Resolutions. We don’t all make new year’s resolutions. If you are making them, what is your biggest priority? If you aren’t, tell us why – what is your experience or opinion on resolutions?
I love resolutions. Because I love the idea of a restart. Or maybe the runner in me just likes the idea of a starting line; an honest-to-goodness jumping off point that is distinct and clear.
I also know that setting one, giant year-long goal can set a lot of us up to fail. Maybe the goal is too vague (“be healthier”) or it doesn’t exactly detail how we’re supposed to get it done (“save money”). Some of us have no attention span to work on a single thing for a year.
Matt Cutts told his TED audience to try a 30-day challenge, because anyone can do anything for thirty days. And small change is sustainable change.
With that in mind, I did purchase the Commit30 planner and the sticker pack, which was entirely unnecessary but is also like made of unicorns and rainbows it pleases me that much. The planner is more than a calendar/schedule keeper, it’s a goal-setting journal as well.
At the beginning of the planner, it says “My Vision” and it asks, “What do I want this year to look like? To feel like?” And there are 12 circles with categories like physical health, mental health, friends and family, home, etc. where you write your goals. I am using this like a master wish list that can be added to and referenced throughout the year.
Then, each month you pick a specific goal to work on and you write that in the page for that month. Underneath the big goal statement is a place to fill in 6 action steps. So, for January, my goal is to “Buy Nothing,” which fits one of my broader financial goals to spend and save more wisely. My specific action steps for January are:
- No unneeded purchases.
- Absolutely no gifts or treats for myself. I spent all of December being gifted and treated.
- Groceries and bills are obviously okay.
- At every opportunity for a purchase ask, “Do I need this or can it wait?”
- No cash allowances on pay days (this is usually how I manage my ‘fun money’– I give myself a set amount at every pay day, in cash, for things like lunches, happy hours, etc. It has to last me until the next pay day. Anything left over goes in my piggy bank).
- One gift purchase on vacation is okay, because I have saved for that expense previously.
On the opposite page, you rewrite the goal (you write your goals A LOT. This must be for memory), and you set a reward. For January, I am going to put the money I save into an account for fun spending. No idea what exactly I will buy yet.
You can then track your success daily with the dots, coloring one in or checking it off each day that you are successful.
At the end of the month, you go back to the goal page and fill out whether or not you met the goal, how you’d rate your effort, and the next steps.
On the weekly schedule pages, you can also set daily intentions for those days you simply can’t look big picture and really need to focus on a bite-sized goal and achieving bite-sized success.
I have now had the planner in my possession for 48 hours. I love it. I have put a sticker on every holiday and pay day, I have marked when bills are due (with a special “Pay Bill” sticker!). I have set goals for January and February. I put pizza slice stickers throughout the planner randomly. Because pizza slice stickers!
I think goal-setting is good and healthy and some of us really thrive in it, even if we don’t often (ever?) really meet our goals. I also think it’s important that we measure what and who we already are and how good that is. We are already enough. We are already loved. We should be kind to ourselves this New Year and every new year and every day.
And then set some goals and crush ’em like the BAMFs we are!