how to set a single goal for 2020

Creating a single goal for 2020

Following on from my last post which reviewed 2019, today I am going to share with you the process I use to set a single goal for the forthcoming year.

I first set a single goal back in 2015 after reading the book The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results (this book is currently on sale for $13.53 which is a bargain!). If you have tried other goal setting methods before and haven’t found they worked for you, I can highly recommend reading this book. It completely changed the way I thought about goal setting and changed my behaviours in terms of working towards my goal.

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.

How to set your goal for 2020

The first time you undertake setting a single goal, it can take a little time and it can be challenging, but I can promise you that the effort and thought that you put into this activity is worth the effort for the clarity and focus it gives you going into the new year. Here are the steps to take to set a singl goal for 2020:

1. Review the previous 12 months asking these questions

  • What were your successes?
  • What didn’t work out?
  • What made you happy?
  • What made you unhappy?
  • What did you want to do more of?

2. Preview the coming 12 months asking these questions

  • What is on the calendar for you?
  • What is on the calendar for your partner?
  • What ages and stages are the kids at?
  • What other commitments are on the horizon?

3. List everything you want to do in 2020

  • List all of the things you want to do in the year, knowing that it won’t be possible to do them all, but it will allow you to ask these questions about the list:
    • Are there any overarching themes in the list?
    • What images come to mind when reading over the list?

4. Craft your single goal statement

  • Examine what you liked most about 2019 and what you wanted to do more of / less of
  • Examine the themes and the images from your list and highlight the ones that resonate the most with you
  • Use the key findings to write a short statement about what you want to achieve in 2020
  • This goal statement will be your guide and decision making tool for the year

My previous single goal statements

Here are the single goal statements I have worked toward and achieved (with varying success!) over the last few years:

  • 2015 – Be a planned and present mother to my beautiful kids
  • 2016 – Create space in my life for creativity and calm
  • 2017 – To invest in my relationships with family, friends and community to bring joy and connection
  • 2018 – Detach from the old and embrace the new to nurture a family spirit of adventure
  • 2019 – Nurture new routines to re-energise, re-invigorate and create personal growth

My single goal for 2020

While I do love spreadsheets and find them incredibly useful for so many things, when it comes to determining my goal for the new year, I always revert to pen and paper.

I work through the exact steps documented above and by the time I reach step four, I find it pretty easy to write my goal statement. For 2020 my goal is:

Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friends

Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friends

Creating habits to support my goal

In the single goal setting process, crafting the goal statement isn’t the final step. The last step is creating habits that you can focus on daily to help you achieve your goal.

To focus purely on the goal of simplifying life to free up time, it would be overwhelming to me – where would I start, what should I cut out, who should I be spending time with?

To give more specificity I look at the list I created in step three and see what habits I can establish that will help me achieve my goal. My single goal acts as the rudder, steering me in the direction I want my life to go this year and the habits are the practical day to day actions I can take to move me forward. My habits for 2020 are:

  • Simplify our evening meals (make one meal a week meat free)
  • Simplify our home cleaning routine
  • Simplify my exercise routine
  • Declutter one item a day (can be averaged over a week / fortnight)
  • Spend an hour outside each day

When I am deciding upon the habits I like to make sure they have a direct connection to my goal and I also like to associate them with a quote. This helps me remember why it is important and keeps everything aligned.

HabitConnection to goal - Simplify daily life to spend more time with family and friendsQuote - “A simple lifestyle is good for us, helping us to better share with those in need.” ~ Pope Francis
Simplify our evening meals (make one meal a week meat free)With five kids, two being older teenagers and one being an adult I need to cook a lot of food. These three also have who casual or part time jobs, so having family meals with everyone eating at the same time is becoming increasingly more difficult.

The types of meals I cook now need to cater more for different sittings of meal times and also larger volumes so they can eat left overs for other meals as needed. This can be time consuming and I want it to take up the minimal amount of time, giving me the greatest chance of eating a family meal with as many kids as possible.

I need to simplify some of the meals I make to make this happen and I also want to reduce meat intake in the house, so want one meal a week to be meat free as well.
"If you want to change the world, go home and love your family." ~ Mother Teresa
Simplify our home cleaning routineWe have the kids involved in doing work around the house across the week, but it isn't as streamlined and as simple as I would like it to be. We also have a different system of contributing to the housework once kids leave school, so I need to work on simplifying how we all contribute to keeping the house clean and tidy. "The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment." ~ Marie Kondo
Simplify my exercise routineRunning will be my focus for 2020 but I would still like to keep up strength training and do some yoga. I need to work out a way to fit this into my life without taking up too much time or feeling like I have too much to do.

Both the strength training and the yoga help my running, so I need to find a way to simplify how I can blend them into a routine.
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Declutter one item a day (can be averaged over a week / fortnight)There are cupboards that are too full, bedrooms that look a little messy because they have too much stuff in them. I find I am spending too much time on managing the stuff of the house.

I want to work slowly over the year to really pare back the belongings we have in the house. I feel much calmer with clear surfaces and minimal mess.
“Three Rules of Work:
Out of clutter find simplicity.
From discord find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein
Spend an hour outside each dayBeing outside is so good for me in so many ways and good for the kids too. I find the pace of things slows down when I am outdoors.

With my running I do spend time outside everyday, but often in winter this is when it is still dark. I want to spend time outside in daylight hours and also use this time to be with the kids where I can too - who also benefit from more outdoor time.
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~Lao Tzu

Have you set a goal for 2020? If so I would love to read what it is.