Creating a single goal for 2019

Yesterday I published my review of 2018. The review is effectively step one in creating my goal for the new year. If you have been reading my blog for even a short time, you will have picked up that goal setting is a key activity for me. Over the last few years I have developed and enhanced my own goal setting process to create a single goal for the year. I create a single goal for me personally and also a single goal for my business.

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.

You can find a detailed breakdown of the exact steps I take in this post if you are after more details, but below I take you through the results of the different steps in the process that helped me create my single goal for 2018.

The process this year really only took me a couple of hours in dedicated time, but through out December I did start thinking about my goal for 2019 at various moments, like on my long runs or in the shower. This means that once I started writing my answers to the questions I use as guide, my writing flowed quite easily.

While I could easily write my answers in a word doc or spreadsheet, I always use a notebook when writing out my thoughts for my goal. Handwriting my goal notes works well for me for two key reasons:

  • No distractions – I sat outside in the sunshine to do it this year and there were no tabs or apps to distract me through the process.
  • Expanding my thoughts – by handwriting my thoughts it allows me to think them through more and make better connections between them.

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

I ended 2018 feeling content with the progress I made towards my goal for the year. I love that I have learned the skills to detach and listen more mindfully. Both of these skills contribute positively to family harmony. I wish that I had perfected them, but I didn’t! I can still become attached to certain outcomes or behaviours. Instead of listening to the kids with full focus, I can still just go through the motions while my mind is far away on other things. The difference from Dec 2018 to Jan 2018 however is that I actually realise I am doing these things and I can stop myself mid way and self correct.

When I am setting my goal for the year I do sometimes worry if I centre it too much around me, that I will be selfish as I pursue my single goal through out the year. But having a goal in 2018 that focused on my behaviours reminded me once again just how important my actions, behaviours and demeanour are in terms of leading the family in the right direction. What I do can have much greater impact on the kids than what I say, especially when it comes to the teenagers. This realisation gave me confidence to not shy away from a goal that focuses on me for 2019.

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

In terms of ages and stages of the kids, in 2019 we will have:

  • A third year uni student
  • A year 12 student
  • A year 10 student
  • A year 7 student
  • A year 5 student

Only one child at primary school now! That in itself is will bring an interesting change in our family dynamics. The secondary school kids leave home much earlier and arrive back home much later, so the youngest and I will have more time together on our own.

Past history has shown that at different times in the year, the Year 12 and Year 7 students do need additional support. This means for me:

  • Keeping February and November low key in terms of what I require from the kids
  • Minimal entertaining etc at home in those months
  • Minimal outside commitments for me in these months

There are some events and commitment I know of already for 2019:

  • I have taken on a volunteer role at the primary school for the biannual major fundraiser which will take up time across the year in particular in September and October
  • I would like to run another marathon
  • I would like to do the weekends away with girlfriends again
  • Support Phil’s sporting endeavours

Setting one personal goal step 3 – list it all

This is the fun part of the goal setting process for me! I write down all of the activities I am currently aware of I would like to do in 2019. Listing them all doesn’t mean I will do them all and I write the list knowing this. The importance of writing them all down though, is that once the list is finished, I can stand back and review the list looking for themes, key ideas and interests that are obviously important to me at this time. If I limited the list I wouldn’t necessarily find these.

I then spend time looking at the list and seeing what appears from it. Even though I have been doing this for a number of years, I am still happily surprised at how easy it is to pick out the overarching themes for the new year. From this year’s list I found the following:

  • themes – grow, learn, new, change, discover, discuss, reinvigorate
  • images – path, cross, horizon, grass, footsteps

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

Crafting a single goal statement can be quite a challenge the first time around, but I find it gets easier each year I do it. In a matter of minutes I had four goal statements written out and one was the clear winner.

Nurture new routines to re-energise, re-invigorate
and create personal growth.


It is pretty clear I love routines, but routines need to change and evolve over time. 2019 for me feels like it is the year to shake things up a little and put some time and energy to changing my routines and the way I do things to create more personal growth. I feel like I haven’t challenged myself (other than physically) much over the last couple of years and have become a bit too comfortable. In 2019 I want to make myself experience some discomfort and mix up what I do from day to day.

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

The single goal statement acts as my rudder for the year. It keeps me going in the right direction and makes it easier for me to decide where I should spend my time. But underneath the goal statement there is the daily work that needs to happen to make goal achievement possible. Day to day my focus isn’t on my goal per se, but the daily/weekly actions I need to take.

In the table below I have listed my new habits for 2019 to help me achieve my goal of nurturing new routines to re-energise, re-invigorate and create personal growth.

HabitConnection to goal - Nurture new routines to re-energise, re-invigorate and create personal growth.Poem quote
Establish a new work routineI have been working from home for the last 10 years and the last couple I have had less connection with others.

In 2019 I want to change the way I work to re-energise the way I feel about work.
“Don't let your life goals fall victim to the allure of comfortable routines.”
~ Zero Dean
Establish a new morning routineI have had the same morning routine for about the last 5 years. It has served me well, but with the changes in ages of the kids there is now greater flexibility and it is time, I tried some new routines to re-invigorate the start to my day.“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”
~ John C. Maxwell
Dedicate two hours a week to learning something newI read, listen to podcasts and audiobooks, but I haven't taken the time to really learn something new for some time.

This habit may change a little along the way, but the aim is that I learn something that helps me grow or gives me a new skill.
"Change is the end result of all true learning."
~Leo Buscaglia
Create a bimonthly non fiction book clubStarting a book club has been on my list of things to do for years and by making it non fiction, it will support my goal for personal growth. Yes I could read the books on my own, but I always get so much more out of a book if I know I have to discuss it with others.“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
~Dr. Seuss

If one of your habits you want to establish for 2019 is creating an exercise habit, you should definitely check out the giveaway currently running – Giveaway: Learn to Run.

Setting one personal goal step 6 -track and review your goal

Setting the goal is the first step to achieving it. To help keep you focused on your goal though, you need to build in a process where you track and review your progress. It can be easy to dismiss this step especially if you know you haven’t achieved what you wanted to for the month, but unless you take the time to look at why this happened, there is a very good chance your next month will be the same.

Each month in 2019 I will review my progress, sharing both my successes and failures. And I know there will be failures because it happens every year. I have learnt to embrace the failures as moments that teach me more about myself and how I behave – these are great lessons and create personal growth regardless of goal achievement. I encourage you to put some dates in your diary at the end of each month now so you are reminded to review your progress through out 2019.

What is your goal for 2019?

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 2016 and has been successfully completed by over 500 mums to date. I have been blown away about the results members have 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 need extra time to make it through the lessons. The next round of the course will be mid February 2019.

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