At a workshop I went to in high school, they had us write down three goals on a small piece of paper and put them in our wallet. She told us to keep them there for a year and to use them as a reminder and inspiration. While I don’t remember what they are, I know I had those goals in my wallet for well over two years and that I often took them out to motivate myself or just to see how far I had come from that day.
There are lots of tips on goal-setting out there. What works for me is to be specific and realistic. One of my eternal resolutions is to eat healthier, but that one is always hard to measure and easy to ignore. So this year I’m trying to be as explicit as possible. My 2009 resolutions (with commentary!) are as follows:
This may not sound like much, but there are days where all I eat is cereal, pizza and pasta (there are also days that I eat lots of fruits and veggies). Hopefully I can create more consistently healthy eating habits by adding a couple of servings a day.
2. Write at least four blog posts a week.
My goal is actually one a day, but I know there will be days that just won’t happen. Depending on my schedule this may increase, but at least I’m ensuring a few posts a week without over committing myself.
3. Exercise and stretch at least four days a week.
Same idea for exercise and stretching as for writing – there are days when this is not going to happen. Rather than get frustrated and just give up because I missed a day, allowing a few rest days per week helps motivate me to plan good, long workouts when they’re convenient. I’ll be more likely to stick to my schedule and less likely to burnout, and that’s a good thing!
4. Call my grandparents twice a month.
My grandparents live in Belgium and growing up I only saw them when we visited for a couple of weeks every year or two. My maternal grandfather passed away last January and I was sad to realize at his funeral that I hadn’t seen my extended family in two and a half years and barely even know them. I have to be realistic in that I can’t make as many trips to visit my grandparents as I’d like, but at least I can cultivate our relationship as best I can over the phone.
5. Live in the moment. (I know, this isn’t exactly following the same format, but this is my one big overall goal so I’m allowed to stray a bit.)
I’m a thinker. While this is usually a good thing, I tend to overanalyze, plan ahead and/or rehash things in mind and sometimes forget to appreciate the present and live in the moment. This is one of those easier said than done things for me, but I will remind myself of this resolution when my thoughts stray and teach myself to focus more on what’s happening right now and less on everything else.
2009 feels like a good year! I’m gonna try really hard to stick to these resolutions and provide updates periodically. Happy New Year!