I’ll be the first to admit I will probably date a few documents with 2017 for the next few weeks until I can get the hang of it. No matter how many times I repeat to myself “2018, 2018, 2018” I still end up dating with the wrong year. This will go on for most of January, which it does every year. At this point, I’ve just accepted it.
This time of year J and I sit down for our quarterly planning meeting to plan the next few months in advance. Planning the next three months out is one of the biggest YES things we’ve ever done. We don’t plan out each day in detail, but we make sure to plan out any out of town trips we need to make to visit family, birthday gifts we need to buy, any bigger purchases that are coming up (like car maintenance, home repairs, etc.). This planning helps us make sure our budget is right and makes sure that we’re on the same page.
So before you get too much further into 2018 (I know, today is only day one), make sure to sit down with your significant other and have a calendar in front of you. We use our Google calendar to organize our entire lives. We each have our own calendar and then we have a joint one that we can both see. Whenever I have an out of town conference or he has a late class then we can put it on our joint calendar so we both know about it. I don’t necessarily put my doctor appointments and client appointments on our joint calendar because they don’t affect him.
This planning also works great for when we’re out with family and friends. If we want to schedule a dinner out or a weekend visit, then we just look at the joint calendar. If that day or time is open then go ahead and schedule. It’s an unwritten rule in our house that when it comes to family and friends, we like to do whatever we can to be there. So if there isn’t anything scheduled, then mark it down. Whatever is on the calendar is something we’ve committed to and that means a lot to us.
After we have our planning meeting, we also like to talk about goals for the new year. What do you like most about a new year? I love the idea of new beginnings, which means new goals and new successes. For me, I love creating action steps to help reach our goals. Now J has his goals, I have my goals and then we have family goals. We like to think of our family goals as the driving force behind our decisions.
This year our word is simplicity. What can we do in our day-to-day lives that can help simplify everything? For us, it means saying no to more and saying yes to what we actually want to do. It also means making sure our budget tracking is easy to maintain and encourages us to stay on top of it. That’s why we created the easiest budget template because we wanted something easy. We wanted something that didn’t take hours to fill out each month and something that told us exactly how we were doing with our money.
I won’t share J’s goals with you because he didn’t sign up to be a blogger like I did. But I will show you my personal goals and some of our family goals. It’s funny that some of mine and J’s goals and our family’s goals are pretty much the same. I think that’s the price you pay when you become a parent – you’re sole focus is the family.
As you can see most of my ‘personal’ goals involve my family. The ones that are left involve my blog or my day job as a financial specialist. To me – building those goals will help me reach our family goals because we will be able to provide more for our son.
What are your goals for the upcoming year? Try to keep them short, sweet and to the point. Don’t put too many details in your annual goals because then it makes it harder to achieve. What we like to do is take our bigger goals and then break them down into smaller ones. That way we can focus on one thing at a time and measure our success. If you’re curious, you can check out last year’s here.