My goal with this blog is to help young families pursue a more sustainable lifestyle by planning purposefully with frugality in mind–and that planning piece is probably the most important. Making changes to your lifestyle takes time and often doesn’t happen overnight, but small, well-planned changes add up to big changes over time. Here’s how we set SMART goals for our homestead!
So, for the sake of transparency, I want to share some of my goals for 2023 with you. I personally like to break my goals down into categories so that they are more measurable and attainable and less overwhelming. Here’s how I brainstorm goals, adjust them, and make ones that I can actually stick to! The goal that I narrow in on is a homesteading goal, but you can use this method for any goal you want to implement in 2023. For the sake of this post, I zoned in on a homesteading goal… but you can apply this process to any goal you have!
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How to Set SMART Goals Step 1: Determine Categories
The first step is to determine what categories you want to focus on. I chose four categories that I write about for my blog, but you could pick any categories that are important to you.
How to Set SMART Goals Step 2: Brainstorm Ideas
Here are a few goals that I brainstormed for each of the categories I want to focus on:
Slow Fashion Goals
- Determine the gaps in my wardrobe now that I am a few months postpartum and make a wish list
- Try to sew or shop secondhand for some of the missing pieces before buying them new
- Finish interior details like wallpaper, painting trim, and adding quarter-round
- Add 2-4 more raised beds
- Learn basic canning techniques
- Fix coop
- Get chickens
- Don’t buy any new fabric; try to use my remaining yards and scraps first
- Sew with some of the vintage wool I bought secondhand
- Sew at least two new items for my own wardrobe
- Make seasonal capsule wardrobes for the kids
- Create and stick to daily rhythms with a block schedule
- Focus on habit training
- Read 4 books about homeschooling or parenting
- Spend more time outside with my kids
How to Set SMART Goals Step 3: Determine Your SMART Goals
When making goals, I often use the acronym SMART. I learned about this technique when studying elementary education in college. SMART stands for:
I like to go back through my brainstorm list and make sure my goals are SMART. For example, let’s take the Homestead goal Fix Coop. Watch how I rewrite this as a smart goal:
Specific: What do I mean by fixing the coop? Clear debris, add new chicken wire, and build a door.
Measurable: How will I know the coop is fixed? We need to make it animal-proof and clean for the chickens. This means researching how to make coops safe and buying new hay.
Attainable: A Pinterest-style coop is not attainable with our current budget and other projects. We can use what we already have but make it functional.
Realistic: What can I realistically do? Eventually, we’d love to extend the coop, paint it, and add some perches. Right now, we just need to get it functional.
Timely: We want to get chickens by April, so we need to start this project by January and have it functional by mid-March.
So let’s put it all together…
We will research how to create a safe, clean chicken coop and will clear debris (January), add new wire (February), and build a door for our current coop (March) so that it will be ready to welcome our new chickens in April.
Wheeewwww. That’s quite the goal. But it’s also really specific and provides a plan of action whereas the other one left room for a lot of questions. You can go through each of the goals on your brainstorm list, or just pick a few! You have to consider not only if an individual goal is realistic but also how many goals you can realistically implement in the course of the year.
How to Set SMART Goals Step 4. Write it Down!
This is my all-time favorite calendar! It’s beautiful and simple and has lots of space to write. I recommend writing your goals at the bottom of the calendar on the month that you want to start and finish it so that you are reminded of it and can plan a time for it when planning out your weeks each month.
What goals do you have for the new year? Have you tried setting SMART goals before? Happy goal setting, friend! I can’t wait to see what this next year holds for all of us.