What to Do With Goals When Life Gets Busy

goal setting

A few years ago, a One Word movement started. Instead of making a long list of resolutions, only to forget them by Presidents’ Day, people started selecting one word to focus on throughout the year. Words such as minimize, savor, and joy.

During the month of August, my little color-coded planner got hit hard. Instead of nice and orderly, it became either manic lists or huge chunks of neglected white space. I had several guests posts and writing deadlines, school started, and I started filling in a few extra days at work (as in 5 extra days a week).

My long list of goals became laughable. Who has time for goals when I can’t find time to get my house un-gross or fold the 4 baskets of clothes piled up in front of my closet?

It was time to pick One Word.




About mid-way through August, I picked up Hands-Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford. I intended to push through it, as I was behind on my reading goal for the month. Once I opened it, I realized the book is not meant to be devoured, but savored throughout the year. I took it slow and read only a few pages. There, I found my word.

Ask yourself: What daily distractions prevent me from being fully present with the people I love? (Rachel Macy Stafford)


When I read that question, my list of daily distractions was longer than it had been in almost 2 years. Something had to give. So, when you see that most of my goals are not crossed off, please understand, in place of meeting goals, I decided to be present.

goals when busy

I decluttered nothing, but I played kick ball with my toddler.

I never cleaned out the fridge, but I snuggled with the girls on the couch. 

I may have run 6 miles total all month, but I had a two-hour lunch with my besties.

I am not done with goal-setting. I am learning a new balance with some of the changes in my life. But I will hold on to my new word with fists clinched tight. I will be present.


August Goals

I knew August would be busy. I did simplify my goals this month, but still couldn’t meet them all.

1.  Memorize 2 new verses; review previous verses.
2.  Sleep 7 hours a night; turn screens off by 8 pm. (I did get closer, averaging about 6.5 hours a night! Woo-hoo!)
3.  Exercise 3-4 x week.
4.  Read 2 books. (Thank you, audio books, for salvaging my “reading” goal.)
Truth Stained Lies, Terri Blackstock
Even Now, Karen Kingsbury
Ever After, Karen Kingsbury

1. Weekly movie night; monthly date night or get-away.
2. 1:1 time with each daughter.
3. Read aloud 1-2 book with the girls.

1. Declutter 365 challenges.

1. Complete requested guest posts.
How Right Living Was My Brokenness for Amber C. Haines
Why Do Good People Die? on Perfection Road
Making Over My Kids’ Morning on Money Saving Mom

September Goals

Let’s be honest with one another: this month will likely not look much different than last month. I will not work as much, but the homework will kick up a notch. While I am being present, I also want to find some time to work toward my year-end goals.

1.  Memorize 2 new verses; review previous verses.
2.  Sleep 7 hours a night; turn screens off by 8 pm.
3.  Exercise 3 x week.
4.  Read 2 books.

1. Weekly movie night; monthly date night.
2. 1:1 time with each daughter.
3. Read aloud 1 book with the girls. (I already picked out The Last Sin Eater which I LOVE and I cannot wait to share it with them.)

1. Keep the house picked up and mostly clean.
2. Pick a few Declutter 365 tasks to do.

1. Complete requested guest posts.

What about you? Have you shifted your goals around a little with the start of school? If mornings are an issue, read this and consider Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Mornings course. I owe any sanity I had last month to my morning and evening routines!


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3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

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