I am epically bad at setting goals--long-term, short-term, daily, weekly...I sit down to try and come up with things I would like to do and my mind goes utterly blank. This seems odd to me because I'm such a planner and love having things spelled out. My layman's psychoanalysis theory is that it's because I'm an "S" on the Myers-Briggs spectrum. According to one description, this means, "I’m concerned with what is actual, present, current, and real" and that "sometimes I pay so much attention to facts, either present or past, that I miss new possibilities." On the flip side of the spectrum is the "N" personality type, who is "interested in new things and what might be possible, so that [she] think[s] more about the future than the past" and even "sometimes think[s] so much about new possibilities that [she] never look[s] at how to make them a reality." I don't want to use this as an "out" to simple excuse myself from trying to create goals for myself, but I do think it's useful to acknowledge that it might be harder for me than for others. I don't think I have a visionary bone in my body, because if I even start to let myself dream I end up getting caught up in the steps it would take to get to that dream so quickly that I can't get excited about it!

I love this infographic about what makes a good goal:

Source: moneysavingmom.com via Laura on Pinterest

And I also love these two lists of questions I found from Simple Mom:

I haven't done it yet, but I'd like to spend some time thinking through these questions and using the SMART tactic to try and give myself some structure for moving ahead. Most of the bloggers I respect and enjoy reading are excellent goal-setters and I love following their progress as they strive to achieve dreams, make practical advances, and have fun new experiences. I also love the concept of having a word or two that you're hoping to let define your year; for example, Money Saving Mom's word for 2013 is "margin."

I don't know my word.

I don't have New Year's Resolutions.

But I do have a few thoughts of areas where I'd like to focus more and perhaps eventually set some goals (can I say that I have a goal to set goals?!):

  • learning (more on that to come in a subsequent post)
  • relationships
  • organization

Specifically, in the area of relationships, I want to think about cultivating and continuing friendships I already have as well as expanding relationships I'm beginning to build. I'll do the first by being intentional about making phone calls and by sending frequent texts whenever I'm thinking of someone. I really hate talking on the phone, but every time I convince myself to call a friend or to pick up when a friend calls, I find myself engrossed in our conversation, and I inevitably hang up the phone thinking, "Oh yeah! It's really nice to talk to people you love!" I think for now I will aim for having an extended conversation with at least one far-flung friend a month. And on the text message front, I've realized it's SO, so easy to shoot someone a text. And while it may seem a bit impersonal, it's better than nothing! And often, a simple text can encourage a chain of texts, or an email, or even *gasp* a phone call.

As I build new relationships in Atlanta, I want to continue meeting with my book club and potentially attend other events with the women in that group. I also want to try and have a monthly girls' night out with some people. This has been happening sporadically, and we always have a great time, so even though planning the outings often proves difficult, it's well worth my while to send a few emails and calendar invites. Finally, I think I might go WAY out on a limb and ask a select few people if they'd like to run together occassionally. I went for a run the other day on the Beltline and had a blast; it may turn me into a runner yet! And if it's already something I'm trying to do, why not involve a burgeoning friend in my efforts and kill two birds with one stone?

As far as organization, Andy and I will be staying put in our apartment for another year (at least as far as we know at this point), which is fine, but I want to purge and re-organize as if we were going to be moving. We live in a fairly small space. All of our stuff fits, even with all the shopping I've done in the past year, but I think we definitely have more than we need, and the things we do need could be organized more effectively. I think it's healthy to evaluate your possessions on a regular basis, and since it's been awhile since we moved, I'd say it's time! Hopefully we can make a few bucks selling some of the things on Craisglist, eBay, or Amazon. I also think this activity will help me be content in our living situation--we love our neighborhood, and I love the majority of the stuff in our apartment, but when things are crammed in and disorganized it's easy to become frustrated. I'm planning to set a weekend soon to do this with Andy, so I'll report back and let you know how it goes!

Do you have any resolutions or goals for 2013? What's your process for planning for the future? 

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman