Turn New Year’s resolutions into realistic goals.
So you’ve followed our tips, downloaded all the apps, motivated your employees and you’ve had your most productive few months to date. For the first time this year, you have a little free time for yourself but no idea what to do with it. New Year’s Resolutions may be the last thing on your mind?
The most obvious ways to spend this time would be to enjoy it with your family, maybe spring-clean your house, catch up on all your favorite series, have your friends over like you promised you would 8 months ago and take a few moments to appreciate everything around you.
Some of the not-so-obvious ways to spend this downtime include:
Treat yo self
As Tom and Donna from Parks and Recreation would suggest, it’s that time of the year to ‘Treat Yo Self!’
Our first suggestion would be to give yourself a pat on the back and a few little spoils for all your achievements this year. Take a moment to have some mindful reflection on all the things you have accomplished, the work you’ve put in and the obstacles you have had to overcome.
Set yourself up for success
Well, plan for how you will achieve next year’s goals! Everyone sets New Year’s resolutions – we all know the end of that story… Be different and set yourself up for success, now. Follow the SMART rule to make sure your goals are attainable and you don’t actually end up demotivating yourself by setting unrealistic goals. They should always be Simple, Measurable – qualitatively or quantitatively, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
Next, purchase a practical diary for 2017. If you’re like me, you are more than likely to note things down with a pen and paper instead of trying to sync your Google Notes to your OneNote and your cloud drive and therefore need to constantly have your diary on hand. Diarise time at the end of each month for yourself to reflect on your performance and decide what control measures to take to keep you on the right track. If you prefer to sync your diary with your mail calendar then book yourself as ‘busy’ for that time and schedule a meeting with yourself – lucky you.
Plan for action.
Break your goals up into actionable items and small deliverables. This way you can measure your progress and break your goals into digestible chunks. For example, if you want to redo your study by April 2017, plan to complete small activities each month or even each week. By the end of January, you could have de-cluttered, February you could have all the paint, March you may have planned to sell all your old furniture and purchase new furniture and in April, you can paint and move your new furniture in. By breaking goals up like this, they appear less intimidating and you are less likely to procrastinate on these smaller, less demanding activities. In our blog on Productivity Applications (link), we mentioned Omnivore – a perfect project management tool that may be perfect for you if you find your goals involve many little deliverables.
Make the most out of your ‘me-time’ at the end of each month to reflect on your progress and see where you need to refine your goals or even move up your target date.
Pat yourself on the back, move on and treat yo self!