For whatever reason, my particular set of personality quirks and life circumstances have combined to make me love to a good list of goals.
I love making the list. I love planning how I’m going to achieve the list. I love setting up systems to help me follow through on those plans. I love daydreaming about how awesome it will be when I achieve those goals.
And, generally, that’s where it ends. As soon as I have everything all set up, I lose interest. Forget February. Usually by mid-January I’ve stopped even thinking about my resolutions.
What I do Instead
Instead of making a giant list of unreasonable goals (Lose weight! Become a bestseller! Buy a house! And on. And on.) that no human being could achieve in a year, I came up with my Big 6.
Six goals. Each one had to be something I could reasonably expect to achieve in a year. Each one had to be a SMART goal (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.) I choose five areas of my life and picke one goal for each, then one big year-long project goal.
My life areas for 2018 were Home, Health, Work, Family, and Education. My Big 6 goals were: to completely declutter my house, to maintain my weight, to finish writing a novel other than the one I was contracted to write, to take a trip with my husband, and to graduate with my MFA. My project goal was to make an elaborate crocheted blanket.
The work goal was the hardest for me to make. Because my instinct was to make it something like: sell another book. But I’m not in control over whether or not a book sells. All I can do is write it.
My big plan is to give one day a week to each goal (as a focus, not like 100 percent devotion to that goal on that day) and a day off to reflect or rest or catch up. This doesn’t always happen, but it’s a nice idea and regardless, six goals is a good manageable number.
How it Works
A year is a long time. Some years, your life in December doesn’t even resemble what your life was in January. 2018 was that kind of year for me. I had no idea, in January, that by November I’d be living in Pennsylvania. That my husband would be laid off his…