I have always loved the whole concept of on January 1…armed with my new calendar and deciding upon my new goals/resolutions for the new year. While others were nursing hangovers and other excesses from the night before or watching the various parades and football games, I was gleefully visualizing all of the changes that would happen in the new year.
While diligently de-cluttering years of notebooks and papers this past summer, I was brought to the stark reality that I had in fact accomplished very few of the goals. I found several of my notebooks with my new year’s resolutions neatly written on the first page. The sad point was that in almost all of them, I had the SAME resolutions! Always the weight(getting down to my “perfect” weight), de-clutter the house, my debts paid off, relationships improving, and the trips, clothing and activities I was going to accomplish.
Finding these notebooks and realizing how futile all of my enthusiasm and energy had petered out and produced very little, I decided that it was time…really time and long overdue…to change my focus and change my direction.
I knew it would take concentrated effort on my part and I had a lot to lose if I didn’t do this. I felt as though I’d been stuck for years, stirring things up with my various attempts(half hearted at time, desperate at others) and at the end of the day, seeing it settle back to the same old, same old.
What I decided to do was to break up my goal setting by month…taking the enthusiasm and excitement of the new calendar page and new notebook that had previously been reserved for the “new yea”…not it’s the “new month”. I started this four months ago…every month I have a major focus. I also have my other goals as well that are on going(daily habits).
What goals to choose going this path? The best thing I’ve found is to first brainstorm all of the goals/resolutions you wish to accomplish over a period of time. For example, if you wish to de-clutter, choose one area to de-clutter(bedroom, kitchen, living room, etc.) or even a section. The goal is to be successful…if you choose too large an area, you’ll become burned out and frustrated that at the end of the month you didn’t succeed.
Maybe it’s a new habit you wish to develop(http://tinyhabits.com/) . If you go on this link, you can decide on a small habit you wish to develop. You will get an email every day of the week to remind you to do your habit.
Once I’ve decided what I want to accomplish this month, I get myself a notebook(usually a simple lined loose leaf notebook that you can buy quite cheaply). Write the month on the front cover and on the first page write down exactly what your goals are for the month, how you plan to accomplish them and how you will know you’ve accomplished them.
For example, using the de-cluttering example…if my goal is de-cluttering the kitchen, then I will write a list of all the areas in the kitchen that need to be de-cluttered. If it’s a large cabinet, one shelf/section at a time. Refrigerator, one area at a time. You’re aiming for short chunks of time…15-30 minutes. Lots of times I do some de-cluttering while waiting for foods to cook, talking on the phone, etc. When you have your list, you can then check it off when it’s done. There is something so satisfying about being able to check something off a list.
I usually use 1=2 pages of the notebook every day. I have my goals for the day written down. I also do an idea list every day…James Altucher (www.jamesaltucher.com) recommends that basically you brainstorm 10 ideas every day…it could be for your home, work, health, relationships, etc. I have found that by doing this for a while, some of the ideas are iffy at best but every once in a while there is a diamond in the rough…and that’s what you’re aiming for. James Altucher calls this exercising your brain and the more you do it, the better you get at it…definitely worth doing.
I also write down various tips, suggestions I get online from the various items I receive that will help me to improve my goals.
By doing a daily page, it helps you to focus on the end result and if you’ve been slacking a bit, to speed up your pace. The checklist tells you whether you’re up to your schedule.
So, it’s a new month and I have my notebook ready and am recharged once again. Hope I’ve inspired you to try this technique as well. If you have any questions, please comment and I’ll respond.
Til next time, Eva