2015: the one thing

practising gratitude

If you read my review of 2014 you would have read the following:

My list for 2014 was too long and at times I struggled with it. I go into 2015 knowing that I have in my mind a list as long, if not longer than 2014 of things I would like to achieve. But I also go into 2015 knowing that a long list can spread myself too thin and not allow me to focus on the things that mean the most to me.

My list for 2015 will be shorter. My want to do “all of the things” will not have diminished, but through a more defined set of goals, I will try to reign in my tendency to overload myself.

2015 goals setting step 1 – what brings me happiness

The first step I took in planning my goals for 2015 was of course reviewing the past year, but most importantly, working out what meant most to me and gave me the most happiness and feeling of success. I came up with four things:

  • Achieving family harmony
  • Spending time with good friends, including my beautiful husband and sisters
  • Helping other mothers
  • Running long distance

2015 goals setting step 2 – what do I want to achieve in 2015?

I then wrote down all of the things I would like to do and achieve in 2015. I didn’t limit the list at all. This was going to be a starting point and it felt good to write down all the things that had been swimming in my head. Some were large, some were small, some were exciting and some were pretty mundane but I listed them all.

As I imagined the list was long, well over 50 items on it at the end. And that was where I got a little stuck. My plan had been to somehow prioritise this list and create a short list of goals for 2015. I found the list overwhelming. I wanted to do these things, but I did not want to feel pulled in so many directions like I was in 2014.

So I sat on the list for over a week. Pondering it, reading other posts on goal setting and finally developing a structure that I could create my goals for 2015.

2015 goals setting step 3 – going from goals to goal

Through my reading I came across and interview with Jay Papasan on a podcast called a Dose of Leadership and it helped me greatly. It helped me realise something I think I knew all along. My goals needed to become a goal.

Jay Papasan is co-author of a book called The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results. I am yet to read the book, but have ordered it and look forward to reading it and using the strategies to help me achieve my one thing for 2015.

In the podcast Papasan stated:

Success is sequential not simultaneous

This resonated with me. When I look at successful people I admire, there is a definite pattern in their successes. They work on one element or area, master it and then move on to the next and keep going. Papasan also concludes that if you pick the right one, it will make many things happen.

I also love the Russian proverb they use in the book:

If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.

I think I spent 2014 chasing too many rabbits and while I absolutely acknowledge I had a level of success and achievement, I don’t think the results accurately reflected the energy I expended.

This video by the team at The ONE Thing, has a statement that I am going to remind myself of daily {click here if you cannot see the video}:

Success comes when you can honestly say that you’re meant to be where you are right now, doing exactly what your doing.

2015 goals setting step 4 – choosing the one thing

I went back to the list of four things that gave me the most happiness and feeling of success in 2014 and it was actually quite easy to choose what my one thing for 2015 would be. It was family harmony. To make it my goal for 2015 I needed to redefine it in a way more weighted to me personally and more measurable.

I came up with this:
2015 one thing
Underneath the goal I have created a list of strategies to help me achieve it and many of these strategies covered off some of the items on my list of all the things I wanted to do in 2015. The key strategies I need to execute for me to be the planned, patient and present mother to my beautiful kids that I want to be are as follows and I have included a small explanation as to why the strategy is important:

Strategies to achieve my one thing in 2015
Be in bed before 10pm each nightIf I am tired, I lose my patience and when very tired I tend to vague out and am not fully present with the kids.
Eat and a varied wholefood dietI need to eat well to maintain my health and energy levels.
Maintian a regular fitness and exercise routineExercising is where I get some time on my own and this helps me come back to the family feeling mentally refreshed.
Practice gratitude dailyI want to work on improving my overall attitude as this affects how I interact with the kids. I have much to be grateful and need to remind myself of this.
Pause and think before I speakI talk fast and a lot. Sometimes less would be better and more thought put into my words so they have a positive impact on my kids.
Make only positive statements (no complaining)Towards the end of 2014 I found I was complaining a lot. I want to turn that around. This doesn't mean I accept poor behaviour or mess or have to love everything my kids do, but I need to find better ways to express how I feel about it.
Expect good things from my childrenYou find what you look for. If I am waiting for my kids to do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing, then that is most likely what I will find. While they will never be perfect, I need to not be focusing on their mistakes and misdemeanours.

And I will use this framework to measure my success:

How can I measure my success in 2015?
Daily journalling
Successful execution of strategies
Monthly reviews of the above

And while some of these strategies did appear on my list as goals last year, I have a different approach to them. Going to bed at 10pm actually is no longer about me – it is about my kids. If I choose to stay up later, I am making a choice that goes against want I want for my kids.

I now have a defined purpose behind these strategies – one single focus that I want to achieve. By focusing on being the planned, patient and present mother to my beautiful kids that I want to be, I can use it to guide my decision making in all areas of life.

Have you set a goal or goals for 2015? If so I would love to hear about them.


  1. Laura says

    Wonderful post thank you Nic. I needed to read this, and loved the quotes. I have printed them out and posted one at home and will take another to work with me. I have many things I want to achieve this year too but the main one is to finish my PhD, so that is my main goal :).

  2. Stacey says

    Similar to yours in that maintaining a happy family life requires certain health & fitness levels, that I hope to maintain and improve upon. But I also feel like I waste a lot of time so am limiting social media. I enjoy reading blogs as they can inspire and add value but facebook… I’m going to limit to a once a day check and start unfollowing things that waste my time (ie I don’t really need to see multiple cute cat pictures! ) I think I also waste a lot of time thinking and writing lists about all the things I need to do. Procrastinating. Pretty multicoloured lists that I have to go and buy a special notebook for…. Yes, I am a master at it. I think having my goal list somewhere prominent and leaving a couple of jobs out (photo albums, recipe mags to go through so I can throw out) will make it easier to spend 10 mins doing something productive.

    • says

      Hi Stacey,

      It is so easy to find time to waste things on and I can at times be the master of productive procrastination too! A prominent goal is an excellent idea. It really helps me. All the best for 2105.


  3. Kate says

    Thanks for a different take on goal setting, it’s an interesting idea. I think I’m at step 2, my list is pretty long right now! I’m curious to know, do you set goals for your blog/business as well?

    • says

      Hi Kate,

      Yes I have separate goals for my business. But this year the main goal for the business fits in to help me achieve my personal goal. I am hoping this will be a better approach.


  4. Laney says

    What a great approach to setting goals – a contextual framework that helps you anchor all of your actions. I like your daily journalling idea. I think I might make that part of my evening routine. I usually get to bed before 11pm, but like you I think 10pm would be much better!

  5. says

    Love your goal for this Nicole and the thoughtful and reflective way in which you sifted through the “everything” to arrive at the “thing”. I’ve found it difficult to articulate my goals for this year and have kept them rather general but am hoping that baby steps in all areas will bring me closer to the general goals. Thanks for sharing your approach and good luck for 2015! x

  6. says

    I must set some goals for 2015, Nic and can get started this week, I hope. I tend to always say ‘I must do less’ each year… but that’s not very specific. I think I need month by month goals.

    Family harmony would be my topmost priority here too this year, or as near as we can get with our rather tricky family circumstances.

    My husband is going to be based in Sydney again at some point this year and that will be a good change but a big one… I need to leave plenty empty spaces in the year.

    • says

      Family harmony I think becomes harder to manage sometimes as the kids get older and the boundary pushing beings in earnest with teenagers. It does require focus!

      That will b fab having your husband based in Sydney again!

  7. says

    Absolutely love this post Nicole.
    I was the busiest woman in 2014 & you know what, I got nothing done. Well that’s a lie, we welcomed the 3rd edition to our household, I participated in the Surfcoast century run & I started my own kids active party business in Melbourne. 2015 will bring with it a lot more clarity & more specific goals. I just ordered that book that you recommended above & am LOVING your planner. :) x

    • says

      Thank so much Anita. Wishing you success in 2015 – look forward to hearing more about the course you are doing, I really like the sound of it.


  8. Jane says

    Great post and love the change you have gone for in goal setting for this year. Can’t wait to read about how it goes! This so ties in with the leadership books I have been reading lately. Now I just have to figure out my one thing. I also wanted to say that I didn’t read much failure in your 2014 review post, finishing two marathons in one year is an awesome achievement!

    • says

      Thank you Jane! I am excited to see how the new approach works out too and will be posting monthly reviews to keep myself accountable. Good luck finding your one thing!

  9. says

    Nicole, thanks so much for the mention of interview with Jay Pappasan on Dose of Leadership! Love what you’re doing here with your community! So much value added to all…the definition of true leadership in my book!

  10. Paula Kavanagh says

    Thanks Nicole. Yet again you have hit the nail on the head for me. I find your approach a fantastic mix of the aspirational and the practical. “aspiractical” if you will!! Happy New Year to you and yours – me and mine have a lot to be grateful for – not least of which is your long distance helping hand!

  11. says

    It’s interesting that within the ‘one thing’ framework items that are usually “goals” at this time of year (eat well, exercise, etc) become strategies instead. I wish you harmony all year. x

  12. says

    I always think that I am bad at making goals… but reading your post has made me think that perhaps I am actually scared of making goals. Scared of setting myself up with grand plans only to fail… but this way of looking at goals takes a lot of the failure out of it… you’ve inspired me to have another look at some goals :) Thank you.

    • says

      I can completely relate to the scared part. I often think of a goal but don’t want to set it in case I don’t achieve it. Especially when I make them public on the blog! But I find that when I truly commit, I do achieve more – good luck with your goals for 2015 Kate!

  13. says

    I am late to this Nic – but such a wonderful post. I love the systematic way you work through every thing and the things you do to hold yourself accountable! Here’s to a 2015 where your achievements better match the energy expended!

  14. Kerry says

    You make the process seem so doable Nicole. I could pretty much plonk your goals for 2015 down as my own, it really resonated with me. Thanks for yet another great read.


  1. […] Some days I am doing better at this than others, but I am getting better. And I quite often I feel relieved by re-sorting my thoughts and then priorities, realising that certain things just don’t need to happen. The relief takes away the rushing feeling wish is much more conducive to me achieving my goal for this year of being a planned, patient and present mother to my beautiful kids. […]