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Review of Last Years Goals and a New List for 2013

By 01/11/2013February 20th, 201721 Comments

My sister Lea has been studying people who set goals now that it’s the new year and she reminded me of a study that was done by Tony Robbins years ago with one particular class of university grads. 20 years later when interviewed, only 3% had set goals and that group was the richest of all the rest.

In January everyone talks about resolutions but I see them as very different from goals. A common resolution I have heard is “I’m quitting drinking/smoking”. I tend to associate resolutions with somehow changing aspects of your personality.

Setting goals every year is just a good idea. Every year when I write them publicly on this blog I cringe at posting some of them because I worry that I’ll look bad when I get to the end of the year and ‘Well guess what, it didn’t happen’, but then I’m always surprised and thrilled when I see how much I did accomplish.

I rarely look at them again after I’ve posted them. Lea told me I should read them daily, they will happen faster.

Okay so here we go on comparing last year to where I am now:

1. Get published in a national magazine.

Lea said she read a story about a woman who had created a collage for her goals out of images cut from magazines. In the collage she had found her dream house which happened to include a photo of a dog in the corner. Well, she did move into her dream house eventually and she ended up with a dog too (even though she didn’t want one).

So be careful what you wish for right?



Anyway, I got published in a national magazine (it was a quote about front door colours) but what I wanted was for one of my interiors to get published. See, my goal was not very clear.

2. Book three or more speaking engagements on blogging and/or colour.

The first year I posted my goals on this blog for 2009 this was one of them: I want to get paid to fly somewhere [I’m flexible] and speak [about colour] at a conference.

Sure enough, that Spring I was flown out to Calgary where I did a talk at a designer reception for a company that sold Persian rugs.

Maria Killam


And then, interestingly, that was my last speaking engagement for a couple years because I did not post it again as one of my goals until last year.

I didn’t post it again because I started to worry that if I was suddenly asked to speak to a group of 200 people what if I couldn’t do it?? What if I totally flopped? I lead my True Colour Expert Workshops no problem but to a much smaller group. Plus they already know me when they arrive which is even better.

But then when people would come up to me at events and say “How come you’re not one of the speakers?” I decided I better get on the speaking circuit because I certainly have a lot to say about colour and blogging for that matter.

So early this year Jill Kivett, the Home & Design Show manager approached me about speaking at the Fall Vancouver and Calgary Home & Design Show.

Well I was so excited!! It’s always been a secret fantasy of mine to speak at BC Place and suddenly there I was. Here’s some clips from my talk. Thanks Jill for making this a dream come true for me last year!

3. Write about Colour for a Magazine or Newspaper.


It’s interesting because again I was quite vague with this goal. I said nothing about a regular column which is what I wanted. So I did write about colour in this magazine (Thanks Brett Walther) and the North Shore News, and Western Living (Since I live out in the country now I did not get a copy to post).

4. Publish the next three eBooks that are on my list to write.

This did not happen. All I managed to do this year on the category of eBooks was publish a revised copy with an added chapter that answered the most frequently asked questions that actually then rounded out my system of distinguishing undertones and made it complete.


My biggest challenge on publishing more ebooks is images. The only way to really teach my system is to use images of rooms with colours gone wrong. Well WHO is going to say “Sure Maria, use my image as an example of what NOT to do”. If you’ve inherited something, it’s probably safe, send it over, puhleese!

What I did create this year is a Pinterest board called ‘Understanding Undertones’ where I’m not calling them right or wrong, I’m just listing the undertone I see in the image. You can judge for yourself whether you think it works or not. And what’s cool about that is that ‘neutrals’ live in light to mid-tones. It’s in this category where people call grey just grey or beige just beige. You take a mid-tone green beige and go one or two shades darker, well it’s easy to say ‘That’s green’.

So when I say something is ‘green beige’ you can look up the highly edited list of green beige’s in my eBook and know that it’s probably very close to one of the five I’ve listed.

5. Hire a New Business Coach.

I have had several coaches over the last year. No one has stuck.

6. Do more video blogging.

Again, vague, what the heck does MORE mean anyway? Two or more? Ten? Well I did post a few more videos but as I think about this goal, it’s something I’m clearly not that committed to. I posted here about what Commitment really means, it’s a good read if you missed it.

7. Run some Kind of Marathon.

Okay, clearly I do need to read these goals more than once a year because I forgot this was even on my list. One has to actually register and train for a marathon before you can do it, haha. This, my lovelies, did not happen.

8. Work somewhere hot for the month of January (every year).

I guess that’s pretty specific. Could I say that my office is HOT? Well not really. That’s how I felt living in our previous North-facing townhouse, don’t feel the same way now that we’ve moved.

9. Become an even better decorator.

Well now this goal is so non-measureable I do feel silly that I said it. Enough said about this one, I’ll be more specific for 2013.

10. Buy a house before December 2012.



When we lived in this rancher in North Vancouver, I said back in 2010 that I wanted to buy it and live there. So I was quite devastated when we were given our notice in March of that year because the owners were going to tear it down and build their dream house.

Then when my sister suggested we move to Yarrow, the more I thought about it, the more I could see it as totally workable. So much of my business is on-line now and I usually don’t need to be in the city more than 2 days a week to see my local clients, well as soon as we walked into this rancher (it was the second house we looked at) I knew immediately that this was our house.

Maria's new house

We took possession the middle of April and in six weeks before we moved in, we replaced all the flooring, casings and baseboards, completed gutted and renovated my studio behind the house as well as ripped out the old oak kitchen and completely painted  the entire house from top to bottom.

Every day I walk through my bright and happy house to my sunny studio to work and feel totally blessed.

So the lesson with this years goals is to have them be measurable. So here we go:

Take out all the existing concrete in the front and back yard, re-grade them both, install paving stones for the walkway to the front door and to the studio behind the house. Boxwood in the front yard, decorative fencing and a raised vegetable garden in the back yard. 



Honestly, this whole landscaping plan is daunting to me, I’m lucky to be working with Maryanne White from New York on the design and execution.

I want to do a lot more speaking this year, so I’ll say 7 – 10 speaking engagements.

The ebook that is in the works is about White Kitchens. I will publish that eBook this year.

Also I’m working on a webinar for choosing exterior colours. I want that out by April at the latest.

Here’s a big goal:

Do you know what the definition of News is?


If it’s new, the media will talk about it.

And my system of defining undertones in neutrals which is the foundation of understanding how colour works in any design environment in the world is NEW. No one else in the world has created a system like this and also created a way to be able to TEACH it to others.

When professionals and homeowners come to my workshops, the way they look at colour is transformed, forever. They will never see colour the same way they did in the past, ever again.

I would like the media to discover my system and actually start talking about how revolutionary and NEW it is.

This would make my eBook a bestseller.

Also my vision for my system is that it’s eventually used by everyone to specify anything from carpet to siding for your house.

Wouldn’t you have liked to know in advance that the grey siding you had selected for your house was actually green? Or the carpet that you thought was warm and totally neutral was actually pink beige?

I think if the manufacturing industry actually started categorizing samples this way it would make the world a prettier place because even someone who was not a professional could make accurate colour decisions.

I would like a regular column in a magazine or newspaper.

I would like my house published in a national magazine.




So many of you, my lovely readers I feel a great friendship with, but you live far away. Personally I don’t have a lot of friends. I’m not the most social person in the world and I’m kinda bad at small talk. I think if I was more social even as a blogger I’d be much further ahead. But, here I find myself comparing so I’ll just say that I want this year to be my Year of Friendship. I’m not sure how to make this measurable because I think you can’t measure people. Anyway, one more really good kindred spirit friend is better than five acquaintances.

Travel: Well it’s always on my list to travel to Italy. I’d love to go there this fall.

Well that’s my list, there’s more but these are the most important!

What’s on your list of goals this year?

Related posts:

Review of Last Years Goals and a New List for 2012

Review of Last Years Goals and a New List for 2011

Review of Last Years Goals and a New List for 2010




621 pins


  • I love your goals, Maria! You have accomplished so much already, and every single one of your goals for the upcoming year is totally something that *should* happen for you. YAY! I can’t wait to see your post this time next year, so we can applaud all of your accomplishments. And I am blessed to call you a real-life friend. xoxoxo, Traci

  • I love how specific you got with Goal #1 – not going to be caught with any non-specifics again, are you? You are such a go-getter. I love seeing people with such drive at work because really I’m a Type B wishing I was a Type A. Oh and you need to have your ebook banned from somewhere and then it will be an instant bestseller 😉

  • Amanda says:

    Maria, congratulations on all of your hard earned successes! You are a constant inspiration! And, when you travel to Italy, you’d better let me know beforehand because I lived in Rome for two years and got married in Tuscany. I’ve got TONS to share…xoxo

  • Bonnie says:

    You will love Italy! Especially the northern part. Good luck with your goals, you can do it!

  • Janet Klann says:

    Way to go, Maria. Your goals are clearly stated and reachable. A word of advice from a 73-year old: Don’t neglect the personal connections. When you reach my age and look back, those are the things that matter the most.

  • Thank you for sharing your goals with your readers, Maria. You have accomplished so much, and I’m sure you will continue to blow it out of the water going forward. I recently saw an idea about writing down little and big accomplishments every time they happen and stick them in a jar – by the end of the year, you’ll be amazed at what you achieved. Another thing I read that struck a cord from Michael Hyatt – to stop saying I’m going to “try” to do something and start saying I’m going to do something, and how that subtle shift in attitude can really make things happen in your life.

  • Maggie S says:

    I have always been a big believer in goals –even if you only get 1/2 way to your goal, that is more than you would have accomplished without a plan.
    I know you will achieve your goals because of all your hard work! (I read that having goals without doing any work are just dreams)

    My main goal this year is to buy a house –and have a color consult with a big name colorist 😉

  • SandyCGC says:

    My yoga teacher just reviewed with us the yogic teachings about goals vs intentions. Goals are always in the future and are very important, but too often we don’t set intentions which are the “now” and so achieving our goals by the end of the year can be hit or miss. I think you’ve done that, Maria, on some of your goals, particularly realizing that you need “images” for your e-book on undertones AND actively asking and searching for them. Do it for the “media discovery of your system” and for “the manufacturinig industry categorizing according to your system” – it probably won’t happen if you wait and hope – get out there and promote yourself and work some deals – maybe one big local carpet company who would offer carpet color choice assistance from color expert Maria Killam. When that carpet company saw improvement in their sales and services, which I’m sure they would, word would get out and other carpet companies and/or other related industries would want to get on the bandwagon. This year carpet companies or Vancouver, next year carpet companies and paint companies or all of Canada, the next year … Of course, if you get so successful that you don’t have time to blog, we’ll all lose out, but we can worry about that later. In the meantime, happy new year and enjoy Italy.

  • Diane Golin says:

    Thank you Maria for sharing this. You have truly inspired me this past year and I have learned so much from you! I am certain that you will meet and exceed many of your goals. Thanks for being such a terrific role model!

  • Lisa Moon says:

    Loved your list, Maria! Looking forward to meeting you in person at the color conference in Vancouver in February. 🙂

    I like what Sandy above says about “intentions”. I’ve got some genuine “intentions” this year, and they feel just a little different, more “destined”, than my goals (and I do have many goals!). My hubby and I went to Italy for the first time in September (I resonated with your goal on that one!), and it was more than just a thrilling journey – it felt like a turning point, and the start of new things to come. That trip alone has become the catalyst for most of my goals and intentions this year:

    1. To revisit Italy several times, and in particular to get paid to paint and live in Italy for a manageable period of time (say, three months). This feels like it’s in my bones, somehow. I’m starting to learn Italian, as a jumping-off point. 😉 (I should say that I already speak Spanish fluently, which helps.)

    2. For us to visit Paris in spring 2014, and the British Isles in 2015.

    3. In order make the above possible (as well as a retirement with even more traveling), I plan to get my finances in order. This is always on my “to-do” list, but this time I’ve seen the tangible benefits of healthy finances (Italy trip), so it doesn’t feel like a chore, like taking your vitamins, but like a means to a much-wanted end.

    4. Friends. I am so with you on that one! I’ve always had a few dear friends, and am naturally sociable, but have looked with longing at women who have their own “posse” and wondered why it didn’t happen with me. I made a lot of progress on this front last year (involving some soul-searching about my “mother issues”, for starters!), so I’m cautiously hopeful about this one. I saw the word “tribe” in one of Martha Beck’s books and it stuck with me. So… for 2013, I’d like to find my “tribe”. 😉 And I appreciate what Janet said above about lasting connections.

    There are other goals too, but those are my biggies. Looking forward to the day when you can tell us all about your trip to Italy!

    Raising a glass to toast the New Year,

    Lisa 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Thx for the little push to think more intentionally about our goals, and then………… go for it everyone! ; )

  • Maria I love your goals. I am quite sure you will accomplish every single one of them. I laughed about the goal to be published in a magazine and that it was a quote in HB. As a joke last year I wrote down “be published in a national magazine” and the same thing happened to me…a HB quote. I too decided to be a bit more specific in 2013 and wrote “have a photo of my work published in a magazine”. Here’s wishing us both that goal come to fruition.

  • As always Maria, I love your honesty and humor!! I too am trying to be more specific in my goals – frankly just getting them in writing will be huge! You have forever changed the way I see color and I am SO grateful. I hope our paths will cross in 2013!
    XO Andrea

  • Kimberly Wright says:

    I haven’t set any goals, but after reading this blog post you’ve certainly inspired me to! Wow! Thanks for sharing all your goals met for the past year – so happy for you and I hope that you meet all your goals in the coming year.

  • Maria – you are a busy busy gal! These goals are amazing and what you have accomplished even more so. Love your sense of humor about it all and thanks for showing me, I need to revise my goals to be WAY more specific this year. Happy New Year!

  • Kim Cameron says:

    A great set of goals for 2013 Maria, it inspires me to do the same. I have a suggestion for a hot destination in January – come to Australia! I would love to come to one of your workshops. I am studying Colour Design by correspondence through a school in Sydney, but your blog and e-book are a fabulous resource for me.

  • Whether you met all of your goals or not, you had an amazing year! One of the best parts of my year was following your blog. I’ve learned so much and I enjoy every post! Thank you Maria!

  • Lisa says:

    I’m loving your specific goals for the year. I was surprised that you hadn’t already done some of them only because in my mind you’re already a celebrity. It’ll be fun to see how your year progresses.

  • Sammy says:

    Just found your blog. I’m liking your honesty.

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