What most people cannot accomplish in 12 months, Alhamdulillah, I have been able to do it in 12 weeks or less. I get asked how I do it – what is my process? How do I plan this out, and how do I keep working on it even with my busy life? In this post, I am sharing with you how I plan and set goals for the new year.
[Updated for 2024]
- What is goal setting?
- Goal setting as a mother
- My process of goal setting:
- Mom Planning – Goal Setting for Moms
- Goal setting for the new year
- Design Your Perfect Life Challenge
What is goal setting?
Setting goals means to have a focus on things that are important to us and pursue the,. Simply put, goal setting means to have an intentional plan of the things that you want to do in the near or far future.
There are other words like resolutions that people use to describe it. So for example, if you have set resolutions like:
- I want to lose weight.
- I want to start a business.
- I want my kids to be da-da-da-da.
- I want a better marriage.
- I want better health.
- I need to find me some friends.
- I need to read the Quran more often.
- I need to find a way to pray on time.
- My kids need to learn this and that.
These are all examples of goals.
Should you only set goals at the beginning of the year?
Now there are many ways to set goals… it is not necessary that you set goals just at the beginning of the year. Many people set new year goals because it is easier to start the year fresh. I guess there is just something about the “01.01” date that helps us reset ourselves and want to bring change.
This is not necessary at all. In fact, people who set goals regularly don’t really set goals every 12 months. It is more productive to set goals every 3-6 months or 9-12 weeks than 12 months.
Goal setting as a mother
As a mother, our priorities and focus in life are very different from how other people set goals.
Whether you have a bigger life purpose or you just want to be an intentional mom – who is very focused on herself and what she wants from her family, there will be a list of things and it may be quite inclusive of personal, family, community and financial goals or more.
We mothers don’t just have personal goals, but we have to think about our families, homes and many other things as well.
Also, it is a struggle to keep a balance between our own personal priorities and what others expect from us. So, when it comes to the new year, it is essential that we take all of this in to consideration when we set goals as a mother.
My process of goal setting:
There are many different ways to set goals. I have been goal setting for a very long time – almost 20 years or more. After I had children, I started including my children in my plan too.
You will find many examples of my goal setting system on this blog because once upon a time, I used to use this blog to set monthly goals here. It was a means of accountability and motivation for me.
But now for quite some time, after a lot of trial and error, reading books, learning from business experts and adopting their method to my home and business goal setting, I have a system that I call Mom Planning.
Mom Planning – Goal Setting for Moms
My process of goal setting has three main steps.
- Word for the year
- Reviewing my Life Plan
- Picking out my priorities for the year
These steps help me keep myself motivated, focused and clear upon what I want to accomplish in my life with my family and why.
The “why” bit is important. One mistake that most people make when it comes to goal setting is that they just pick goals without thinking about WHY they want to pursue those goals.
Knowing your “why” helps you get clear about what you need to do and how you should do it. So my three-step process stems from knowing my why – first and foremost.
If you’d like some help with learning the complete method of goal setting and knowing your why, I’d love to teach it to you. We have a free 3 day challenge called Design Your Perfect Life. You can click the image below to sign up.
Goal setting for the new year
So, my method of goal setting has 3 steps. Let’s talk about them step by step.
Word of the year
I love having a word for the year to guide me in being intentional and positive. Everything I do that year has to have a connection to that one word. In previous years, I have chosen words like ‘create’ or ‘fearless’.
How do I come up with a word for the year?
That’s not very difficult actually… I just think of all the ‘power words’ that describe the feeling of what I want to do in the coming year, and the word that speaks the most to me, is it.
Reviewing my Life Plan
I wrote my first Life plan aka my Mom Plan in 2016. Now every year, I go in and make goals for the coming year based on my Life Plan.
But these goals are purpose driven. These aren’t just random, spur-of-the-moment ideas or ‘shots at the moon‘ as I like to call them… they are intentional and well thought out steps that will inshAllah, some day, lead to my big Life Goal.
Categories for Life Plan
To start with, I have 10 categories in my Life Plan.
These topics are just a guideline so that I know how to work. If you are interested in Life Planning, you can learn more about it here.
Picking my priorities for the year
After I review my Life Plan and think about what my focus will be this coming year, the question I ask is: What do I need to do right now to get closer to who I want to be at the end of my life?
Now some of these goals will not be possible in the immediate future. They may need some time … maybe another part of the year or season. So I break my year down into quarterly goals. Each quarter is 12 weeks.
I ask myself this question: based on my current life situation, what do I need to work on in the next 12 weeks? What’s the smallest step that I can take to bring change and make progress? This ‘smallest step’ is then added to my list of quarterly goals.
Examples of categories to include for goal setting
Below I have provided some examples as well as tips on what kind of goals you could be setting as a mother.
Your personal goal can be anything that you want: better opportunities, better relationships, business goals, family bonds…you decide what’s most important for you and what you want to work on.
Alhamdulillah, I am usually very intentional about my health but ageing happens. (When you are a young mom, nobody warns you about it!)
Years ago, my husband and I dedicated ourselves to a healthy lifestyle. I enrolled myself into swimming, I went to the gym regularly, I hired a personal trainer and we ate healthy with an intention. Each year, I try to improve a little bit; for example, by scheduling a set number of gym days or tracking my water intake.
I think a lot about what direction I want to take with my kids quite often. Every quarter, we sit down and set goals as a family too.
Alhamdulillah, I love that we have grown stronger as a family together but there are some new age related issues that come up that we need to help our kids with. It does not get easier when kids are older!
We’ve had to deal with things like resistance, self-reliance and anger management in the past. Each kid struggles with something different at different age, so you need to assess what each of your children needs and work towards helping them overcome their struggles.
Every once in a while we should assess our list of friends- these are the people we willingly spend our time with; people who have considerable influence over us, whether we like it or not. Be more mindful about the kinds of people you surround yourself with- maybe this year your friend goals could include expanding your circle to create more meaningful relationships.
A few years ago, my sense of community began fading… I wanted to renew that. I needed to build up my people and give back all that love. I think I am doing a bit but I am not satisfied. Maybe you have yet to find a ‘tribe’ for yourself… so your goal could be to start your own community of like-minded people!
We need to streamline those home systems.
This could include getting rid of household items that no longer work for your family, or something as simple as rearranging furniture in one room to gain a fresh perspective.
Maybe the kids are able to handle more responsibility- you could implement a chore chart for laundry or dishes. See what your family needs and work with what you have to achieve your household goals.
At the end of each year, check how you’re spending has been. Have you spent too much on unnecessary things? Maybe you could set a goal to not buy anything new until you declutter your home, or set a weekly grocery budget to stay in control of your finances.
In the past, I had been going over and over in circles because I am an expat wife. I’m sure many of you can relate! Sometimes you have no idea what to do but you could set a goal to find or create opportunities for yourself.
In all honesty, I am successful today because I took out the time to think about my career and plan my future with my purpose that did not include just being a mother.
My goal every year is to have a stronger relationship with the Quran and pray on time – with the adhan. Maybe your spiritual goals could look like memorizing one juz (or ten!), setting a dedicated Quran time for the family every day, or learning more about the Seerah.
We always need ideas for healthy family entertainment. Sometimes a device detox is necessary- there are so many other entertainment options!
Maybe you could set some reading goals for the year– get the kids to set reading goals too!
So this how I plan my goals for the year. Of course, this post is just about goal setting. There is more to being successful in life. You not only have to set goals, you have to intentionally pursue them with confidence. If you want to learn how to write life goals and work on them every day, I can help you.
Design Your Perfect Life Challenge
We have a free 3 day challenge called Design Your Perfect Life. We talk about goal setting as a mother and how to life plan to live a life of clarity, confidence and balance.