January 01, 2023

Goals for 2023 (using the SMART method)

Here it is--a fresh new year! As a list maker (I have notebooks filled with lists--I just like to write things out in list form, I guess), I love this time of year. I write lists of things from the previous year as well as lists for the upcoming year--everything from goals to books I want to read to projects I want to make.

My favorite list, though, is always a list of goals. To call them New Year's Resolutions is cliché, and I suppose they are; but I never feel as excited about working on goals as I do on the morning of January 1st. I try to keep them from being the typical "lose weight" and "eat healthier" resolutions. I like to be specific.

Do I always reach my goals? Ha! I would say that out of all of my New Year's goals, I probably only accomplish one or two. However, that is one or two things that I wouldn't have accomplished otherwise, so I call it a win. I'll write about how I did with last year's goals on another post.

For now, I'll write out a list of my goals for 2023. I've only chosen four goals and this year, I am going to use the SMART method for (hopefully) achieving them! The SMART method is something I learned waaaay back in elementary school. Goals should be:

So, here are my goals and how they fit into the SMART method...

1. Get my weight back into the goal range of 125-135 and work on maintenance habits.

I worked very hard to take off the weight I lost between May 2021 and September 2021, and I'll be damned if I gain it all back. I'm still trying to get it to settle on a number (or range) but that is super difficult for me. I got down to the mid 120s, and then gained back 15 pounds shortly afterward.

Now I'm over my goal range, but it makes me wonder if I should change my range. I have no idea! I'm going to try to get my weight down to around 130, give or take a few pounds, over the next two months. And then I'll see what I can do to maintain it. (Yes, I've done this several times before, but I'm going to have to try out different maintenance habits until I find something that sticks.) In a perfect world, I'd be able to maintain my weight without counting calories or following some sort of plan. I was able to do this for a while in 2022, but then I just got carried away with snacking.

For January, I've decided to log my food and count calories. The main reason for this is to see where most of my calories are going and if I'm getting all of the nutrients I need on a vegan diet. Once I can analyze that and spot any problem areas, I may stop calorie counting and work on the habits I need to address (ahem, snacking).


Specific (Get my weight down to my goal range of 130-135)
Measurable (Weigh-ins and food logs)
Achievable (I've done it before)
Relevant (I want to be healthy and feel comfortable in my own body)
Time Bound (Two months, but since I can't control the rate of weight loss, this isn't set in stone)

2. Run 500 miles.

Spread out over the year, of course ;)  I don't usually do yearly mileage goals, so I thought this might be fun. I can spread them out however I'd like--500 miles would equal about 42 miles per month, 9.62 miles per week, or 1.37 miles per day. I'll aim for two 3-mile runs and one 4-mile run each week, but adjust as needed. I think it will be fun to fill in a chart and have a nice visual for the year!


Specific (Run 500 miles)
Measurable (Tracking distance with my Garmin and a chart)
Achievable (It's within my ability; I just need the discipline to do it)
Relevant (I want to get and stay in shape for my health)
Time Bound (One year)

I printed out this cute tracker to log my miles--you color in one little spot for each mile, and it will be entirely filled in after 500 miles. Yes, I like tracking the old fashioned way! (You can find it here)

3. Complete one crafting project per month.

A "project" is basically something that I do by hand--knitting, woodworking, sewing, restoring furniture, etc. This is more for my mental health than anything. I really enjoy doing crafts and if I aim to work on completing one item each month, it'll give me something to work on a little at a time.

And because I'm trying to be specific in my goals for this year, I came up with a list of types of crafts to choose from--there are 12 here, so I'll choose one each month to work on. I like the idea of a different crafting technique each month!

Cross Stitch
Furniture Restore
Clothing Alteration
Latch Hook
Papier Mâche
Adult Coloring Page

The only things that I'm pretty unfamiliar with are weaving, and papier mâche. The only origami I've done has been with dollar bills that I took to Punta Cana for tipping the staff--they loved the folded bills!--so I don't have much experience with that. I already have the stuff to do most of these things, so overall, it will be pretty inexpensive.

For January, I'm going to choose cross stitch. I already started it last month, but I'm only about halfway done. I underestimated just how much time it would take to complete--I work on it a little each evening before bed, and I thought I would have finished it a long time ago.


Specific (Complete one craft each month)
Measurable (A finished project)
Achievable (Definitely within my limits, assuming I choose something relatively small)
Relevant (Good for my mental health)
Time Bound (One item per month)

4. Expand my vocabulary.

Until I started reading from a Kindle Paperwhite, I never bothered to look up words that were unfamiliar to me because it was inconvenient. While reading on the Kindle, when I come across a word that I've never seen before, I just tap it and read the definition. I've learned a lot of new words this way! It even helped me get a few of the Wordle puzzles.

To work on this goal, I printed out flashcards (there are MANY more than 52, but I didn't want to sort through them). I cut and folded them, put them in a mason jar, and now I'll randomly draw a paper each week, read the definition, and try to use the word wherever I can. I'll tape the card to the fridge so that I can see it frequently. So, you may see some words that stand out or look out of place on my blog posts, haha.


Specific (Expand my vocabulary by one new word each week)
Measurable (Listing each word as I learn it)
Achievable (One word at a time is definitely achievable)
Relevant (Because learning and stuff!)
Time Bound (Weekly-one word each week for a year)

This three-minute clip is from the Friends episode where Joey uses a thesaurus to write a recommendation letter so that he sounds smarter. The end result is hilarious!

And there it is... my list of four SMART goals for 2023. I really liked writing these out with the SMART method because I feel like I have an agenda not just for a year, but broken down into segments to focus on. We'll see if it helps me achieve them!

Anyone else have new year's "resolutions"/goals? Please share! It's inspiring to see what other people are doing.


  1. It's not a goal really, but kind of an obsession. There's a feral cat I've been feeding every day. I feel sad for (I think it's a him). I don't know where he sleeps, but he comes to our house multiple times a day for food. My husband isn't a cat person, and is extremely allergic. The kitty is VERY scared, timid, skittish. He jumps up on bucket where I put food, and looks in the kitchen window. One day I baked salmon for him. When it's zero degrees, I just think about him and worry. Also, I feed birds, bunnies, and deer. My dog gets jealous, but she's gonna have to get over it.

    1. I love this! If you can't take him in, you could always make a little shelter for him. There are tutorials for them that use styrofoam coolers. Here is one tutorial: How to make a cat shelter. He may even feel more comfortable that way if he's a feral cat who is nervous near people. Please let me know how it goes! (I always feel horrible for my squirrels--when it was -25 F we had SIX squirrels on the deck eating nuts. It looked like the wind would blow them away!

  2. Thanks for this post and good luck! For me, I want to publish my next book this year. It's a book of daily meditations about living in the moment. That's the big goal. It's well underway so each day, I go to it first before I open any other program. No email. No social media. Just theeeeee book! It worked really well in November and December of last year. I made so much progress. I intend to continue with that until I have a solid draft. Again, I'm very close to that already. I will be juggling this goal with continuing to market my newest book, Make Every Move a Meditation, because if it doesn't sell well, my publisher won't want the daily meditation book. Then it will be decision time again. Try to find a different publisher? Self-publish? I always have to be careful not to get paralyzed in the decisions. Tiny, doable steps get me where I need to be.

    1. I’ve been reading your blog posts about meditation and I’m kind of intrigued! I have always thought it was kind of hokey (meditation, not your posts! Haha). I just may give it a try this year. Starting with reading your books!

  3. I have always been a New Years Resolution kind of girl - something about the energy of a new year is very motivating, but I've been trying to change the mindset to building new habits (I loved Atomic Habits, and will likely read it again this year.) I want to lose weight (I am a large woman, but it's really about wanting to keep being active as I get older and increasing energy and helping save my knees for a few more years,) so my first two habits will be tracking my food and moving every day, even if today can only be a stretch day.

    1. I should really listen to the Atomic Habits audiobook… I got it for free on Audible, but I never listened to it! Thanks for the reminder :)

  4. Not sure if it's on purpose but weaving/weave is on your list twice :)

    1. I didn’t notice this! Thank you for pointing it out. I’ll have to think of another…


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