I consider myself pretty successful and a pretty decent person, but that’s not to say that I couldn’t use some improvement in different areas of my life. As 2017 started approaching, I realized that there were some changes that I wanted to make and some goals I was determined to reach. So I started planning for 12 months of trying to be a better version of me.
I started out by brainstorming my goals for 2017. What did I want to improve on? Accomplish? For me, it came down to a few things:
- I wanted to get a literary agent for my literary fiction novel
- Finish my second novel
- Grow Fempotential and monetize the blog effectively
- Streamline and grow my freelance work
- Get healthier and back in shape (always easier said than done)
- Manage my money better (I can sometimes overspend…)
- Perform more acts of kindness or volunteer more
It wasn’t enough for me just to brainstorm and write down these resolutions for 2017. I needed to create a plan in which I could and would fully accomplish these goals. So I started with my first four on the list as they are the most important things in my life right now (especially when a few pay my bills). I’ll call them my “career goals.”
I got four sheets of paper and wrote the goals at the top of each sheet. Then I brainstormed ways in which I could accomplish each of these career goals.
Under “Get a literary agent,” I listed the following:
- Revise query letter
- Edit my manuscript
- Make a list of potential agents
- Make a list of private indie publishing companies
- Create a schedule for querying literary agents
Here are a few things I listed under “streamlining and grow my freelance work”:
- Create work services postings on social media and Craigslist to gain more clients
- Create Excel spreadsheets with daily, weekly, and monthly duties and 2017 goals for each client
- Ask clients for testimonies for website
I then did the same for each of the other goals, until eventually I had papers filled with ideas on how to improve and achieve these career goals. Sometimes it was hard to think of ways in which I could improve or make these goals happen, but I would then just go online and do some research, either on Google or Pinterest, and I usually came up with some wonderful questions to ask myself or new ideas that I hadn’t thought of before.
With some of these lists, I was able to group some of the ideas into “time” categories. Some of the category titles included, “Things to Do Immediately,” or “Things to Consider in 6 months,” while other categories were labeled, “Weekly duties” or “Daily Duties.”
The last three goals on my list — health, finance, and volunteering — varied slightly from the first four goals which were more career-oriented.
For my the philanthropy/volunteering goal, I came up with a pretty cool idea. What if I did one act of kindness or volunteer at least once per month during all of 2017? That way I would have a pre-set volunteer or philanthropic goal each month that I could focus on completing. I wanted to write this all down, but I preferred doing so in a way that would allow me to map out each idea by month. So I created a cool printable.
As you can see, I included a section for months, a description of the act of kindness, a due date, and an accomplished section.
Here’s just a peek at how it looks and how I filled it out:
After looking back at the printable, I realized that it could be helpful for others who would like to set monthly goals. Granted it doesn’t have to be limited to acts of kindness. You can set a financial, health, career, or personal goal each month and work toward achieving that goal by the due date you set. If you’d like a blank version of this printable, download a FREE copy below:
With this printable, I was inspired to create another one, one that would be more effective in mapping out my health, finance, and career goals by week or day versus by month. So, you guessed it, I created another printable!
I made this one in a way so that I could track each aspect of my weekly goals on one sheet of paper. For instance, I’m able to put up to five goals — health, work, finances, writing, etc. — on each Weekly Goals sheet. That way I just have one sheet with those weekly goals that I can look at each week. You can print out a few of these sheets and pre-set each of your goals for all of the weeks of the month, that way you can brainstorm at the beginning or end of a month and then just worry about completing the goals each week. If you want to be eco-friendly, print out one of these and then laminate it. Buy a visa vis marker and voila — you can use it over and over again.
Here’s a preview:
Download the FREE weekly goals printable below:
With all of the creating of the printables and filling them out, I learned a lot about what I want to pursue in 2017 and exactly how I can go about achieving these goals. If anything, I think it just reinforces my excitement to reach success and we could all use that this year. And if I’m lucky, I’ll follow these plans and by the end of 2017, I’ll be a better version of myself, happier, healthier, wealthier, more organized, and by God, more successful in a way I always knew was possible.