When I want a change in a specific area of my life, sometimes I realize that annual goal setting is not the answer. Focusing on a mini goal or creating a habit can be a better way to succeed in the change I want to make.
I wanted to have time in the morning before my daughters got up, so three years ago I focused on making a habit of getting up early each morning. I forced myself to get up every morning before they woke up and did not get myself any wiggle room. After doing this for a few weeks, I made a habit out of it. If I stopped getting early for a few days, I had no trouble getting back into the habit. I found that focusing on daily mini goals was the way to go. (2017 was the year of getting OUT of that habit unfortunately.)
This method also worked when I was getting out of the habit of regular exercise. I challenged myself to do Burpees every day and tracked the progress. I was shocked that the simple task of setting the specific small goal and holding myself accountable by writing it down really worked.
Small daily habits or goals can make a big difference over the course of a few weeks, months, or even longer.
Small changes can have just as big of an impact as setting big goals. I don’t have big lofty goals at this point of my life. As I set goals I make sure they will fit into my life with children at home. They will only be in my home for so long! I don’t want to distract myself from my little ones.
Here is an example: I do not set the goal of making $x per year with my blog. Yes, I have a vague idea in my head, but I’m not willing to set a number goal. What if I wasn’t close to hitting it? As the end of the year approached, I wouldn’t want to drop everything else important to me just to make sure I hit that number. If my priority is my children, I have to make sure I know where my blog fits into my life. I can always set income goals when they are all in school. :)
While I don’t focus on big lofty goals right now, I do like to push myself to get into good habits and set smaller goals that work into my life at home with kiddos. I have realized that making small daily habits or changes can make a big difference and often focus on smaller changes and new habits instead of bigger goals.
Two years ago, I did a 12 Mini-Goals/Habits challenge where I picked one small goal or habit I wanted to create each month. I enjoyed the challenge and many of my readers joined me. I am getting interest again, so I decided to run the same challenge in 2018!
In 2018, I am going to focus on a new habit or mini goal every month. Some goals will be just for a month and some will be habits I wanted to create long-term. This is how it will work each month:
- I will e-mail the challenge to my newsletter list.
- I will share the habit or mini goal for the month. (I may give options some months in case the habit is not something you are interested in)
- I will provide a printable tracker for the month.
- I may share tips, tricks, or helpful links for the monthly habit or mini goal.
Here is a sneak peek at some of the mini goals I have in mind:
- Daily movement or exercise (January!)
- Technology breaks
- Daily gratitude lists
- Daily flossing
- Daily devotions
- Daily reading myself
- Daily reading with children (also January!)
- Get outside each day
- Consistent sleep schedules
- Vegetables at every meal
- Evening pickup routine
- Meal Planning
- If we get to a month where the goal doesn’t fit into your life, you can always tweak it to be a mini goal that works for you.
I would love to have you join the 12 Mini Goals Challenge. Sign up for my mailing list if you want to be e-mailed the challenge each month.
If you prefer focusing on just one annual habit, get the annual habit tracker here.
Challenges from 2016:
January Mini Goals Challenge: Daily Movement or Exercise
January Resource: List of Free Online Fitness Resources
Health & Wellness Printable Planner
Free Fitness Tracker Printable
February Mini Goals Challenge: Cut Back on Evening Snacking
Over 30 Ways to Add Fitness to Your Daily Routine
March Mini Goals Challenge: Complete 30 Days of Pilates
April Mini Goals Challenge: Clear Kitchen Counters
May Mini Goals Challenge: Clean Out Clothing Closets
June Mini Goals Challenge: Reset My Mornings and Get Up Early
July Mini Goals Challenge: Drink More Water
8 Ways to Drink More Water Every Day
August Mini Goals Challenge: Track Daily Reading
September Mini Goals Challenge: Plan Morning & Evening Schedules
Originally posted 1/1/16. Updated 12/30/17.
Stop by to see where I link up each week: Link-Ups
Chrissa - Physical Kitchness says
I love gratitude lists! Such a great way to stay grounded and be reminded of the good in life!
Heather @ Simply Save says
This is a great idea! I think this makes goal-setting much less overwhelming. My first one would be to start waking up earlier so I have extra time in the mornings. Thanks for sharing on the Small Victories Sunday Linkup!
I’m sure you will be happy if you make the habit of getting up early. I know that it has worked out well for me!
Elizabeth Meyers says
What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. This sounds doable.
Lauren Gaskill says
Mini goals really are the key to making BIG changes in habits over time. That’s also my focus for 2016. Cheers to a joy-filled year! Happy to be your neighbor at the RaRaLinkup today!
Amanda @ The Fundamental Home says
I can’t imagine a technology break. Our lives are consumed with it. Perhaps this is more evidence that we need one :)
Agree. That won’t be an easy one…
I do the same thing and it’s always proven more fruitful than goals that are a year long. Check out my blog for my 2016 list. Every week I share our family’s dinner meal plan too- maybe you’ll get some ideas there?
I will check out the meal plans. That may be helpful once I get around to getting better about meal planning. Thanks for sharing!
Great idea! I’m doing something similar this year specifically related to healthy habits. Each month I am focusing on one habit for a healthy life–January’s is drinking 8 glass of water each day. I am hoping that by having such a narrow focus, I’ll be more likely to follow through!
That sounds like a great plan. Good luck!
I do agree that it can be easier to focus on just one or two new habits at a time instead of changing EVERYTHING right now.
What a wonderful and revolutionary idea! I will have to follow along and maybe make some similar goals!
Angela @ Setting My Intention says
I think this is a great idea – I’ve found it to work really well in my life to start small and start specific! I’m still working on establishing a few of the habits, but am seeing progress!
This is perfect! I have been trying really hard to stick to my healthy habits this year!
Thank you for sharing this!
You are welcome. I hope it’s helpful to you!
I used to wake up really early, but my toddler is a HORRIBLE sleeper and I have kind of fallen off the wagon. So that is currently my biggest goal.. to get back to that early wake up. I really need that extra time each day!
Oh that’s sooo hard when the toddler isn’t sleeping. My wake-up time changes by quite a bite depending on how well my 2-year old sleeps! I hope you are able to get back at it soon! The extra time is so nice. Essential some days. :)
What a great set of goals. I would love to floss more. I got my second cavity ever…from not flossing enought. I also love the technology break!
Victoria @ Creative Home Keeper says
Love this approach to goal setting!