Monthly Goal Review – It’s The Decisions We Make

Achieving Your Goals

In the Planning With Kids 2012 survey I asked a number of questions around goal setting and time management. I found the answers very interesting and it made me reflect on some perennial problems I have with achieving some particular goals.

Personal Goals
41% of readers that took the survey said they did indeed set goals, but forgot about them after the first month. And I can totally understand why that happens. It seems like a great idea to set goals at the start of the year, we are often on holidays, the pace is slower, we might even have more time to be doing some of the things we love. Then the school term starts back and before you know it, is the middle of March and you haven’t thought about your goals again!

Well with my monthly series, I am hoping I can remind you about your goals and get you thinking about ways you can work towards achieving them. This month I am going to take a common goal many of us set – a goal around exercise.

Exercise goals

My exercise goal this year is to add variety to my usually very predictable routine. I am off to a flying start with this goal. The main reason I am doing so well with this goal, compared to others is I love doing it and the instant gratification I receive makes it easy for me to keep at it.

I am however very behind my reading goal for the year. I could easily say I don’t have time, but that really isn’t the case. I have time for exercise, I have time to be on Pinterest, I have time for testing out new recipes. I am simply just deciding not to spend my time reading, in preference to spending it somewhere else. I need to change this if I am to achieve my goal.

What the reader survey showed me though, was exercise seems to be the activity that readers, while wanting to spend time undertaking this activity (like me with reading), tend not to end up doing it:

  • When I asked “What are you finding is the biggest challenge of family life at the moment?“, exercise was listed as the biggest challenge.
  • When I asked “When life hits peak busy times, what activities are the first to be given up?” mum’s exercise was the second most likely dropped activity, with mum’s free time being the most likely activity to be given up.
  • When I asked “If you had a spare couple of hours how would you spend it?“, doing exercise came in the middle range of activities readers would spend their spare time on. Playing with the kids, reading and time on your own where the three most popular choices.

I am not making a judgement on how anyone spends their time. I am using this data and my own experience, to show how it’s the decisions we make on how we spend our time, which will have a great impact on whether we achieve our goals.  If I was too do the survey, my last two answers would have been the reverse to the bulk of my readers and that is reflected in lack of achievement in my goal for reading books.

Along with the data on exercise in the survey, there were also many requests for more posts on exercise, fitting it in, taking care of your helath etc, so I will be running a series on Health and Fitness this month, to cover off some of these topics.

The importance of reviews

Reviewing not only your goals, but where you are spending your time each month, will give great insights to your success or lack thereof. So I challenge you to spend 15 minutes looking at where you have spent your time in the year to date. Break it down in relation to your goals and see what this tells you. Mine is telling me I need to pick up a book even if it is just for 15 minutes here and there, like I would with Pinterest or blog reading and just start reading!

My February goal review

Goals

Progress

Me - I am less rushed and healthier.

Continue to improve my diet: one meat free meal a week, reduce consumption of sugar and carbs.I am happy with the changes I have been making. I have reduced carbs significantly at dinner time, but still have toast pretty much every day for lunch!

I have also been trying lots of new recipes. As noted last week, I am struggling a little with a meat free meal a week, but I have some great new ideas to try out. Recipe highlights:
Simple Roasted Tomato Salad - vegetarian
Baked Falafel - vegetarian
Coconut Slice – Gluten Free - also sugar free
Read six books by the end of the year.I have published my book list for 2013 here, but am well behind where I should be. Need to make the time!
Add variety to my exercise regime.Am building up my running post injury and doing non running based classes as well.
Sleep at least 6 hours a night on a regular basis.February wasn't great, estimate would have only met this around 50% of the time.

Family - We spend more time doing things together.

Monthly family meetings.Target met!
Eat out together on a quarterly basis.We took the kids back to a favourite Vietnamese restaurant from when we lived in Richmond. We had a great time and was very glad we decided to eat early (6pm) as the place was packed by 6.30pm.
Have an active family holiday.Some significant clashes with dates is making this trickier than I wish it to be. Will have to change our original plans now.
Two big bush walks throughout the year.n/a this month

Relationship - We have more time together on our own and support each others interests.

A weekend away in 2013.n/a this month
Attend an event in the Comedy Festival, see 1 play, see 1 live music gig and a attend one event at the Melbourne Festival.The list of events which are already on sale for the Melbourne Comedy Festival are here and we are working out who we want to see.
Mr I will play football, cricket and cycle.Mr I's work took over things a bit for him in February, but I have been encouraging to head out for a quick run instead, so he is at least doing something.
I will continue exercising 5 - 6 times a week.Target met! Challenge for me is making sure I have one rest day a week.

Work - Improved usability and resources on the blog and improved blogging skills.

Analyse PWK survey and implement changes to the blog by quarter one.The first post about the survey went up last week and you can find it here. I have made some small changes to the blog - increased the size of the font, added some categories and more posts to the side bar (formatting is a bit off on that one and I am still working on it).
Develop the calendar to the next stage by quarter two.Have made a start on this and have taken on board lots of the great feedback I have received, so thanks for giving your input.
Take course at Australian Writers Centre by quarter three.Need to check available dates.
Release new product by quarter four.n/a this month

Comments

  1. says

    My children have long flown the coop, but I love PWK site and this article is so appropriate to all families. I often forward items on to my kids to encourage them in their day to day living. Thank you for your work.

  2. says

    Hello Nicole, I decided this year NOT to set goals, but just to waft along with intentions… was feeling indecisive at the start of the year and making big personal changes (stopped drinking altogether, at last) so it felt right to be goal free.

    Anyway… I also love to exercise and make it a priority these days, I didn’t in the past and regret that. It’s funny how we do what we love to do. I almost choked reading your goal to read 6 books in year. I read every night, at least 1-3 books read a week… it’s a habit, my brain tells me I can’t sleep if I don’t read. “How To Talk…’ is a top book by the way.

    Currently reading ‘Some Other Rainbow’ by John McCarthy and Jill Morrell.

    But I spend almost no time on Pinterest and on many other things… far too much time spend doing the washing!!

  3. Kelly says

    This is something I struggle with, I do one yoga class and one weights class a week, but find it difficult to get motivated to exercise when I am home with the kids. I’m hoping to change that this year. Great post, thankyou :)

  4. says

    Great post Nic! Glad you are meeting your fitness goals with ease :-) And not to worry about the other goals – at least you’re keeping yourself in check each month with reviewing your goals.