom - new ceiling/new wall linings/new flooring/make furniture covers/painting

Built and developed up two new vegetable gardens

Planted out new orchard

Built composting system

Built garden shed

Repainted all the external wooden windows and french doors (17)

Re stained the cedar [external cladding] on the top story and repainted the block on the bottom story. (250square metres)

Stained all new decks and stairs (4)

Re cabled the entire house

These goals were all achieved by having timeframes and key actions that we needed to do to complete the goal. So we just slowly worked through all the actions and over time we started to knock off the big goals, like painting the house!

We did get our awesome builder in to complete the laundry reno and replace and build four external decks and stair


So there you have it, planning and goal setting care of Pete and Tania !

I hope that you might find something useful from this that can help you to achieve your dreams through great goal setting.

I`d love to hear what your goals are this year and how you are going to achieve them.

Oh and Kiwis enjoy Waitangi Day and the lovely long weekend.