Setting Numbers Goals

I don’t think of myself as a “numbers” gal. Math was never my strong area, and I have a hard time keeping addresses and phone numbers (and pins) straight in my head. But there is also something mentally pleasing and soothing about the straightforwardness of the data that numbers offer.

Last year I set myself a few similar goals, but I never directly called them “Numbers Goals”. This year I am giving them that label, and we’ll see what happens.

A traditional way of making goals is using the SMART system. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound. 2020 was my first attempt at consciously using this method and it wasn’t that successful, or “relevant” for me. My Numbers Goals are kind of accidentally aligned with this system, so I’m interested to see how things will transpire this year under this guideline.

  • Specific – These numbers goals are very specific
  • Measurable – I will be counting hours, kilometres, books, newsletters, and dollars
  • Achievable – None of my numbers are way out to lunch, and many of them are set after considering previous years’ achievements
  • Time-bound – All of these goals are set for a one year “deadline”

I left “Relevant” out of the above list for a reason. This is the one that is most personal. I set numbers goals every year, but they tend to sit outside of my personal goals, or goals associated with my Word. Which makes no sense to me now that I write it because of course they are associated with my Word and my personal goals. My typical goals are not “SMART” I guess! It’s less important to me to link these back to my main goals, but they are still all related to each other.


Okay, let’s work on this accountability thing and put these goals OUT THERE. I want to…

  • Move my body 90km per month
  • Volunteer 20 hours per month with SACE
  • Write 12 full newsletters
  • Read 80 books
  • Donate $1800

I love the grid pages in my Get to Work Book for tracking these types of goals. Simple is better for me, and making sure everything is in the same, accessible place. I always have my GTWB with me, so it’s a natural choice. It’s kind of amusing to me to look at this page now. I noted the goals at the beginning of December, with the numbers, but I was still thinking this would be a “feelings year” so I left space to fill those in later (aka now). We’ll see what happens there. Pencil crayons help fill in the boxes once I do the thing, and it makes me super pleased to see the colours building throughout the year. But I am not married to aesthetic perfection and if it gets messed up or crossed out – like my December 2020 SACE hours did because I can’t read a calendar apparently – I’m not going to be sad about it.

I am also using Elise Cripe’s Daily Habit Tracker for a personal item that I used to have a great routine built around. Changes due to covid restrictions cancelled this routine, and I have been unable to get back on track with that personal item. It’s not a daily thing for me, but I’m hopeful that the visual cue will help me figure this one out.


I finally this year became a person who can reliably track their grocery spending! I have been trying – and failing – at this for what feels like decades. All of those false starts finally paid off. It probably helps that grocery shopping is now one of my only hobbies! All kidding aside, this is a numbers goal that I had low hopes of ever achieving. And it just goes to show that sometimes you have to stick it out for years and years before the goal is realized. This makes it feel so much sweeter. It also gives me hope for being able to track the rest of my spending more reliably, which is going to be very important to me over the next year as I work on saving my way toward some big home projects.

I plan to do a full goals update in June (gosh that feels like a hundred years away), so check back here for that progress report cause I’m sure that will be so exciting for everyone.


Elise’s habit tracker is available for free to her newsletter subscribers. Here is her website.

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