How Serge and I Set Goals for the New Year

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine. I’m partnering with Folgers® at Walmart through the Share A Cup & A Story campaign, to celebrate new and old holiday traditions.

Holiday traditions are important. Not only do they keep our familial bonds strong, they also help keep us on the same page. These traditions foster memories, the good tidings that we hear about in the carols, and they also help keep relationships strong. That’s because traditions are more than just eating until you pass out and opening up presents. They’re anything that you look forward to every year to make that year as special as it can be.

holiday traditions

My husband and I have a holiday tradition that allows us to ensure that throughout the year, all of our goals fall into place. We’ve been planning our yearly goals since 2008! Every year around Christmas/New Year, we start planning our goals for the year to come and how we can make them happen. It’s a big help in keeping us on track and on pace, which makes those far off dreams feel closer with every step we take into the new year!

Holiday traditions that get us on track

Way, way back in February 2008, my future husband and I were hustling hard, but we weren’t really going anywhere. We both worked dead-end jobs and spent our weekends working part time gigs in the restaurant industry to make ends meet. We were the best real world example you could find for “spinning your wheels.” We knew we had to change something. We wanted a family. We wanted success. We wanted pretty much anything except hustling with no end in sight. So we started yearly goal setting as one of our holiday traditions.

holiday traditions

Plan a 3-year vision

When my husband and I first set out to plan our goals for the year, I wasn’t exactly the biggest cheerleader for it. I wanted it to work, but I wasn’t sure if it would. I wasn’t excited because my goals seemed small and timid.

Another business-minded friend helped me turn that around, though. She suggested writing out a three-year vision. It’s based on the idea that you imagine what your life -your ideal life – will look like in three years. You plan it out, write it out in present tense, and then you date it for January three years in the future.

holiday traditions

Narrow down to 1 year

A three-year vision is a great way to start off your planning, but you need to narrow down even further. Once your three-year vision is in place, figure out where you need to be at the end of each of the three years to achieve your final goal. That allows you to pare down and focus more concisely on what you need to do. After you’ve decided where you need to be at the end of one year, narrow it down to where you need to be each month. By doing that, you’ll break down one enormous plan into a series of smaller plans and goals to achieve your overall goal. It’s an amazing way to plan for the future and it works!

holiday traditions

Holiday traditions that still keep us on track

Fast forward to 2011, and Serge and I were in a completely different place. We were married with a two-year-old daughter, and we owned a thriving martial arts school! We were finally following our dreams and making them happen. We lived comfortably while working fewer hours, and we had so much more time for family! And we owed it all to our three-year planning method. It’s a method we still follow today.

Cut to today, and planning out our future goals is still the holiday tradition that my husband and I look forward to the most. We make it a time that we get in some much needed quality time together and get our goals set by actually renting office space for just the two of us while we plan. We also bring our trusty coffee maker, favorite mugs, our creamer, and our Folgers® Classic Roast Coffee from Walmart’s coffee aisle to help keep things rolling and tasting like the holidays.

holiday traditionsWe’ve taken our planning a step further, though. Serge and I have enjoyed planning our goals together – and achieving them – so much that we devoted one full day each quarter to do planning. We come together with our ideas, our goals, and a clear understanding of where we are and where we’re going, and we do it with our Folgers Classic Roast coffee in hand and a gleam in our eyes. Because we know that the plans we make now will lead to many more wonderful holidays to come. And really, that’s the best of all holiday traditions.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

About Carmen Sognonvi

Carmen Sognonvi is a luxury family travel content creator at Top Flight Family, named a top 10 family travel Instagram account by Time Out New York and Brit + Co. Her insights on travel have been featured in The Washington Post, INSIDER, Huffington Post, Wanderlust Travel Magazine, TravelPulse, HOTELS Magazine, and more. Carmen firmly believes that you can (and should) travel with your kids from a young age. She offers families practical solutions for travel, as well as tips on how to travel in luxury for less. She lives in New York City with her multiracial and multicultural family of four. Follow her on Instagram, FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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#ad Holiday traditions keep our family on track - literally. One of our holiday traditions is planning our yearly goals over coffee and pastries.


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