Starting 2019 with Structure

Being a creative mind, I’m used to being all over the place. Show of hands? I have so many creative ideas and live in a state of constant inspiration. My life is filled with opportunities for great content and so my brain is always in active-mode.

Contrarily, I adore planning and organising. I love creating order out of mess and find that I can’t actually get anything done well without structure and categorising. You know how your greatest strength can also be your greatest weakness? Well, I also adapt really well to change which means that even when I’ve dotted all the ‘i’s and crossed all the ‘t’s, sometimes I choose to just wing it. Weird, huh?

Even though I can be whimsical at times, I am almost always more productive and effective when I plan. And what better time to plan than at the beginning of a new year?

Every year, I follow the same structure to help map out what I want to achieve. Even if I don’t stick to the plan, the fact that I know I have it helps me feel grounded and focused. If you’re looking for a great way to note down your goals for the year, take a look at my tried and tested approach. And don’t forget to tell me what you think in the comments!

Each year, I break my goals down into the following categories: Spiritual, Financial, Educational, Physical Mental & Health and Career. Then I write about 5-6 goals that I want to achieve in each category.

For example, a physical goal of mine this year is to ‘drink more water.’ Lord knows I need it out here in the desert of Abu Dhabi. I’m hoping my brain, skin and hair will thank me for it!

But I’m not done with this goal yet. Why? Because I haven’t added the intricacies.

Many people create goals for the year but don’t achieve them because they haven’t broken them down into SMART sizeable chunks.

It helps massively if your goals are:

  • Specific (the who, what, when, where, why and how of your goals)
  • Achievable (having practical expectations of the goals you are able to achieve )
  • Measurable (measuring progress and creating milestones and tasks to achieve them by)
  • Relevant (making sure your goals align with your overall objectives and plans)
  • Time-phased (establishing timeframes and deadlines for achieving your goals)

Another one of my goals is to learn salsa this year to be able to hold it down on the dance floor (eeeeeeeeeeesssssso!). I need to find a reasonably-priced but brilliant dance teacher for weekly private salsa classes in Abu Dhabi by January’s end. By summer 2019, I want to go to Bar Salsa in London and not require the class beforehand. I want to buy my first pair of salsa shoes this year. By 2021, I want to be in a position to go to Cuba (or maybe back to Cali) and dance as well as the locals. Big dreams, I know. But do you see how SMART these goals are?

Look over your goals for 2019. Are they SMART?

Now thanks to Charlena over at, I’m going to try something new this year: monthly reviews. To avoid getting to January 1st and being disappointed, I need time to ‘reexamine and recalibrate’ my ambitions. Each month, I’m going to revisit my plans and adapt where necessary. I may have the best intentions to stick rigidly to my goals but I’m aware that the conditions may not always be conducive for this to happen. And that’s okay. We all need to give ourselves time to reflect and revamp our plans. That way we can still have a year we deem to be successful.

What are some of your goals for this year? Let me know if you use any of my suggestions, I’d love to hear how they work out for you!

I hope you’re as excited as I am for 2019. I pray that this year will be your best year yet and that you will achieve all that you have set out to do. May your relationships be richer, may you find more reasons to smile and may your year be filled with epic moments!

Love you, guys! Helen x


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