Happy New Year! only a couple of days late...
...I’ve been looking around the web for the last week or so and finding a lot of posts about new year’s resolutions, setting goals, making plans, changing my life in 5 simple steps, and just plain taking time to look back over the last year to see what worked for me, and doing it again.
A couple of things occurred to me. One was, why for the New Year? Every day is a new day, and every day is a great day to take stock and think about where you are going and what you want to achieve.
Another was, this is getting complicated.
So I’ve come full circle and returned to a couple of simple statements. Words really.
(pinched from Katie Keier)
or, Live in the moment and focus on what you need to do right now,
(which I thought up all by myself).
or, Decide what you need to do and do it.
Lists and Goals and Cups of Tea
Before that, I had reached a stage where I had made a list of the areas of my life where I wanted to make changes or set goals, but the list was getting longer and longer (oh, yes, I forgot the bit where I wanted to...) with overlapping catgories (which area do I write this goal into?).
I had started to set SMART goals (which, being a bit slow, I only learned about at a writing conference I attended last year, and, then, in true chaos style, had turn up in another course, and then were all over the place), and I quite liked at the time, but then Tors Refsland introduced the idea of having a layer over the top of my SMART goals which were DUMB goals, and wrote one of those, then had to go and have a cup of tea and a bit of a lie down, because my self-limiting self-belief system kicked in and I just knew that I couldn’t do it.
So DUMB goals weren’t going to work for me, but now SMART goals weren’t either, because I no longer wanted to set myself goals that were merely Achievable. I wanted to push myself to the limits of my own endurance and set a goal that was stretching me out of my comfort zone ( but still a bit closer to realistic than the Barely Achievable of the DUMB goal – start fanning myself hastily and try not to think about cups of tea).
I still have this great, long list (in no particular order)... Writing, Family, Blog, Business, Fitness and Health, Travel and Holidays, Spiritual, Personal Development, Home and (er, really?) Housework... and while I was out walking (see list point 5), I thought, oh, yeah, what about my ‘Other Job’ (the one that pays the bills)? Another heading? Really?
Then, under each heading, I have another list, eg. under Blog (or is it Writing, or is Blog under Writing, or is it Business, and is Blog under Business or Business under Blog?) I have written (very optimistically) ‘weekly posts’ and ‘develop product’. I won’t even start to tell you what I have written under Writing (tea, anybody?), but some of the lists under the lists are, well, a wee bit lengthy.
No wonder so many people make resolutions and plans and then tuck them under the carpet within a week. They’re all too busy making tea.
I know there are great people out there, to whom these lists are paramount and they know what they are doing and they are achieving amazing things. Kudos to all of you. I have learnt so much from some of you in the past week, about new year’s resolutions, setting goals, making plans, changing my life in 5 simple steps, and just plain taking time to look back over the last year to see what worked for me, and doing it again. I even felt super good after that last one. Hey, yeah, I actually achieved something. Wow. No, I mean it, I filled the page!
I truly think that we do need (warning: commencing strained analogy) road maps, or we run the risk of either getting nowhere or getting lost. I also think we all have different ways of completing our journey.
All the same, I don’t want to run the risk in my personal road trip of 2015 of taking that great big list and following the route I’ve planned and then missing out on some life changing side trips. I also don’t want to run the risk of having a blow out, three kilometres down the road because I’ve overloaded the car.
But, because I don’t want to get totally lost, I’m going to keep the list. I’ve invested a bit of time and effort in creating it (ooh, just thought of another category, Relaxation), and I like the idea of having another look at it at the end of the year and seeing what bits of it worked out for me (note to self: put that in calendar, along with a pointer to where it's saved, okay?).
So, there are a couple of things I’ve decided I’m going to do, and I’m in the process of putting things into place to make sure they happen. Now.
And as the year goes by, I’m going to remember that any day is a good day to take stock and think about whether what I’m doing is getting me where I want to go.
Some of My Planning Gurus
I’ve really benefited from reading posts by others out there, in the ethersphere, about what they are doing, or about how we could do it, too, and I think it’s fair to say that I’ve taken something from each of them. To list a few of my favourites:
Michael Hyatt who is offering the best year ever;
Julie Hedlund whose series of 12 Days of Christmas videos is a lot of fun as well as thought provoking;
Annabelle Candy with her own grand plans that I found very inspiring;
Tors Refsland who I have already mentioned, and whose Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting caused me to need a cup of tea or two when I took it a bit too literally;
Kelly Exteter, who had an idea or two to share about her year;
Joanna Penn, who, with her end of year reflection for 2014, helped me put things into a bit of perspective (she often does);
Katie Keier, whose blog I follow for my Other Job, and whose one little word unexpectedly distilled all the things I had been thinking about into a rich and meaningful, but simple, resolve; and
Sue Anne Dunlevie, whose planner is quick and easy to print out.
Just One of My Goals
Right now, I'm going to decide to post to my blog a little more frequently. A SMART goal about that would be to write a post at least once a fortnight, so that by the end of 2015 I will have published 24 new blog posts (no comments on my maths - I'm giving myself a bit of leeway). The steps to achieving that would include scheduling a non-negotiable time to write and edit posts and developing a list of ideas to write about.