Friday, January 4, 2013

New Years Resolutions

I love goals.  I love to set them and keep track of them and even better, check them off when I've completed them.  And that's how I see goals, as something finite.  Something I can work towards and complete, like finishing that quilt I started somewhere around 9 years ago. 

Resolutions are a more recent love and I think of them differently than goals.  Resolutions aren't quick as check off-able.  If I'm very specific I can usually still check them off, but it's more of an everyday check off.  For example, I could decide I want to be a better parent.  Now to be specific and therefor check off-able, I could say that being a parent takes time so I will measure my progress based on how much time I spend with each of my children everyday and set a goal to spend a certain amount of time.  Do you see what I mean?

I've found that whether I'm talking about goals or resolutions there are a few important steps I have to take to make them achievable.  And at the same time, more likely that I will do the work to achieve them.

#1.  I've already mentioned, make them something mark off-able so I can keep track of my progress.  This step also helps to break down bigger goals.  If my goal is to complete a triathlon, as I try to make it mark off-able I'll realize that I need to set smaller goals (I have done this, but only once so far).

#2.  Which leads to the next step, break down any goals into small daily (or weekly) achievable steps.  Back to my jean quilt example (which unfortunately should actually be one of my goals, I think that darn quilt is taunting me), I could decide I'm going to work on it for a certain amount of time each week. 

#3.  Pre-determine when exactly I will work on my goal (and the most important part, be realistic).  I think I mentioned before that I have a friend who asked if I thought she'd be able to do everything she wanted in life and I told her probably not.  Every choice we make to DO something at the same time chooses NOT to do anything of the other things we could be doing.  My point is to choose wisely, choose what makes you happier and then MAKE the time to do it.  For example, I could say that I will work on my quilt for 1 hour every Friday afternoon because Friday's are my slower, get done early day.

#4.  So, now I have a specific goal and I know when and how I am going to realistically be able to accomplish it.  Next, last and most important, I need accountability.  I mentioned in a previous post that my family sets goals every year and I take those goals and turn them into little signs that we stick in our bedrooms.  But it isn't enough.  After a while we stop seeing the signs and we don't talk about them often enough.  I have a new plan this year.  And part of it includes these super cute sheets I found on this super cute website.

The link takes you to one that is meant to be a place mat.  Yep, a place mat.  Isn't that AWESOME!  She has a bunch of colors and other formats available (even non place mat types) to download for free from her website, you should check it out (click the link above the place mat). 

In addition to our place mats, I will still make our normal signs to hang in our bedroom because I figure even if we do stop seeing them after a while, every little bit helps. 

We'll also put our goals on our chore charts.  Yep, I said our.  I posted about making my kids new charts a while ago (you can read about them here) but I never ended up making one for me.  I think mine will be titled something closer to resolution chart, but either way it'll be a daily way for me to "check-in" on how I'm doing.

And last we'll review our goals and how we're doing on them every month as a family.  We already have a family night every Monday, so we'll just add a quick review (and possibly a strategy session if someone is struggling with a goal) to the beginning of the first Monday's family night every month.

Do you make goals or resolutions?  What are some ways you keep yourself on track or what great tips are you trying out this year?

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