It’s the time for resolutions, and I’m working on a way to make 2016 the best year yet!  Here’s what I’m trying, and perhaps you’ll find something similar that works for you.

I am a business owner, which means that right now I’m focused and energized for our slate of 2016 events, and other big changes that will affect the Tri 4 Schools family.  But, I’m also a wife, mom, friend, Christian, and athlete (in no particular order).  I’m always on a quest to maintain some semblance of balance in my life, and trying to improve my relationships with those I care about.  So, this year, I came up with a set of resolutions for different aspects of my life, and a way to track them that will motivate me every day.  This is a true experiment – I haven’t done anything like this before – and I encourage you to learn alongside me over the next few months.

Part 1 – My 2016 Resolutions by category:

With my son: read one book together five days per week

With my daughter: give her my undivided attention to play whatever she wants for 10 minutes, five days per week

With my husband: send one surprise note per week, maintain a date night once per month

To grow my faith: read my daily scripture verse every day, read a devotional every day

To deepen friendships: have coffee or a walk/run with a friend once per month

To combat stress and exhaustion: get eight hours of sleep per night every night

To enhance my health: limit dessert and alcohol to two nights per week (each, let’s be real here)

To learn and limit screen time: read before bed five nights per week vs. playing on my phone

You may wonder why there is no physical activity goal.  Well, a few things to note here:

  1. I have a standing goal of exercising 5-6 days/week, which I don’t have a problem maintaining.
  2. I’m going to be starting up using a FitBit next week, so I want to give myself some time to collect data on my general movement and active minutes before I set any goals.
  3. This year, I have two sprint triathlons and a marathon to train for, so I’ll be creating more detailed training plans as those races approach.

Part 2 – The Goal Tracker:

I created a goal tracking spreadsheet that has a column for each category, along with a point goal per week.  For goals that are monthly versus weekly, I will give myself a point for the week that this event occurs.

At the end of each month, I will total up the possible points for that category, as well as my points earned to see how I did that month.  I’m not sure how my grading will work, but my initial goal is to hit the 75% attainment rate for each goal, with possibly improving this over the course of the year.

Here’s what a sample week looks like so far:

goal tracker

Part 3 – The Incentives:

We’re all motivated by something.  Okay, some of you rockstars out there may just be motivated by hitting your goals and being a good, healthy person in general.  That’s amazing.  I, however, am not one of those people.  If I don’t have a race scheduled, it’s really easy for me to justify working more or relaxing with my family instead of going for a run, so I knew I needed to have incentives to help me stay on track past the normal resolution burnout period of mid-February.

Therefore, I created a monthly incentive for myself if I hit my 75% point goal.  This month, I have my eye on a pair of cozy Minnetonka slippers.  So, if I want those cozy slippers, that might just help me choose water over a beer for dinner.

Part 4 – Feedback:

If you’re interested in starting something similar, or you’re already doing something that works well to keep you accountable and motivated in all areas of your life, I’d love to hear about it!  I’m also hoping to share updates on how I’m doing with my goals, and share more about our 2016 Tri 4 Schools goals.

Here’s to our best year yet!