by Tammy Taylor
Sing it with me now, “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind…” Aaaaah it’s that time again. A brand new year. I love new beginnings and a new year is a wonderful beginning filled with promise & possibility. Many folks celebrate the new year by making New Year Resolutions. You know the ones – “I resolve to lose weight, or save money, or (fill in the blank)“.
I think reaching for improvement is an important thing to do and there’s no time like the start of a brand spankin’ new year to do that. But even though your heart’s in the right place those open-ended resolutions often get forgotten within the first two weeks of the new year. #amiright?? I quit doing New Year’s Resolutions several years ago and somehow the aspirations I have for improving things into the new year have not been abandoned. How do I do it? Read on.
Well, I quit making New Year’s Resolutions and instead starting making New Year’s GOALS. Stay with me now, there’s a point to be made. Writing a long list of goals on a piece of paper will be forgotten in the same amount of time those resolutions did – you need a way to actually attain your goals. Here are some tricks I’ve used successfully in the past:
- 1 – Don’t make your goals out of reach for you. Goals should be a challenge to attain but not insurmountable.
- 2 – Don’t list your goals in an obscure way. Saying “Get In Better Shape” won’t give you any real direction to be able to meet your goals. Instead you might make it a goal to “Walk briskly 30 minutes a day three times each week”.
- 3 – Now that you have your well-defined goals listed, make a list of steps to reach your goals. If you plan to plant a veggie garden this year don’t just write down a goal of “Plant A Garden”. First make plans to select your garden spot, then to amend the soil, then to plant your veggies.
By using this goal procedure I’ve been much more successful in actually attaining the goals I aspire to each year. But this year I changed up my New Year’s Goals process just a bit. Instead of listing the goals I hope to attain sometime in the coming year I’ve made a list of each month and added at least one project next to each one. For instance:
- January – *Empty master bedroom closet, declutter & rearrange
- February – *Make Soap For Christmas Gifts. *Document Veggie Garden Planting Order
- March – *Paint The Chest of Drawers
- April – *Wash All Windows Inside & Out. *Repaint Barn’s Squeeze Chute & Alley
As you can see some months have more than one task to complete. I try to schedule tasks that will be appropriate for the time of year – no outside tasks during the scourge of my existence (ragweed season), outside tasks when the weather will be warmer, etc. Now that I have my tasks all laid out I go into my email’s calendar and note at each month what the task to complete will be. I set up a reminder to email me the first of the month with this month’s task(s) to be completed.
Now when I receive my reminder I’ll set out to complete that month’s task(s) as quickly as possible. Then at the end of the year – bada-bing, bada-BOOM all the tasks I had dreamed of completing waaaaay back at the beginning of the year are completed.
Do you do New Year’s Resolutions? Do you write down goals instead? If you’ve been frustrated about the lack of motivation & staying power in the past give this procedure a try, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.
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