I’ve been researching the “Top 10 New Years Resolutions” cited in various online articles. Acknowledging that some of these are similar to others, the top ten come to about the Top 15. In no particular order:
Spend time with family
Get out of debt
Drink less or quit drinking
Learn something new
Be less stressed
Enjoy life more
Travel to new places
How many are on your list? Which ones have you made before but seem to elude you year after year? There is something inherent about New Year’s Resolutions that says, “Don’t take it seriously, no one expects you to really keep them.” The gyms and weight loss programs are packed in the first week of the year, but by February they are emptying out. These businesses expect this, and in fact, count on making money from people who pay the yearly fee and then stop showing up.
How do we get beyond this mentality? If we are making the same resolutions year after year but not following through, there is something wrong. Our desires don’t change, but we can’t seem to make change happen. The key is to rethink the Resolutions and instead create GOALS. Look again at the resolution list. Almost every item on that list is vague. A goal is concrete, and specific. It has time frame, a plan for accomplishing it, and a means for evaluating progress.
As a goal, organization should really not be on this list at all. Organization is the tool that you use to reach your goals. People resolve to become organized because it creates an avenue to reach other goals and bring peace of mind. Try this: make a list of things that would happen “if I was more organized.” That is the Resolution List. Write out each one as a specific goal. For each, decide on a few steps you can take that would bring you closed to the goal.
For example, if you resolved to eat healthier, the written goal could be. “For the next six weeks, I will eat fresh vegetables at least once a day, and red meat no more than two times per week.” Perfect? Probably not by a lot of nutrition standards, but it is specific and achievable. The next step is to decide how to incorporate those vegetables into the daily meals, and what the substitute for the red meat will be. That’s creating a plan. Keeping track of progress could be as easy as checking off on the calendar on the days that vegetables are consumed. At the end of six weeks the goal can be reevaluated. At that time you would decide what further steps to take.
In other words organization is the key to every goal!