A single goal for 2017

After years of goal setting and trying different styles, I have now used a single goal for the last two years and have loved how it works so much, that I am doing it again in 2017.

Why one single goal? I choose to set a single goal for three key reasons:

  1. It becomes my mantra for the year. One single thing I can repeat to myself and focus on through the happy and more challenging times through out the year.
  2. It acts as a decision making framework. When presented with opportunities or challenges I ask myself if I take them on will it help me achieve my goal?
  3. It prevents me from feeling overwhelmed by competing priorities. Previous years I have set myself many goals and inevitably at some point in the year I feel torn between where I should spend my time, energy and attention.

In a post at a similar time last year, I took you step by step through the process that I use to set my single goal for the year. I followed that exact process this December to find my goal for 2017 with the following results:

Setting one personal goal step 1 – review the last 12 months

You can read my full review of 2016 in this post – Yearly review 2016 – contentment in the calm. A review of your previous year is essential so you can create your new goal taking into account any lessons you learnt from it.

I was very happy with 2016 and feel that both 2015 and 2016 have been rebuilding years since I found myself overwhelmed and burnt out in 2014.

I have slowed the pace down considerably and have had the focus very much on myself and my family unit. I feel far more grounded and present as a consequence and now feel I have the base to look a little further outward.

While I did catch up with friends and extended family through out 2016, I would have liked it to be more. Family and friends were very much themes coming out of my review.

Setting one personal goal step 2 – preview the coming 12 months

Next year we will have kids in first year uni, year 10, year 8, year 5 and year 3. The 18 year old will be our first uni student in the house and my biggest challenge here will be letting go appropriately!

All the other children are at their same schools and are well settled, so it will be a consolidating year for them. Year 10 does have a significant jump up in work volume and standards though, so there will be some adjustment required.

As I have been trying to slow things down at home, I have also been working on slowing things down in my work. My aim has been to become more efficient in my processes and making sure I am spending my work time on the right activities.

This is progressing well and is something I am hoping to refine further in 2017 so I can spend less time working and more time on other areas of my life.

Unlike last year where we had more transition and challenging years for the kids and my work, 2017 appears at this stage to be a consolidating year.

Setting one personal goal step 3 – list it all

When I listed all the things I wanted to achieve in 2017 it was pretty clear what the themes and images were:

  • themes – family, friends and community
  • images – love, sunshine, arrows going outwards, smiling faces

By summarising the key themes and images from your list, it makes it so much easier to craft a single goal statement for the year.

Setting one personal goal step 4 – craft your goal

In about 10 minutes after I had worked out my themes and images for 2017, I came up with five different goal statements to represent what I want to achieve for 2017, finally deciding on:

To invest in my relationships with family, friends and community to bring joy and connection.


Setting one personal goal step 5 – create habits to support your goal

While having a goal written up means you are far more likely to achieve it, to ensure you regularly give your attention to the goal you need to establish the right habits.

In the table below I have listed my new habits for 2017 to help me achieve my goal of investing in my relationships with family, friends and community to bring joy and connection and their connection to my goal:

HabitConnection to goal
To make three phone calls a week to family and friendsI am terrible at making phone calls. For friends and family that are not near me, this is a great way to stay connected and I have to change my attitude towards making calls.

The best way to change my attitude is to act, so I am going to set a target of three phone calls to make each week.

I also think there will be a natural flow on effect from making phone calls to seeing people in person more too.
To be an active participant in a parent body at each of the three schoolsOver the last couple of years, my focus has been more inward and I haven't been as heavily involved in the kids' schools as I used to be.

This has left me feeling less connected, so by stepping up my involvement I hope to increase my feeling of connection.
To volunteer my time (min 3 hours a month) to a local organisationI find great joy in giving to others. My life is full and we have everything we need, many others are not so lucky.

I want to find a local organisation where I can give my time to help others in need.
Host a family or friend catch up once a month at our homeI find welcoming friend and family into our home a great way to connect. I did more of it in the last quarter of the year and enjoyed it.

Once a month does not sound that much, but combined with the other habits I am trying to establish, I am wary of overloading myself.

Hopefully I can do more, but I don't want to undo my last couple of years work on slowing down by establishing a habit that I end up finding causes too much work.

Setting one personal goal step 5 -track and review your goal

As you would know, I review my progress towards my goal each month here on the blog. This is a great way to help keep me accountable. Even if I haven’t achieved my goal, I know I need to turn up here each month and share what happened – the good, the bad and the ugly!

What have you set as your goal for 2017?

Want to learn more about how you can use goal setting to help you get more organised at home?


The first two modules in my Planned & Present e-course focus in depth on goal setting! If you haven’t heard about Planned & Present it is a seven week e-course to take you from feeling out of control and overwhelmed to feeling planned and present.

It is a step-by-step guide on how to organise the chaos of family life while still leaving space to enjoy it.

The course ran for the first time in October and I was blown away by how many people signed up and even more ecstatic about the results members achieved as they worked their way through the e-course.

With the drive of wanting to be organised it can be easy to forget why we want to be organised – to be able to spend more time enjoying our family. The course teaches you how to establish plans and processes for those repetitive tasks of family life, allowing you to be more effective and efficient with your time, so you can be more present with your family.

Planned and Present includes seven in-depth lessons, for you to work through. And with lifetime access to the course, it’s okay if you fall behind. The next round of the course will open towards the end of January.

To find out more about Planned & Present and to be the notified when the course launches click here – Planned & Present.