It's tempting at the beginning of a new year and a blank page to plot our big, big goals. We imagine the enormous things we will achieve. We get excited and set forth. Each day brings new activities, a fresh mindset and a determination to achieve.
We're very busy doing things differently for a week or two, maybe three. By February life has taken over. The New Year plans have been forgotten.
How do we make sure we're in the other 12 percent?
One well studied tip for achieving big goals is to break them into smaller steps. This helps, but a year is a long time. I don't know about you but I need a strategy that takes me into March and beyond.
Last night I read a column by Karen Hardy in the Canberra Times. She had mapped out her hopes for the new year, month by month. What a great idea! November and December are as vital as January. It's a new year, not just a new month.
January. A month for family and friends. Put work and worries aside and enjoy others' company. A week at the beach, day trips and barbecues. Time for writing, reading and walking, all at a leisurely pace.
February. Time to establish routine and rhythm with better deliniation between work and home this year. My work day ends with the school day and weekday afternoons are for family. Make plans to get involved with the school. Keep reading.
March. A new home office. Plans to fully convert the spare room fell through in 2016. Time to make that happen. Put money aside for a new laptop. Focus on clients, old and new. Enjoy the outdoors while we still can. A month for family bike rides and outdoor markets.
April. School holidays again. Camping and family fun for the Easter break. Ease the pace a little for two weeks then right back into it. A writing retreat with friends? Have my first three book chapters complete.
May. Winter is coming. Time to prepare heart, mind and home. Watch movies. Clean the garage. Ensure financials are on track. Footy season is starting. Better buy snow boots.
June. Establish a winter exercise routine. Plan a few days away, just me and him. A month for writing. Complete two more book chapters. It's time to revisit goals and plans for the year and spend one-on-one time with each child.
July. It's holidays again and time to head north to defrost. Knit. Check in on the home and family schedule. What's working? What's not? Cook and freeze meals for those busy days. There's a 9th birthday to celebrate.
August. House building plans for 2018. Where are we at? How's that exercise going? A yoga and meditation month.
September. Footy finals and money month. Check the budget. Walk the lake. Pets. School holidays at home. Take time out for movies, day trips, play dates and special treats.
October. It might be time to spring clean the house and declutter. What do we no longer need? Business plans for the final quarter. Celebrate successes. Reward myself. A 6th birthday takes place.
November. My birthday month. Go shopping with Mum. It's always a busy work month. Plan to meet deadlines without everything else falling apart. Ask for help when I need it.
December. Can you believe it? Manage money, time and tasks with minimal stress. Remember what's important. Christmas at home. Decorate and celebrate. Review the year's wins. Relax and get ready to do it all again.
Wishing you and yours a happy and safe new year. Do you have big plans?