How I am keeping my New Year’s Goals… and you can too!



I love New Years. Just like a little kid looking forward to her first day back at school! (or was that just me? anyway,)  I always get excited about the fresh start. I love looking at the year like a blank canvas, what am I going to paint with my life this year? What memories am I going to create? So, at the beginning of the year, I set out my intentions, not just “losing weight” and “eating healthy” (not that there’s anything wrong with those) but also more open and simple New Year’s goals.

I’ll list some of my examples…
Travel Goals. Go on one adventure a month. This doesn’t have to be out of state or more than a weekend. This is something I can commit to.  I don’t sign my kids up for classes or activities on the weekend, specifically, so we have flexibility. To complete this goal, I went through each month in my planner and picked the least likely-to-be-busy weekend and planned something. For example, in January we’re going to the Grand Canyon. In February, Tucson. In March, a road trip to Camp in Arches, UT. Maybe you don’t know where you want to go, but if you set aside that weekend to go SOMEWHERE, you won’t fall into a routine, you’ve designated that time for something special.
Wife and Mom Goals. Be more present. I am constantly multitasking. Which is why the time management has been so helpful for me. I set my alarm on my phone and my calendars are synced so I don’t forget something important. I go through and schedule time for my Husband and kids. This could be something like a date night {woohoo!}, or a ‘business meeting’ {when we discuss boring things like budgets and household projects}. For the kids, it’s usually a play date, field trip or activity. I find that over-committing can be problematic and highly discouraging. Be realistic. You can’t do everything, everyday. Start small, once a month or every other week is a good starting point to see what you can keep up with.
Rest Goals. I know I need a break. I know I over work myself, and if I don’t slow down, eventually I’m going to get sick, bodies need rest, mom’s need rest. So, I’ve set aside one day a month that is my do nothing day. It’s a rest day. I don’t make plans that day. I don’t say yes to anything else that day. I stay in my yoga pants and top knot and I watch netflix and I eat take out, and I don’t tell my kids to clean up and I don’t wash dishes and I don’t fold laundry and I feel guilty.  Yeah, really guilty, but in a really rested healing kind of way.  I’ve made an effort to stop apologizing for my rest time.  I’ve made an effort to stop judging my choices.  I’m really trying to convince myself that I’m not wasting time. Because, seriously, rest is a real thing that we all need, and you’re probably not going to get it unless you set time aside for it.

My advice for accomplishing goals:

1.  Have goals.

Visually- Make a vision board or head to Pinterest, images you can see are more helpful because they can be placed in a space to see everyday.  Visualization is my starting point, it helps me know what I want my year to look like.

WrittenWrite down a literal interpretation of the visual goals {or vice versa depending if you’re more of a visual or written person} and keep a list so you can check off itemized accomplishments or keep track of open ended goals.

Planned- Once I visualize and write down my goals, I start planning.

This is the secret I’m going to share with you now,                          you have to plan your resolutions/goals/priorities.

If you don’t set aside time for the things you want to accomplish how are they going to happen?  It’s not magic, it’s effort.

  • Get a digital calendar.  Google calendar is perfect for syncing with your phone or multiple computers. I also like digital calender’s because you can send email reminders and this is especially helpful because my husband depends on me to notify him of family commitments.
  • And a physical calendar.  I like something like this, because it’s full size and I can do big dates and family commitments in a space my husband will see as well.  Once I have something planned I add it to my calendar.  Like, for the whole year.  This is where it gets challenging. What will I be doing November 17th? I don’t know.   But I keep track of birthdays and big events and try to avoid those, while still adding in goals I’m committed to.  If there’s something I want to accomplish this means committing to it in advance and saying ‘no.’ If something else comes up {not saying no to everything, of course if there’s a wedding I’ll be there, but if someone is having a BBQ but I already made plans to go camping? I’m going to say no, because more adventures was a goal and bbqing wasn’t.}  You know what is important to you so plan ahead for that, everything else will fill itself in.  And by being well prepared your friends and family will also adjust accordingly, if you tell people you’re going somewhere or invite them to your events they’re not going to plan something at the same time.  So work past the fear of commitment and plan in those goals. Schedule time for those goals to happen, when will you go to the gym, when will you go on vacations, when will you skip eating out to save money?

2. Commit. Commit to those goals, say, ‘no.’ if something “better” comes along. {if it was really better you probably would have planned ahead for it, don’t give into to the pressure to do something if you don’t really need or want to}

3. Support. Include your family in your goals, a support system is key in accomplishing anything. I try to ask my partner for help with goals that involve the family, and ask him to hold me accountable.

4. Start now, don’t wait, if you have goals don’t wait until the next New Year’s or even Monday to start them. Seriously, stop right now {or at the end of this post} and make your list, if you wait you’re more likely to find another excuse to put it off.

5. Budget. What does budget have to do with goals? If your goals include traveling more or eating healthy or working out more {pretty popular resolutions} you need to finance these things. This might include sacrificing those lattes to pay for gas on your weekend adventures or increasing your grocery budget but cutting down your take-out budget. Or if your goals include getting out of debt, you’re going to have to make a plan to pay off debt in a REALISTIC way that works for you and your family, small efforts add up as long as your consistent and that’s the benefit of not over-committing, you can always feel accomplished and add more, but if you start too intense, you might feel discouraged when you can’t keep up.

6. Remind yourself! Put visual reminders around your home or work space of what you want, even something simple like not yelling {one of my goals this year} is easy to remind yourself {I have little ‘post it’ notes in areas I yell, kids room, front door- I find I yell the most when getting ready/trying to leave}. These little visual reminders keep my goals fresh, and have been the biggest addition to my home.

I hope this post wasn’t so much about telling you what to do, instead, a way that I can share what works for me and I hope will work for you too. I’d love to hear about your goals for the new year, seriously list them in the comments. And don’t forget to add how you plan to keep them!

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Jennifer is a Phoenix native, mother to two wild toddlers and is married to her high school sweetheart. She graduated from The University of Arizona with a B.F.A. in Art education with an emphasis in painting in 2008. She is an Art Teacher, Artist, and Semi-professional Photographer. She loves to talk about all things natural, and is always planning her next family adventure. She started the blog hawks and honey to share about everyday life including her local food club project. In 2014, she started hawks & honey apparel, and loves being a part of the Phoenix creative community. Her favorite color is black. And she will never RSVP ‘with regrets’ to a wedding.


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