How to set new year goals with your significant other

I’ve always loved the end of the year because it gives me time to really reflect and refresh for a new year! What did I accomplish? What went well? Why did it go well? What areas could I have done better? What will I change in order to see that improvement? I ask these questions and more going into goal setting and vision planning for a new year.

How to set New Year Goals with your significant other by Strong Sweet Caroline

One thing that has been different this year is I am not alone. I have taken a different approach to goal setting–it includes my boyfriend, significant other, David.

We each have our own unique goals. We also have goals together as a couple. I wanted to ensure we set aside proper time to discuss, dissect and start planning for them! Otherwise, if we undercommunicate, they might get left out to dry on the side of the “could have done” road.

David is extremely ADD, so when going about this, I knew I would have to be prepared and make it quick and succinct. It is not that he does not like goal setting, because he thrives from doing it. It is more of him being unable to focus for long periods of time.

Here is the method I went about to set new year goals with my significant other. Hope they can help you too!

How to set New Year Goals with your significant other by Strong Sweet Caroline

Step 1: Break the ice

So, before you start with all these goals and plans, have you even asked the questions to your partner? Do they have goals? And are they willing to set them with you?

Since the inception of David and I’s relationship, we both have expressed different goals in life. Different preferences, visions for our upcoming years and ways we wanted to succeed. We had some of them broken down into goals. Others not quite. Breaking the ice to open the conversation is the start to these conversations.

Some questions I find helpful when starting the talks are:

  • I’ve been thinking about my goals for the new year and I was wondering if you’d like to talk through them with me? I’d love to hear yours too!
  • Going into the new year, I know I want to do _____, ______, and ______. What are some ideas for you?
  • What are some things you want to work in this next year? How can I help you with them?
How to set New Year Goals with your significant other by Strong Sweet Caroline

Step 2: Review past year

Before you do any vision planning for the new year ahead, be sure to analyze and give time to reflect on the past year! I used an idea shared by Nate Green for Personal Retrospective for us to go through our individual goals a few goals as a couple and plan into 2019.

Here are the areas to focus in the review:

  • What made us proud or was a success?
  • What were areas for improvement or growth opportunities?

Then, I broke it down into broad categories. We talked about our individual year goals together.

Proud or Success Moments

Quality time spent with loved ones.

  • Went to Miami, FL to celebrate David’s birthday, train at a new gym and see his childhood friend Mark and wife Joanna
  • Celebrated our one-year anniversary at Fogo de Chao
  • Attended the Arnold Classic and got to meet some idols (mine was Amanda Kuclo, his was Lee Priest)
  • Went white water rafting for the first time with David’s childhood friend Kevin and girlfriend Cat
  • Celebrated by birthday with a photoshoot and home cooked lamb dinner with David
  • Traveled to Ohio for my sister Kelly’s college graduation
  • Attended my first Atlanta United soccer game
  • Dressed in costume for first DragonCon, although we ran out of paint and David had to spend more than planned for his
  • Celebrated the love of George and Kathleen at their wedding
  • Took David to a shooting range for the first time, now he just needs his own handgun since we already have our permits
  • Went ice skating with Tara
How to set New Year Goals with your significant other by Strong Sweet Caroline

Supporting others successes.

  • Attended the Lee Haney for David’s clients, Tony and Natan
  • Attended two dress up events as Tara’s guest
  • Celebrated Heather’s 30th birthday

Personal growth and career growth.

  • Started to be coached by John Meadows for bodybuilding goals
  • Starred in my first video shoot for a gym!
  • Owned my own meal prep company and at one point had 15 clients while making profit
  • Participated in first video shoot with Workout Anytime!
  • Completed my first fitness model photoshoot with Rainbow Photography
  • Continued freelancing all year for one large client, keeping me active and writing regularly
  • Spoke at AFA Leaders Conference for college students about productivity and well being
  • Attended A Tribe Called Bliss to hear Lori Harder speak and to meet some like-minded ladies

Femininity and Spirituality.

  • Balanced my hormones and PCOS naturally
  • Became more in tune with my sexuality through photography, reading and jade egg practice
  • Increased yoga to once per week
  • Stuck to meditating DAILY
  • Improved bible study (almost have been 1 YEAR of daily bible verse via YouVersion Bible App) and watch Life.Church online weekly
  • Started earning about crystal healing and using them in meditation practice

Areas of Improvement & Growth Opportunities

Sticking through the tough stuff.

  • Having trust in my personal relationship and talking about areas I’m insecure, why and working with David to overcome it
  • Skin issues and gut health take time. One meal will not improve my skin overnight, just like one cookie will not cause trauma. Consistency to heal from within. Read a bit about this journey.
  • Preventative care for injuries is a must. Stretching, chiropractic work and deep tissue work will need increased, as well as Epsom salt baths and muscle relaxing creams.

Making the most of time, knowing my value and being present and organized.

  • I have learned my value in my skills and work. I worked part time at a bakery that was not compensating what I should have earned for my skills.
  • I worked at a real estate management firm that had negative energy and was taking away from my time and happiness.
  • If I become disorganized, I do not use my time wisely and am unable to be fully present in the moment with friends, mentors and loved ones.

Write down business goals and be detailed.

  • My meal prep business failed because I did not fully write out my budgets, goals and required profits.
  • I missed income opportunities because of ill-planning.
How to set New Year Goals with your significant other by Strong Sweet Caroline

Step 3: Ask the bigger questions for yourself and as a couple

Now that David knew where I stood on my 2018 plans and goals, what would 2019 look like? We had to discuss these together. And I did so with a quick worksheet, provided by Adam Carroll, and I expanded further.

Here are the questions we wrote down our individual answers:

  • What do you want your life to be like 5 years from now?
  • What’s the one most important thing to get done in 2019?
  • What one thing have you not done that your really want to do?
  • What’s holding you back?
  • What do you absolutely love in life and how can you expand on it?
  • What are you doing to pursue your dreams right now?
  • What are you pretending not to know?

Here are two more questions we came up with individual answers but focused on our relationship:

  • What are the two big focus areas for 2019?
  • What feelings do you want to emit in 2019?

Our focus areas for 2019 are going to be Bodybuilding and Travel. Our feelings we want more of in our relationship for 2019 are fun, positive energy and passion!

How to set New Year Goals with your significant other by Strong Sweet Caroline

Step 4: Put them into action

With our individual goals and team/partner goals, we need to implement them for the new year! That includes writing them down. David is not so much the organized, writing-brained part of our relationship. I took it upon myself to write them out and put onto one page we can print and hang up in our living area to see daily.

Between you and your partner, come to an agreement on who will write out the goals and “manage” the documents. Then, together, you must put them into action!

Break them down, monthly and possibly weekly and daily if you need. I find I’m most productive mapping out weekly goals and putting them into my schedule.

We are finalizing our couple vision board to add in the 5-year goals and ideas, as well as keep us visually motivated, every single day. When you put your plan into action, you will most likely succeed!

This is the first time David and I put down goals together. Now, we must stick to them and see that we succeed! How can this process help you and your loved one be aligned into a new year? Share comments below or reach out with any questions at strongsweetcaroline@gmail.com.

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How to choose and live your theme

It’s a new year and I have been extremely busy. My priorities are focused on my goals. I’ve laid out daily action plans and tactics. And I get done what I can.

Last year, you might remember I chose my word/theme for the year as moxie. And I certainly lived it out! The decision was not taken lightly but just came to me.

This year, I took time to analyze myself as a person, what I’ve learned, what I strive to accomplish this year and how I can do that.

You may or may not have done this yourself. Here is the process for how I choose my theme for the year and live it out DAILY.

word of the year (1)

Step 1: Review last year

I take at least one full hour before year end to evaluate my year. Whether you have a paper or electronic calendar, go through each month and see what happened. It’s funny, sometimes we forget about the little things that happened unless we write them down! For example, I forgot I completed two new books the month of March and that was while traveling to Texas for a fitness camp!

While reviewing, take in some key mental (or written) notes of happy, exciting experiences, experiences that were difficult or sad, things you learned, things you maybe did not grow as much as you wanted and any additional indicators of success or weaknesses.

Last year, I had a lot of change because I followed through and lived my word of the year, moxie. I described it as having vigor, courage and determination. And that seems to be what I did. In difficult times and amazing, wonderful successes, I had moxie. I sat down in Miami Beach, FL and reviewed the year and what things happened as planned, what did and looked at the why behind everything.

Step 2: Identify your vision for the new year

After you have reviewed the previous year, you can step forward into the new one. Identify a vision for the year. What are your big goals? What do you want to learn? Where do you want to travel? How can all of these pieces fit together?

Sometimes, I get too many thoughts into my vision. Therefore, I break it down into distinct categories:

  • Spiritual
  • Physical
  • Emotional/Intellectual
  • Financial
  • Social/Family
  • Career

If I pick three to six vision points underneath each category, I can stay better focused throughout the year and not feel overwhelmed. Some are large goals and some are small. Nonetheless, I write down options and select only a handful for the one year. Save the others in your notebook for later down the road or to review and possibly add in next year.

Step 3:  Select your theme

When you know where you were last year and identify where you want to go for the new year, options for your theme will become more clear. Think about who you are.

What are some common characteristics of you? What words would your best friends use to describe you?

Now, take it one step further.

If you can live out who you are through thoughts and actions, how would you do it? What words might describe that? Maybe you are not quite to the level you want to be yet. That’s OK. This is the process to help you see yourself in the future.

Close your eyes and see yourself achieving this year’s goals. You see yourself successful, happy and amazing.

Open your eyes. Choose the word that if you wrote it down or saw it daily, it would take you back to that vision and motivate you to act towards your new goals.

This led me to choose my theme of vitality. To me (and the dictionary), this means

  • physical strength
  • mental vigor
  • continuation of meaningful, purposeful existence

This was a great over-arching theme for the goals I had in mind with my current meal prep company and new business ventures I’m planning for the new year. So now what?

Step 4: Live it

It’s easy to write down a word or theme. The real challenge is execution. What will you do daily to live it?

vitality

I have a daily mantra I read aloud to remind me of specific things I want to do or do not want to do that align with my theme. Then, I take time weekly and daily to review things each day, make top three items to complete in one day.

Only choose three!

We always have to-do lists. But what three items will progress you towards your bigger theme and yearly goals?

Set time in your day to work on those. Fill in the rest with errands, other action items, family time and more. This balance and accomplishing three main things will take stress off your back and help you stay focused on what you can truly do within 24 hours.

What is the theme you choose and how will you live it? Would love to hear how you are doing it in the comments or send me an email (strongsweetcaroline@gmail.com). Look forward to helping more people with my businesses this year.

 

Set your theme in 2017

2016 was a year of much change, opportunity, tough choices, sadness, happiness and transitions. After reflecting over 2016, one thing is certain, I have learned much and have much more I desire to learn!

Do you ever think back to yourself, have a long sigh, and ask, “is this really my life?” I have. But I have realized it is not the most effective approach to take. Rather than turning my thoughts to a¬†depressed, negative spin, I am reversing the typical mentality.

Is this really my life??? AWESOME, go get it, girl!

I accomplished a large amount of my goals in 2016. Some highlights include:

  • Competed in one local and one national bodybuilding competition (see results here)
  • Read 19 new books, from a mighty goal of 30
  • Optimized this blog, with new developments to come this year
  • Visited 4 new states (Colorado, South Carolina, Nevada and New Jersey)
  • Purchased my first hand gun and had a membership at a shooting range
  • Joined a new bible study (BSF)
  • Started minimizing my possessions for a more minimalist lifestyle (just got rid of my tv!)
  • Have dedicated more time to family and friends
  • Accomplished individual goals in sales territory

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