I love beginnings and fresh starts. The New Year is one of my favorite such beginnings. It’s true, we can’t escape our past but the New Year grants us the opportunity to redefine our past and shape our future. It’s the time of year I set goals. With high hopes and with enthusiasm I vow to conquer the year but too often the story goes downhill from there. Life happens. Good and unexpected things distract us and devastating or challenging events threaten to immobilize us completely. Suddenly New Year’s Eve arrives and you look over your list with a frown. So many goals left undone. Well I am going to tell you how I plan to fix that this year.
Stream of Consciousness Reigned In
Write down everything that you want to do this year. Most of us, me included, set too many goals for the year. I write every little thing that comes to mind, then look at the daunting list and try to figure out where to bury it. This year I started out this way but quickly realized I was repeating an unsuccessful practice. So off I went to my list to edit it. I started by writing down what it is in life I value most then I looked for the goals that supported my values. I further edited my list to the goals that I most wanted to meet this year. My husband’s approach was to limit himself to just what would fit on a single page in his small notebook. If too many goals are just too much for you, setting limits will help you focus on just what’s important.
Don’t Stop there. Think How!
Great so you have goals but without an action step or two making a start might be difficult. Take your goal from an arbitrary concept to an action step by thinking it through. How can you achieve this goal? Write just a few of these steps out. You may not have time to map out your entire journey and the good news is you don’t have to. A few steps to get you started might just be all you need.
Apply it to your daily practice.
I have fallen in love with this quote. Get out your planner or notepad and figure out how to apply an action step to your schedule this week. We have to take the steps to make the change. Now that we have bite sized steps, it’s time to put them into practice. If your goal is large, sneaking these nugget actions into your day may even go unnoticed for a while until the day of reckoning. You know, you’ve walked for twenty minutes every morning playing your music and having a good time, a month later the weight is gone and you think to yourself but I haven’t really done anything yet. But you have!
These are just three techniques but they pack a big punch and they are what I am using to get healthier, wealthier and wiser this year. I hope your 2016 is off to a marvelous start and that you remember to have fun while you plan.