Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Now is the time to evaluate your achievements, give that final push, and start thinking about new goals for the coming year.
Month by Month
Plan on achieving your goals by the end of October, leaving November and December free for the holidays. This gives you a breather and a chance to catch up on any goals that fell behind.
In November, look at all you've achieved during the year and pat yourself on the back. Be grateful for what you already have. Appreciate where you are now and how far you've come. Thank the people who've helped you. Eat some turkey to celebrate.
In December, plan your goals for the coming year and take the first few steps towards reaching them to give you a head start, at your own pace. It's a better feeling to be a little ahead on your goals by the time the new year starts than to start from scratch. It also allows you to make some adjustments if necessary. Kind of a test drive of your new goals.
Be flexible. Don't be too hard on yourself if things don't go as planned. Re-evaluate your goals midway through the year. Is this still what you want? Did you set too many goals, or goals that are too big?
Divide and Conquer
Set achievable, measurable goals for the year. Don't set too many goals, or goals so big they can't be reached within a year. Your goals have to be compatible with each other and with your lifestyle.
Divide each goal into smaller goals for each month of the year. Know your rhythm. Are you more productive during certain months? More laid back during others? Busy as ever during a particular period of the year? Plan accordingly.
At the beginning of each month, divide your goals for the month into weekly goals.
Every week, make a list of steps to take to achieve your weekly goals. If a step is too big, divide it into smaller steps, even if it's just brainstorming, buying a book, or researching something on the internet. Then take that next step.
Reward yourself. Make a list of little things that make you happy - buying a book, taking a bubble bath, eating chocolate, getting a special drink from Dunkin' Donuts - and treat yourself once you've taken ten steps towards your goals.
Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
Astrid is a phone app I'm using to keep track of my goals. It lets you make lists of goals and set deadlines for each, then it sends you reminders to keep you on your toes. I always laugh when Astrid tells me "Can you finish this? [my goal] I'm sick of it!" Or a similar reminder, different each time.