Clarifying Your Goals to Find Focus

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Several years ago, when I left my full time government job, Marty and I had the goal of being more self sufficient and relying on others less for what we needed.  We started thinking about where our money was going and how many things we could make or grow instead of buy.  That time in my life was a huge learning process. We discovered a lot of things that would not work for us and through trial and error found things that would. I also learned what I do and don’t enjoy doing and what I’m capable of doing without hurting myself.

Clarifying Your Goals to Find Focus

The first thing I did was figure out our goals. Clarifying your goals helps ensure that you are working for what you really want.  In our case, it was self sufficiency and not having to leave home to go to work each day. The next important step in clarifying your goals is to determine what steps you CAN take to get there and what steps you WANT to take to get there.

Clarifying your goals

To not work outside the home, you either need to work at home or you need to spend less money. I explored a lot of different work at home jobs.  I had a crafts website and did craft fairs for about a year. I did resume typing and clerical support at home.  I ran a pet sitting business (and still do).  We put a table with fresh fruits and vegetables near the road to sell and started raising ducks and chickens to sell extra eggs. I tried eBay, surveys and a variety of other ways to make money at home.

During this process I discovered a lot about myself.  I discovered I don’t do well with repetition when I got an order for 40 sets of coasters one day. I discovered that I hated being a secretary from home just as much as I hated being a secretary in an office.  I learned that I absolutely LOVE animals – all sorts of animals. I realized that as much as I love taking care of my little garden, I have no desire (and no stamina) to take care of several huge gardens to provide extra produce for us to sell. I began a blog to start writing about the different things we were trying.

Clarifying your goals

Only part of being self sufficient is earning more money.  I started exploring ways to save money as well.  I became an avid couponer and freebie hunter. I learned the best stores to find the brand names that I wanted. I learned that we really only need one car. I learned how to change a faucet on the sink, change the windshield wiper blades on my car and install a new light switch.

My money saving experiments taught me quite a bit as well. I learned that no one needs 52 tubes of toothpaste and that they will expire before you or your friends and family can ever use them. I learned that 57 sample size bottles of products use up a lot more resources and energy than one larger bottle does. I learned that I’m not willing to sacrifice the name brands and quality of certain things and that I’d rather do without than buy something less expensive. Best of all, I discovered that I am a pretty darn competent woman and that there is no reason that I can’t do DIY projects around the house.

What is kefir

Clarifying your goals will help you understand what’s important to you and what’s enjoyable to you.  Then you will be able to choose the best way to accomplish your goals.  Marty and I decided that a combination of earning at home and spending less would bring us to our goals.  I’m very blessed that my blogging has moved us closer to our goals.  With each new skill that I learn, there is one less thing that I need to spend money on.   Even the small new skills I learn like making yogurt and kefir or pruning our fruit trees helps with our progress.

Take time to clarify your goals so that they are easier to reach. Your goals should be tailored to  your life and your interests much the way UNITY digital lenses tailor your prescription not only to your eyes’ corrective needs but also to your frame and how your glasses fit your face. UNITY has an array of lens and coating options for your lifestyle.

What are your goals and how are you working towards them?


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  1. Jennifer Soltys says
    I really needed this post today! I pretty much know my goals, but struggle with HOW to achieve them exactly. Definitely seem to be on a similar path as you with trying new things and weeding them out. It's a fun journey, though, and a time to learn a lot about yourself!
  2. As a mom who works from 9-5 I know just how your felt, wanting to get home away from the strain and live the goals you choose. I have many goals, but at this time being home with the kids is not an option for me, one day….
  3. Amber Edwards says
    We have been living the last 3 years on a GI Bill while the husband went to finish his degree. And what little I could earn at home. But yea; repetition of creating something to sell was not what I liked doing either. I did it for a while; but It grew old very quickly. Blogging has given me a lot of freedom to do something that interests me and bring in a little extra income to help us. But I completely agree; being self sufficient is a huge help! Being able to do home repairs our self; make homemade food from what we grew, homemade cleaners, etc. It saves a lot of money in the long run. 
  4. Tammi @ My Organized Chaos says
    Sounds a lot like my story, I too left a full time government job when I had the twins. Life at home with 3 wasn't easy, I was restless and tried many things. Luckily, I found a love for writing and being my own boss. It's all a learning process but I do know I'm much happier now!
    • Ellen Christian says
      Handling twins must be very challenging.  It's so great when we find something we really enjoy!
  5. Jennifer @TheRebelChick says
    It sounds so cliche, but my only real goal is to be 100% present in my life every day. I want to experience happiness, spend quality time with my daughter before she heads off to college - I just want to live a fulfilling life. Even though it's a general feeling that I'm after, I still have to focus to make it happen. Sitting down and talking to my daughter instead of running around, making dinner instead of going out and being distracted by restaurants...etc. 
  6. My goal is to raise chickens and stop buying eggs. We consume tons and tons. And teaching the kids to tell weeds so They can help more in the garden
    • Ellen Christian says
      I would love it if my kids helped in the garden. Sadly neither of them is good at it although my son is great at helping with the heavy stuff.
  7. One of my goals is to figure out exactly where I want to go with my blog. I have ideas, but so far I've just been trying different things to see what works and what I like.
  8. I like how you say to focus. I feel like there's a million things I want to do and then get overwhelmed when I can't do them all. The times I do pick one or two things and focus on those is when I can actually accomplish a goal.
  9. Dawn Lopez says
    Oh wow Ellen, I had no idea you had done so many things! I am with you... I wouldn't like being a secretary at home.. I hated it in an office too!  I've also learned a lot about myself during this phase of working at home and I still have a lot of clarifying to do! Thanks for the uplifting read!
  10. Im struggling with goals and finding what to do in life. It is better to learn what works best for you.
  11. Nancy Lustri (StyleDecor) says
    You're so talented! My goals right now are to get my kids into and through college. With a junior in high school and the other in his first year of college, it seems to be my only true focus lately. I coupon too. My sister is crazy for couponing and will buy the 50 tubes of toothpaste. I really enjoy simple savings - like walking out of the store with a few freebies or great deals. I don't go overboard.   
    • Ellen Christian says
      Thanks, Nancy :) There is a lot left that I still want to learn. I just try to do a bit more each day. I can totally understand as I have a 16yo & 20yo!
  12. My main goal right now is taking care of my children. I want to be the best mother I can be and provide them with the best experiences in life that I can. 
  13. Sarah @ Must Have Mom says
    I can totally relate to trying different things in order to stay at home with my kids. I did eBay, surveys, direct sales and couponing and now rely on blog income which I feel I have finally settled into my place.
  14. Ashley - Embracing Beauty says
    I'm constantly trying to reevaluate and make sure I'm focused on what's most important to me.  If the things I'm doing aren't going to help me work towards my goals then I need to quit doing them.
  15. You're also probably one of the most efficient people with time that I've ever met! I envy that about you!
  16. Mama to 5 BLessings says
    Great goals Ellen. I admire your creativity and how you utilize all natural resources. I wish I had the time to try some of them out myself. BTW even as a family of 7 we do not need 52 tubes of toothpaste either! LOL!
    • Ellen Christian says
      Thank you :) I really wish that I had more time. I just try to take little steps. Some days they are littler than others!
  17. I am pretty good about knowing what the goals is just hard to find the time, money, and energy to achieve them!
  18. I need to figure out some goals and figure out how to put aside money instead of finding ways to spend it.

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