"We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we've established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile. "
Well, here we are in the middle of December chaos, and already the New Year looms with its imposing lists of all the things you're going to get right that you've failed at so far. Personally, I'm convinced that lists of resolutions do more to demoralize us than encourage us.
Somehow, though, we really want to look towards a new, fresh start but without the guilt. Here is a list of 10 ways to make that happen for you.
1. Begin with gratitude. On January 1 write a list of all the things you love about yourself and your situation. Work towards a list of 10 things, and then keep it handy so you can add to it daily throughout the year.
2. Discover your deepest desires. Make sure you really know what you want and why. (Check out the “Passion Test” at www.stayinginlove.com if you need help)
3. Create a dream board. On a sheet of red bristol board put up pictures of what you want your life to look like, and hang this in your bathroom, kitchen or office where you will see it often.
4. Choose carefully. Don't attack all your goals all at once. Ask yourself what is the most important thing to work on right now? What will bring the greatest benefit? Where are you most likely to succeed?
5. Make a plan. Space your goals throughout the year. You can work on a new goal each month, while maintaining the goals you’ve already begun. Check out Jim Rohn's one year success plan at: www.jimrohn.com for some good ideas.
6. Take baby steps. Don't start with huge goals to begin with. Break your goals into tiny steps so that you see success quickly. For example – you want to exercise in the morning. On January 2, set your alarm for ½ hour earlier than normal, turn it off, and go back to sleep. On January 3, set your clock for the same time, sit up, stretch, and then go back to sleep. On January 4 get up, put on your track suit, change back to pj’s and go back to bed. Sounds ridiculous, but you’ll end up laughing over the silliness (which creates a positive association and therefore greater success) and developing the habit of getting up first, then of actually exercising.
7. Get a buddy. Find a friend or family member who also wants to work on their goals, and set up an accountability system with them to keep you both on track.
8. Monitor and reward your progress. Set up a reward system as you progress towards your goal – celebrate every step of success to motivate you onto higher things. You might also think of horrible things you’ll do if you fail (like singing at the top of your lungs in your local restaurant) and have your friends keep you honest. Fear is a greater motivator than “warm fuzzies”!
9. Make it fun. The more you can incorporate fun into your goal system, the more effective your plan will be.
10. Change for life. Make sure you plan in how you will maintain your success and then continue to monitor and tweak the things you've achieved.
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Darlene Hull is an ordinary, imperfect mom who sees her mission as helping moms look after themselves so that they can better look after their families. She is married to Tom and has two children – Simon (12) and Christina (11) whom she homeschools. You can find out more about her on her website at http://www.mom-defrazzler.com .
Darlene is giving away free “Mom-Defrazzler" tools for moms in need of some help in getting from chaos to calm. You can download these for free at her website.