Documenting the life and times of a dreamer on her gap year. 

Setting Goals for 2018! -- FREE PRINTABLE!

Setting Goals for 2018! -- FREE PRINTABLE!

Happy 2018, everyone! One of my favorite parts about new years is getting to set new goals every year. I'm a huge fan of goal-setting no matter what month it is, but there's something that feels like a fresh start in January! In today's post, I'm going to walk you through several methods I use to set goals, AND you can grab my free goal-setting printable! 

For different parts of my life, I like using different methods of setting goals. This year, here are the three I'm using, and the pros/cons of each: Level 10 Life Goals; SMART goals; and HEART goals! 

Level 10 Life Goals

Kara Benz of Boho Berry is one of my major inspirations when it comes to planning and organization in general. I first spotted the Level 10 Life in one of her bullet journal spreads, and I was immediately intrigued. 

Within her bullet journal, Kara only did the actual tracker of her goals (she fills in each concentric ring when she feels that she's "leveled up" in a certain area of her life), as well as a few goals in each category. On her blog, however, she goes more in depth, assigning 10 goals to each category for a total of 100 goals! Yes, that seems like a LOT, but she makes a point to note that they are goals she hopes to achieve over the next 10 years. Over the course of two notebooks, I've tried my hand at a tracker and then, in my current bullet journal, the 100 goals spread. 


As you can see, I didn't get very far in filling it out. For me, it was too difficult to think of goals when I'm in a time of transition in my life (I'm currently on a gap year before I start my freshman year of college) -- I don't know what I want my life to look like in 10 years, so it was difficult to put that down on paper! I do like the idea of having a LOT of goals, though, and hopefully throughout the year I can add to this spread. 

Pros: This is a great setup for long-term goals! It also does a great job of encompassing many areas of your life that you may forget to set goals for (fun and recreation might be one, or maybe physical environment!). 

Cons: Because the point of 100 goals in 10 years is, clearly, to have them span over the course of 10 years, if you're unclear on your vision for yourself, they can be hard to set! There's also the fact that it can be a little overwhelming, being presented with 100 blank spaces. 


I'm sure you've all heard of SMART goals, with the acronym standing for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It's definitely the goal-setting method I was taught in school, and for some things, I think it's great! I've used this method the longest, and I'm actually using it to plan my blogging goals for 2018. Here's a peek into my Thrive With Style 1st Quarter Trello board -- let me know in the comments below if you'd like to hear more about how I use my Trello boards! 

As you can see, all my goals fit in with the SMART acronym. They're specific, being divided into the categories of content (I have it labeled as "post" because this board also serves as my 1st quarter editorial calendar), social media, and community. They're measurable -- lots of numbers on that board for a very word-oriented person! As for achievable, I'm HOPING they're all realistic -- this is the first quarter I'm taking my blog really seriously with a set schedule and social media, so this will be a good experiment before setting goals for Quarters 2-4. They're all relevant, because my main goal in Quarter 1 is to grow my community and content base before I really concentrate on making any money from my blog. Finally, they're all timebound with a due date of March 31 -- the last day of 1st Quarter! 

Pros: This is a great starting point for making goals, because it really does cover all your bases of making a realistic goal. It's easy to remember, other people will know what you're talking about, and best of all, it works for a wide variety of projects.

Cons: Though I didn't even realize until I learned about the next goal-setting method, SMART goals really only help you if you know your categories. SMART goals really work best, in my opinion, in tandem with another method. For example, the Level 10 Goals gives you 10 categories to then go in and set your SMART goals in those categories.

It can be hard to know where to START, though. Just this past week, I learned about a new method of goal-setting that helped sooooo much. 


Ah, yes. HEART goals, my new favorites!! I learned about these during a webinar by Day Designer, featuring their amazing founder, Whitney English. I took a ton of notes during the webinar, including about setting goals. Whitney said to first look at your values, and then setting the goals would be easier. SUCH a great tip. 

Additionally, she introduced the HEART goals acronym: H for Help Yourself, E for Each Other/Everyone Else, A for Attitude and Academics, R for Resources, and T for Trade and Talent. Basically, the tenet of the HEART goals is very similar to a quote I love -- you can't fill anyone else's cup if you're running on empty. You've got to put self-care first when it comes to goals, THEN you can plan your other goals! So smart. And the "H" can look like different things for different people -- maybe a way you plan to take better care of yourself in 2018 is by exercising more, or by taking more bubble baths, or by going to the movies by yourself once a month. Here are some of my ideas for each letter of the acronym: 


Another interesting concept in the HEART goals is how late in the acronym "R," or "Resources," comes. According to Whitney, that's where financial goals should go. Many people put financial goals at the top of their goal setting, even if that doesn't align with their values or priorities. Better yet, resources doesn't have to just mean money! It can mean your time and energy, as well -- those are also priceless resources! 

Whitney was totally right when she said that setting HEART goals would help your goals for the year become much more balanced. Once you've set some HEART goals, the next thing to do is plan what steps need to be taken monthly/weekly/daily to see change by the end of the year. 

Pros: This method gives you the categories in which to set goals, so you don't have to think of them! Also, because there are 5 categories, you can make 2-3 goals per category and have a manageable plate for a year's worth of goals. 

Cons: Not everyone knows about these! It's also easiest to set these after going through questions to define your values/look at what you want your life to be like/etc. 

Are you all ready to set some goals? GREAT, because I have a printable for you, ready for you to pick six categories (this means that in addition to the five HEART categories, you can add one from the Level 10 Life spread, or a category of your very own) to start brainstorming. 

Until next time ~

XOXO, Maria

My 18 Goals for 2018 Using My PRINTABLE!

My 18 Goals for 2018 Using My PRINTABLE!

Plan With Me: January 2018

Plan With Me: January 2018