Goal Setting: 2017 Edition

Woman writing in planner with coffee and croissant at a wooden desk.

Roll up your sleeves because it is time to do some goal setting for the next 361 days!

That sounds kind of scary, doesn’t it? But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be.

Each year I re-calibrate my goal setting methods. You know, what really works/what doesn’t. Last year I printed out a little one page calendar with only the months. In each month I put a sticky note with three goals. There were some empty months, but for the most part, all full with post-its full of goals.

I learned something really fast: that is too many goals.

I discovered that a human person (or at least this human person) can only really achieve 1-3 goals per year. Like really good, juicy goals. It is really hard to have a full time job, run your household, have a relationship, and have enough time left over to be a goal making machine. Also, when you have too many goals it is hard to focus, you can get overwhelmed, and then… nothing gets done.

This year I’m getting all business-like and am making goals for each quarter. But, Jess there are four quarters, and you said you can only do three goals max! Correct. But I’m a rebel, so let’s get funky with four.

Here they are. And remember, let’s not hold back when it comes to the size of our goals.

Q1: Feature Film
Q2: Celebrate
Q3: Web Series
Q4: Mystery Goal!

Yup, I’m going to make a feature film in the first three months of the year. I know it will take up all of my time, so I’m not even going to kid myself by adding another goal in there. That’s why I’m allowing space in Q2 to rest and do a few things that fall under the same goal (I admit that’s a little tricksy). To me, “Celebrate” means a photo shoot, and a girls-only trip (or two). Then I kick it back in gear for Q3. And right now, I have a vague idea of what I hope to accomplish for Q4. I just need to see how a few things shake out.

That’s another thing I’ve learned: leave a lot of room for things to change. I might need to switch around the order of things. Something might need to be bumped or even dumped for something better. If you can let go of a rigid schedule, I have found that things end up getting done in their own time.

Something I didn’t mention, is that before I even set my goals, I create a theme for the year. This comes from the idea of Core Desired Feelings from Danielle LaPorte. I still have my CDFs, but I like to create one for the year as a whole. How do I want 2017 to feel? (Dallas Travers also has a really great year-end review/New Year prep.)

I want 2017 to feel like “Flying”. That implies a certain level of freedom, openness, and nimbleness. All of my goals will serve this theme. If something comes along that serves the theme better than the goals I have outlined, then one of my current goals has got to go. Be relentless about this.

So to recap:
1. Set your theme or feeling for the year.
2. Create goals for each quarter of 2017.

What are your themes and goals? Do you have some great goal setting/year-planning techniques? Share in the comments!

And if you want to stay updated on how my 2017 goals are going, subscribe to my newsletter below!


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