The Power of Designing Your Year

The Power of Designing Your Year

Are you tired of making goals that don’t stick? Do you start off with great intentions but soon slide back into old habits or get completely side tracked by the busyness of life?

Maybe you think you have goals…

‘I want to lose weight’, ‘I want to get organised’, ‘I want to make money’.

These aren’t goals, they’re wishes. Everybody has wishes.

So how do you transform a wish into a goal – and then bring it into your life?

We’re going to show you how, step by step in this 4-part blog series.

2014 is going to be YOUR year!

We’re hugely into goals because we have first hand experience of how powerful they are. We’ve learned what makes certain goals stick – and others not. And we’re excited to show you how to Design Your Year!

You’ll create successful goals that will make a positive difference to your everyday life.

This doesn’t have to be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or running a marathon. (Although those are fine too!)

What about productivity goals that’ll help you feel more organised? Health goals that’ll make you stronger, fitter and looking hot on the beach by summer?

Perhaps you want to stop shouting at the kids, have some serious fun with your man or plan some new adventures. Or maybe you’ve got a business idea you’d love to get off the ground?

Not all goals are ‘doing’ goals. It’s also great to get clear about how you want to feel this coming year and find ways of making that happen.

Effective goal setting is a skill. It’s something you get better and better at with time and practice.

Every January for the last seven years, we’ve teamed up with our friend Anna to set our goals for the coming year. The three of us explore what’s worked and what hasn’t in each of our 8 Life Areas.

We look back on our previous year to celebrate our successes and explore the reasons for any backsliding. Based on what we’ve learned and how we want life to be – we then set clear goals for the year ahead.

Each year just gets better and better and we can see for ourselves how amazing this process is! (The concept of Project Me was the direct result of a January goal setting session.)

Your Design Your Year homework for week 1:

1. Print off your Life Wheel Tool.

If you haven’t got it yet, we’re still offering it for free right now – sign up below and we’ll send it to you now. (Be sure to check your junk folder if you don’t get it within a few minutes!) 


2. Get yourself a dedicated notebook.

It’s important to have one specifically for this – that way you can look back each year and see where you’ve made progress or where you’re stuck.

3. Block off some ‘me-time’.

A couple of hours is ideal (or break it up into two sessions). This is crucial. Tell your family you need some uninterrupted time.

4. Do your Life Wheel exercise.

Use the prompts to rate each of your 8 Key Life Areas. Don’t expect a perfect balance – life’s just not like that, especially for busy mothers who have a lot more to think about than ourselves. If your wheel looks wobbly, it shows you where you need to set some goals that’ll make a real difference in the year ahead. Be honest with yourself and see where there’s room for improvement.

This exercise is not designed to make you feel bad or guilty. It’ll help you to start making positive changes. Your future self will thank your for it!

Our wheels were wonky too (and often still are). We were unorganised, overwhelmed, stressed, shouted at our kids, had a crap work-life balance, a bad diet and suffered from guilt over not being good enough.

Since we started Designing Our Year seven years ago –  the transformation has been incredible.

5. It’s time for a braindump!

Write your lowest scoring life area on a fresh page in your notebook. Write some ideas on how you’d like that area to look and feel. Write freely, don’t overthink it – don’t worry about how you’re going to make it happen – just think about what you want. When you’re done, leave a couple of blank pages and do the same for your next life area. Keep going until you’ve done them all.

Well done for taking the first step on what’s going to be an amazing year ahead. Pat yourself on the back for investing this time in you. Next week we’ll help you turn your braindump into Goals That Rock!


In the comments below, tell us how excited you are on a scale of 1-10 about the year ahead. Feel free to share a goal or two with us so we can cheer you on! 

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19 Responses to The Power of Designing Your Year

  1. Alexis Newman says:

    Life Wheel printed and ready for tonight after the kids go to bed – or maybe at half time of the big game;) Excited (I am DEFINITELY a 10) to do a little self evaluation and work on a more balanced life this year.
    My goals are to eat healthier and lose weight, ramp up my home based business through consistent activity and actions that I can control, stop yelling at my kids and to put my relationship with my husband as a higher importance in my life (above work and other obligations)!

    Seriously C.A.N.T. Wait!

    • Woo hoo!! Loving that you’re an excited 10! A+ for enthusiasm (it’ll get you a looong way!). Well done on sharing your excellent goals with us – we’re behind you all the way. Good luck and stay tuned to the blog over the next few weeks for more advice on goal setting and goal keeping.

  2. Kandi says:

    My 2013 ended on a 4. I accomplished only a few things due to a hectic year.
    I am ready to grab 2014 and make this year go MY WAY!
    I can’t wait to do my homework! Thanks ladies for helping us all!

    • You are welcome Kandi! Loving your positivity looking ahead into 2014 – the only way is up from here on in. So let’s get accountable – have you scheduled in a time to get going on your life wheel yet? You’ve got to write it down to make it happen! Best of luck!

  3. Leslie says:

    As of right now, my main goal is to become more connected with my children. I’m a single mom and their dad lives on the other side of the country… We all need this :-). In so glad I found you!!

  4. Excellent goal Leslie – thanks for sharing and making yourself accountable. I was a single mum for a few years so I completely understand how can be tough it can be. Your kids are really going to reap the benefits of your actions. We’re rooting for you!

  5. Michelle says:

    I’m totally a 10 on this for enthusiasm – though, I must admit, I’m skeptical I can make lasting changes. I start a lot of things and never see them through. So, my goals for this year are huge and I hope you gals can help! I thank you for offering this program! My goals are: 1) stop yelling at my kids 2) stop feeling overwhelmed all the time by the things I have to do, which cause me feel even more anxious! 3) get a new, home-based business off the ground to take some of the pressure off my poor husband, who works all the time. Add in some regular exercise/yoga for mental health and physical health. Yowza. I am ready to get started. Will do the life wheel tonight after boys are in bed!

    • Michelle we are so happy you’re with us on this and your 10 for enthusiasm means you’re off to a great start. We can absolutely relate to your goals and have some great resources coming up to help you. Stay tuned! One step at a time.

      If you’re not already signed up for our Monday Motivators, pop you details in the red box for the extra boost.

      Are you on Facebook? If so, come and ‘like’ our page and then check your newsfeed as we’ll be sharing a lot of links to resources in each life area there.

      Keep commenting – we want to hear your progress :)

  6. Tammy says:

    I am another for starting things and never finishing them. So I really need to be pushed and try to focus.
    I want to reconnect with myself, children and husband.
    I want more fun in my life.
    I scored under 5 in all of my things for my wheel so I think I have a lot of work on my hands!!

    • Don’t be too hard on yourself Tammy. You’ve made that important first step in realising that you need to make some changes. Look out for next week’s blog which will show you how to make your goals specific and achievable. If you haven’t already signed up for our Monday Motivators just put your details in the red sign up box for that extra weekly boost – we’re behind you all the way. Keep us posted on how it’s going. Good luck!

  7. Katie says:

    All I can say is that I started setting goals for the year ahead with Suzie’s workshops in 2011. I cannot express how much it helped me.I can only say that it has been a pure delight to find myself grounded, focused, knowing exactly what I want to do, how I want to feel and how I am going to get there. Along the way some of my goals were achieved, some were not but looking back each year, I know exactly why that happened and I have learned a lot with it. My goals for 2014 are ready to fly high this year – a 10 – and my ‘Good Stuff’ jar is already filling up with colourful notes (what a brilliant idea, loved it!)
    Here is one of my 2014 Goals: I am happy with my weight and my eating habits. What do I have to do to achieve it? My weight goal is 53kg (I am now 56.7kg!)This month I reduced my portions and stopped eating red meat (for moral reasons).
    Katie xx

    • Katie thank you! It’s so good to hear that you’re reaping the benefits of all the effort you’ve made towards achieving your goals in the last couple of years. 2014 will be an awesome year for you because you will design it that way! Love your specific, positively phrased goal – you go girl!

  8. Michelle says:

    I’m working through the “Brain Dump” – it is really helpful to get all these thoughts off my chest and onto paper! That way, at least I don’t feel like I am carrying them around with me all the time, but rather that they are saved in a safe place, where I can return to them later with full attention. That alone has given me more open brain space to use in attending to other important matters – like my kids!

  9. I need this! I just signed up. If I could balance out what’s most important and make sure I’m spending most of my time on those things … I just feel like if I had balance and focus, my life would be complete.

    • Yes! Yes! Yes! You have hit the nail on the head Eli :)

      Project Me is all about figuring out what’s important at any given time in your life so you can spend time doing what really matters. This will bring about a natural feeling of balance and focus.

      Your on the right path! Stick with us and keep leaving eye opening comments like that so everyone can benefit from your insights.

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