How to Set Goals in a Major Life Transition

This summer was crazy. Like really crazy.

What to do when your life completely changes, set goals

I achieved the biggest goal of my career in June by completing a selective program and transition to a different pay scale (with an awesome pay increase!), moved to a new state, and started a new job.

Throughout this process, my husband and I lived in two different states. With two different houses. And two different sets of internet, utilities, and schedules.

Up until the point of attending Officer Training School, my time was focused towards one goal: becoming a commissioned officer. First, first I finished my online classes to get my bachelor’s degree.

setting goals

At the same time, I volunteered in the community and put myself in for awards to make my application more competitive.

Then I made sure my application was perfect.

I got engaged two weeks before the results were released.

I was selected for OTS before I finished my bachelor’s degree, so next it was full speed ahead to finish.

My wedding was a month after I finished my online classes. We flew to Mexico a day after our wedding for the honeymoon.

major life transition

After Mexico, I buckled down on my fitness in order to prepare for the Physical Fitness tests at OTS…only months away.

I couldn’t risk being close to the bare minimum. Anyone unable to pass the fitness test is sent home, making my years of hard work wasted. 

The maximum limits became my training targets.

I also completed an online pre-requisite course before OTS.

After my class started, every waking ounce of energy I had went towards making sure I graduated. My hours at OTS were filled with activities, classes, homework, and additional duties. I barely had time to call my husband.

All of this to say…every single thing I did in my off-time (besides the occasional date with my husband or spending time with friends) was preparing to become an officer.

Every. Single. Thing.

Officer Training School Graduation

As I closed out graduation week and became a commissioned officer, I couldn’t help but think…

What now?

I need to focus on the obvious next steps: get moved, learn my new job, and spend time with my husband.

A major life transition is a great time to break old habits and re-direct my time into something more productive. In order to prioritize my time, I need to set new goals.

I am still doing all of those things. Moved and settled in the new house. Check. Learning my new job, check. My husband and I do weekly date nights, but we don’t need to spend every waking moment together.

Areas I want to focus on:

●     Fitness/health

Early this year, I set the goal to run a half marathon in the fall. As soon as I graduated OTS, I started my half-marathon training program. Mainly, the desired outcome is to making running a habit. 

My body type makes it difficult to lose weight and easy to overeat. I find it way easier to control my calorie intake when I work out often and set my sights on a goal. As part of this goal, I also wanted to lose at least 10 pounds before the half marathon. I am now more conscious of what I eat and make sure I am getting enough quality nutrition to support my training.

Lots of miles on the trail training for my first half.

To find out how my first half marathon went, head over here

●     Financial goals

Avoiding debt is really important to me.

Thus, savings has been a big part of our financial plan. If you can’t (read: won’t) take out a loan to buy something, then you need a plan to pay cash for it. We saved for a wedding, a full emergency fund, and then a cash cushion for this huge transition.

Now, we’re saving for our new house (currently building)…this includes all of the initial big ticket items (closing costs, sprinkler system, fence, and sod) and the down payment . It will be completed around July 2019, when our 1-year lease comes due for our current rental house.

The view from our future driveway. Look at those mountains!

We sold our first house a couple months ago. Thanks to my husband’s construction skills plus good market timing (read: a good amount of luck), we pulled a some profit out of it. Every single dollar from this sale went directly into our next home, except for some that we used to fund ROTH IRAs for this year.

This year, I became intoxicated with the FIRE (Financial Independence and Early Retirement) movement. I have focused on tripping extra fat from our budget and funneling our money towards making our net worth grow. 

We previously had a good amount of margin in our budget by spending less than we made. After my promotion and subsequent raise, we REALLY had good margin to work with.

●     Travel

My husband and I have a dream of traveling to Europe for several weeks. We know it is easier to travel (especially across continents!) without kids, so this trip will definitely be within the next few years.

We have our sights set on the Fall of 2020. Between now and then, we will use travel hacking to generate a large amount of points so this trip will be mostly free.

Other than Europe, I want the financial flexibility to be able to travel around the country to visit our family. My family lives mostly in Minnesota, while my husband’s family lives in Colorado and Missouri. Since we live in Utah now, these visits will be by plane. This adds up quickly…another reason we have decided to employ travel hacking to keep our travel costs down.

Additionally, we both can end up traveling across the country for work. This spring, my husband was in California for 6 weeks. I used some Southwest points to catch a round-trip flight and visit him for a week. I had a work trip to Ohio this fall, and he did the same to visit me.

Part of the fun of traveling is getting to enjoy new experiences with my best friend.

●     Enjoying time with my husband

This is really is one of my favorite things to do.

For the bulk of our first year of marriage, we really didn’t get to spend that much time together. We did everything we could to feel connected with each other, but the reality is that hundreds of miles of separation really took a toll on our relationship.

In September, he (Finally!) moved to Utah with me, and I feel like I can take a deep breath and relax. Now we can focus on spending time with each other and reconnecting, instead of spending our weekends on logistics, cleaning, unpacking, and yard work.

Last October we went to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico for our honeymoon, and we loved it so much we decided to go back.

Our honeymoon was amazing. All we had to do was focus on each other.

In Mexico for our 1-year anniversary

This year, we went back to celebrate our 1-year anniversary in Mexican paradise for a week. All that mattered in the world was the two of us being together and focusing on why we fell in love in the first place.

Ultimately, design a life I love to live every since day

The first 4 years of my career, I worked my a$$ off for little pay, grinding away at the opportunity to advance my career. I know I haven’t fully “made it” yet, but I honestly feel like I’ve made it over the biggest hurdle. I absolutely love my job now, and I get to work with great people. 

Now, I want to focus on building a life that I love to live. Every. Single. Day.

I work hard at my job, but I’m not working extra hours if I can help it (especially because I don’t get paid overtime).

I’m discovering and re-discovering hobbies that I enjoy, building a side hustle that I’m fired up about, focusing on my husband, and trying new things while we’re young.

How do you set goals when your life transitions into a new chapter?

Be sure to like my page on Facebook, follow me on Pinterest or Instagram to become part of the community.

Live Happy, 


About Me: I’m Alexis, Founder of RunningMyBestLife! I am an avid recreational runner, half marathoner, wife, dog mom, busy professional, downhill skier in Northern Utah. My mission is to help new enthusiasts fall in love with the sport of running. I believe that running is a catalyst to taking control of your life and living your best life by design. Learn More –>