I’ve realized something about myself over the last year: I’m terrible at setting goals (and thus I never achieve my goals).
I talk about things I want to do “someday.” I dream about what I’d do if I had all the time in the world. I imagine what we might do if “this” or “that” happened. Buuuut… I don’t usually do anything to make those dreams happen.
This year, two big dreams of mine happened: I hiked the West Coast Trail and I published my first book.
Those are both things I’ve talked about doing for years. When I said I was going to hike the WCT, a friend of mine commented about how much fun she had hiking it nineteen years ago. I’m pretty sure she was the first one to tell me about the trail, so I’ve been dreaming about this trail for nineteen years. We’ve lived here on the West Coast for the past ten years, but it took my cousin’s impetus to make my big dream happen.
As for publishing a book, I never thought I’d be writing a kids saint book. As a teenager, I pounded out fantasy novels on my computer. They’re still sitting on my computer. I’ve got more novels in my head, and I’ve been reading about publishing and self-publishing and writing books ever since. Last year, the idea for my kids’ saint book hit and I started working on it. It’s been a stop-and-go process, but thanks to two friends and a few attempts at setting deadlines for all of us, that book finally is published!!!
As I look at next year, and catch myself saying “someday” or “maybe if…”, I want to do things differently. I don’t want to wait around until someone else starts planning something I want to do, or until “the time is right,” or until I win the lottery (because that will never happen).
I want to set goals and make them happen.
A Planner for Goal-Setters
That’s why I was super excited to review the Shine Goals Planner from Sterling Jaquith. Sterling is a fellow Catholic mom blogger whom I greatly admire. She’s got six kids and she’s written a few books and she’s doing things. As I read through the Shine Goals Planner, I could almost picture Sterling sitting down with me, giving me a pep talk about doing all those things I’ve said I want to do.
Sterling talks about living intentionally and cultivating peace. She talks about focusing on faith and family (the really important things in our lives). She talks about deciding what matters and brushing aside the distractions, and setting our own paths for sainthood. (Okay, that’s a reeeaallly big goal, but big goals are good, right?)
Shine Goals Planner is a beautiful, coil-bound planner. It has tabbed sections (“Get Schooled,” “Set Goals,” and four “New Quarter” tabs) to help you find where you’re at. And it doesn’t have dates… so you can start it anytime (now, January, mid-April when spring fever hits you). There are saint quotes sprinkled throughout the planner to inspire you. And it’s so pretty that you’ll want to use it frequently.
Right now, you can get it for HALF-PRICE because Sterling is moving and needs to get the planner out of her basement!!!
How to Set Goals to SHINE!
In this planner, Sterling walks you through the process of setting goals, discerning God’s will, revising your goals, creating an action plan to make those goals happen, and then reviewing and renewing your plan. She suggests sample timelines for using the planner, from the “Eager Beaver” (who’ll plough through the entire planner in one sitting!) to “My Hair Is On Fire” (who isn’t sure how she can do one more thing—um, I might resemble this).
Sterling’s tips and advice are practical and hands-on. She’s real and honest about the process of goal-setting and planning, yet also hopeful. As I said, reading through this planner felt like having a coach pushing me on. She includes concrete examples of goals and plans that will work or not, and why.
Do you have big dreams? What keeps you from turning those dreams into goals and making them happen?
If you don’t have big dreams, don’t worry! The Shine Goals Planner isn’t just about big accomplishments like getting a book published or making your dream vacation a reality. Sterling also talks about everyday goals, like becoming a better mom or wife. In the section on “Reviewing Last Year,” she encourages us to look over our faith, finances, friendships, extended family, health, rest, work and ministry, homemaking, marriage and parenting.
Yeah, there’s things I can work on in every area… but most of my goals fall into one or two areas. So this planner can also help me balance my goals and priorities, instead of neglecting my kids to get my book published. I’m sure, in any of those categories, there’s something each of us can work on. (Goal: sleep through the night before my kids move out of the house…)
More about Sterling Jaquith
Sterling Jaquith is mama to five kids and wife to a crazy Type-A overachieving husband (y’all, that’s hard). She’s a Catholic convert like me who dreams of sainthood (whether or not she’s ever actually canonized). Her parents live in her basement, she has a Zillow problem, and she was on bedrest for 9 months out of the last two years so she’s 60 lbs. overweight. (She talks about weight loss goals in the Shine Goals Planner, so if this is on your “someday” list, Sterling knows what it’s like!)
Sterling says, “I have no idea what my life is going to look like this year and yet… I have clarity. I have peace. I’m going to teach you how to have that too.”
Honestly, that’s one of the biggest things I wanted out of this planner. I’ve joked more than once that—SQUIRREL!!!—I’m easily distracted. In fact, as I look at next year, I can’t decide whether to write my next kids’ saint book, finish a pregnancy ebook that I started a couple years ago, or jump into a new project idea. I randomly agree to work with brands and then find myself over-committed and stressed out about getting my reviews or posts done. And when I don’t know what else to do, I just dig through my blog archives, updating old content.
I need a plan. I need focus. I need a goal to work towards so that it actually happens, instead of me trying to chase three (or five or six) different things that then get in the way of any of those happening. So I’m using this planner to set my goals and make a plan.
If any of this resembles you… check out the Shine Goals Planner (and grab it while it’s half-price!) and join me!