SMART Goals for 2017
Last year I ditched traditional words and resolutions for the year ahead.
I already know they don’t work for me so there’s no point even contemplating them (although if they work for you, go for it!)
Instead, I set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result Driven and Time Bound. While I didn’t achieve every goal I set, having SMART goals held me more accountable than ever before. They also encouraged me to revisit my goals more regularly, rather than just setting them and forgetting them.
This year, I’m setting even more ambitious goals and I have a plan to continue to review them on a monthly basis. I definitely feel more focused, determined and purposeful this year which should lead to greater results and more achievement.
Let’s do this thing!
SMART Goals for 2017
My personal goals are related to my mental health, physical fitness, personal organisation and financial health. These are traditional struggle areas for me (hello 2016!) but I know I will be in a much better mental and physical place if I can commit to them and follow through.
- Run parkrun (5km) in one go, and in under 35 mins, by December. This is the same goal I had for last year and while I got close (35.53 was my fastest time) my commitment fell away at the end of the year and I didn’t make it. I want to undertake parkrun at least 3 times each month and make it a regular part of my week.
- Take time out for me twice a week by walking 5km on Tuesdays & Thursdays. I was getting into a great groove with this, before the end of year craziness began. I’m planning on dropping the kids at school as early as possible before fitting in a 40 minute walk/run before starting my work day. It’s definitely achievable!
- Meet up with a friend once a week. This is vital for my mental and emotional health. Whether it’s a morning coffee, having a walk, catching up for lunch or meeting for drinks somewhere, I want to start initiating contact and maintain connections with my friends. I owe it to them, and to me, to be proactive.
- Establish household routines and stick to them. I did set up a routine last year but I didn’t stick to it and the household suffered as a result. I’m planning on updating my existing routine and actually committing to it. Again, I’m going to use Google Calendar and plan on having a schedule in place by the end of January.
- Update our household budget and review each week. I need to finalise our new yearly, monthly, fortnightly and weekly budgets by the end of January and make a set time each week (built into the calendar) to review how we are tracking against it.
Funnily enough, my goals for 2017 mirror those of 2016 – to be more organised and more focused so I can spend time on things that will start building my profile and generate an income. I’ve been spending too much time blogging and faffing about on social media. I find myself doing the easy, more enjoyable things, rather than tackling the harder, income producing tasks. If I want to make an income, I need to do the hard yards!
- Set up a work schedule by the end of January 2017 so I focus on the right tasks at the right times. This will fit in with my overall goal of generating an income and providing useful content to build my profile and “expert” status as a special needs parent.
- Write, edit, design and release an ebook each term (4 in total during 2017). Coinsidering I’ve been working on my first ebook on and off now for over a year, this is an ambitious goal! But the ebooks don’t have to be long, complex or perfect. They just have to be useful, practical and functional (I need to keep reminding myself of that…)
- Set up a spreadsheet with targets, goals and my business income/expenses. I need to start taking myself and my business seriously. Keeping on top of my goals, progress and cashflow is the first step to doing that. I plan on having the spreadsheet updated by the end of January and review each month.
- Secure a speaking engagement each month. I will be reaching out to schools, community organisations and disability providers to share my knowledge of special needs parenting and how to best support children, parents and families. I believe I can add value and I hope my passion will help build better relationships between parents and community organisations.
- Make $2000 consistently each month from blogging, speaking, consulting and product sales by December 2017. I did this for two months last year but this time around I’m aiming for consistency. My income producing plan is based on the following:
- advertising, sponsored posts and e-book sales on My Home Truths
- speaking revenue in the education sector (I feel I can add value by sharing my experience as a special needs parent and improve understanding between special needs parents and teaching staff)
- consulting revenue from Double Scoop (my writing & business consultancy)
- freelance writing (I have already identified a number of publications I feel I can add value to – I just need to refine my pitch now!)
I made the huge decision last year to pivot my blog away from the personal parenting space to the special needs parenting space. This involved saying goodbye to my long running I Must Confess linkup and concentrating fully on posts to help other special needs parents.
It was a terrifying decision but the best one I’ve ever made. I’ve been able to help more people, I’m more personally and professionally fulfilled and my blog is growing faster than ever. 2017 is the year for building upon this success and taking things to the next level.
- Ideally, I’d love to get to 30,000 average monthly pageviews by the end of the year but a more realistic goal is to aim for 15,000. I will continue creating useful content, sharing relevant content created by others, participating in linkups, improving my Pinterest activity and being active in forums where my target audience interact (other parents of kids with special needs).
- Create and stick to a monthly editorial calendar. I already have my posts set out for the first quarter of 2017. The next step is to batch write posts at the beginning of each month, leaving me free to work on my long-neglected income-producing activities for the bulk of each month.
- I’ll run a facebook live video each week on the My Home Truths facebook page (during school terms). These videos will be shorter and more targeted than those I shared last year and I hope they will be more widely viewed and shared. They will also be uploaded to YouTube to spread the content wider.
- I’m aiming for 2000 email subscribers by December 2017. My plan is to produce an awesome opt-in (a quick guide to holidaying as a special needs family), develop an automated series of emails and send out monthly communication based on a pre-chosen series of topics (linked in with my weekly video topic).
- After achieving nearly all my SM goals last year, I’m aiming big and want to attract 3000 followers on each SM platform by the end of December 2017. I’m slowly getting the hang of scheduling Facebook (which also fills up Twitter) but I need to get my Pinterest and Instagram acts together. Actually remembering to log into them each day would be a good start!
- I want to share more useful content for other special needs parents so, in addition to my weekly video, I plan to share at least one printable each month. I’ve already created a number of printables and I aim to create more. Sharing more useful content for other special needs parents is at the top of my list of priorities this year.
- I want to rank on the first page of Google for the following search terms: special needs parenting/parents, autism parenting/parents, albinism parenting/parents, albinism resources. By continuing to improve my SEO practices, getting better at creating headings and improving the shareability of my posts, I hope to see organic traffic become my number 1 source of traffic to the blog by December 2017.
- I’m committing to 12 guest posts on other blogs this year. I’ve guest posted before but this will be the first time I actively approach other special needs bloggers to seek collaboration opportunities. My aim is to further raise my profile, reach new audiences and cement working relationships with others in my niche.
I’m feeling pumped for the coming year. 2016 ended up being a surprisingly good year for me and I’d love to see the momentum carry me into an even more successful 2017. If you don’t dream big, you’re never going to achieve your goals, are you?
For me, the secret is in dismissing the distractions (Facebook being my #1). I need to keep my eye on the prize – producing paid products and shareable content that will help me reach the people who I can help the most.
It’s all so easy in theory, isn’t it? However, I finally believe in myself and in my direction. I have purpose, passion and belief. I owe it to ME to become organised, stick to my goals and achieve my dreams.
Do you have SMART goals for 2017? Are yours as ambitious as mine? And do you have a plan to achieve them?
Do you want to become a more positive special needs parent?
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