Living Well

The secret to accomplishing your goals for 2017

I allowed my weary limbs to sink into the soft mattress, and wondered how I could have worked so hard all day, and have nothing to show for it. A voice in the back of my head insisted that peaceful sleeping children weren’t nothing, but it couldn’t drown out the conviction that I would be more satisfied with life if I knew that I were making some sort of progress. At very least, I wanted to know that I had a been a better mom today than I was last year.

Setting and sharing monthly goals helps you make progress through the year
Did I make progress today?

I had been up before dawn nursing an infant. When she was settled, it was time to send the older kids off the to school. As they pulled out of the driveway with my husband my  toddler woke up and needed breakfast. From there my knees were in the carpet if my feet weren’t in the kitchen, until, hopefully, the two little ones fell asleep and I had time to grab a shower and collect my thoughts before the school bus brakes squealed out front, and we began our evening dash through home work, then dinner, and I finally landed back in the rocking chair with the infant. That’s where I had come from on my way to bed.

Your life may not look like mine, but if you are making goals for 2017, you need to have a real plan for reaching them, or demands of very ordinary days will cover them up, and you’ll wake up one morning next December wondering if progress is even possible in this busy world.

The secret to accomplishing annual goals

Last year, I joined a project started by Mary Anne at Mama Smiles. Mary Anne writes about happy parenting, which she practices with her own four kids. She shares the secret she’s learned for making progress every year. Monthly goals, shared with friends.

Every month  in 2016 I wrote down goals, and most months I shared them on my blog Thriving STEM.  As I ran through my busy days, I looked for opportunities to work toward my monthly goal, and over the month I made a little progress in each area.

It’s the beginning of January, and as I look back over the last year I see that the example I set for my children has become less anxious, less stressed, and kinder. I see that  my home is more peaceful, and my blogging skills have matured. I’m satisfied with my year’s work, and excited to see what 2017 has in store.

My goals for 2017

My goals don’t really fit that well with STEM education. I’m primarily a mom and a home maker, not science teacher at this stage of life. So, I decided to move my goals over here, and join my dear friend Deborah in writing about what my life is now: a sincere attempt to live well with the precious five lives that sleep in the home I tend.

This year I’ll be talking about how I improve myself. I knew at the outset of 2016 that being a great mother comes from being an example while living with my children, but I didn’t realize how much I was trying to raise children to be something that I wasn’t. You can raise children to be something you aren’t any more than you can toss a ball you haven’t caught. So, this year, rather than setting goals about how I care for my children, I’m going to set goals for living am excellent life from the center out.

I’ll also talk about my home making goals. This year, I want welcome to grow in my home.

Finally, I’ll talk about my writing related goals.  I’m still going to write about science, math, and tech over at Thriving STEM, because I love watching kids learn, and want to share that with others, and I’ll write here about life more generally. My goal is to grow as a writer, and hopefully to see some numeric growth.

strawberries in January
I love how cheerful and promising the wild strawberries look right now

My Goals January 2017

Excellence from the center out

My goal was to get a physical. Was, because when my husband offered me a few hours of kid free time this week, I used them to get it done. The great thing about having goals in writing is that you can grab the opportunities to accomplish them when they come up.

Home making: welcome

My January goal is to purge and organize my bedroom, and the kitchen. Anybody want to join me? I’d love to swap photos of completed shelves.

Blogging: Grow

This month I want to stick to a daily and weekly writing schedule- for at least three of the weeks.

Your goals January 2017?

Are you looking for a way to move toward your goals for 2017? Try writing some monthly goals for January, and share them with an interested friend. I’d love to hear your goals for this month. E-mail me at or leave your plans in the comments of this post.

Even though you may be exhausted as you fall into bed on a random night in March, you’ll do so knowing you’ve made good progress on the things you find most important.


monthly goals to make your annual goals


Need some more goal inspiration?

See how Mary Anne of Mama Smiles is setting goals month by month

Get a free 2017 calendar to record your own goals from 3 Dinosaurs

Find some ideas for refreshing your lifestyle from Crayon Freckles

Learn how to Thrive in 2017 from Freshly planted

Get ideas for balance, purpose, health, and organization from Kitchen Floor Crafts


14 thoughts on “The secret to accomplishing your goals for 2017

    1. Thanks, Heather, and great point. Just picking up someone else’s goals won’t work out well. We need to make sure we’re choosing goals that are specific to ourselves.

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