I call it strategic planning and I do it for my business and for myself each year. One year my husband and I went away for the weekend and spent an entire day coming up with goals for the new year. We definitely were overly ambitious and could not have predicted that life and job hunting would take up the majority of his time. We did do some things but our focus was divided, so this year we are sitting down to create a mini strategic plan for 2014. It will be a little less ambitious but will include more “fun” time, more exercise, Sundays as a no work day, planned “date” nights, reorganization/maintenance of several rooms and no more than three big projects. You get the idea. What would you like to change or do this year (first name?)
When we first did this we used Jack Canfield’s Success Principles book as a guide and used his seven categories to define the areas of our lives. They are: work/career, finances, recreation/free time, health and fitness, relationships, personal goals and contribution to society. We then came up with a (S.M.A.R.T.) goal for each and then listed some “to do’s” under each. When projects like redo the dining room and clean out the basement started showing up on the personal list we decided to add an eighth category called physical environment. That took my “organizing projects” and hubby’s fix it projects off the personal list and into its own category (whew!). You can use whatever categories work for you (family, health, spiritual, lifestyle, etc.) but go “light” on the goals you set for yourself so that you can taste the success and continue to be motivated and not overwhelmed or feel defeated.
The whole thing was a bit overwhelming that first year so we decided we would think ahead only one quarter – just January, February and March. We took a yearlong calendar and added in the Big Rocks (commitments, vacation, holidays, etc.) first so we could see what time was actually left. (Don’t tell anyone but I have a SLIGHT tendency to overbook myself.) Then we went month by month for the first three even getting down to the nitty gritty tasks we want to do and making sure they were balanced with non “work” type activities. Don’t try to work in each category each month, maybe pick two and just do a few things that resonate with you. You can build on your successes.
Here are the top five resolutions for 2014 according to statistic brain (click the link to check out the other five).
- Lose Weight
- Getting Organized
- Spend Less, Save More
- Enjoy Life to the Fullest
- Staying Fit and Healthy
If one or more of these is on your list, then first change it into a goal by making it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic (i.e. Not 50 pounds in a month) and time specific. Next break it down into ten things you can do to achieve that. Break it down even further into the very next action you can do towards it and put that in your calendar. Often times we have multistep projects on our list that require more time and steps to complete than we have in a day….so do yourself a favor and only put single action steps into your calendar or on your to do list. Keep asking yourself questions until you get to the single, next action and only put three to five actions on any one day. Watch for more tips on my Face Book page throughout the month.