Time passes so quickly, doesn't it?
Another year... come, gone.
Reflecting on this past year, I realize that I've accomplished quite a bit - mostly in my professional life, but I've also made some moderate improvements in my personal life, as well.
Establishing and reaching goals is so fulfilling, I strive to make them for myself - and work to reach them - on a regular basis. And while, in most cases, the satisfaction itself is it's own reward, I try to find small ways to compensate myself for achieving my goals - minor indulgences that I wouldn't ordinarily treat myself to: an hour in the tub with a glass of wine and a good book, a professional manicure, a pint of Ben & Jerry's, etc.
It's a life philosophy based on a sort of behavior modification that I find works for me (those Psych classes in college really stuck with me, I guess). It keeps me challenged and motivated and always struggling to be the best I can be.
And this is the time for Resolutions, right? As private as most resolutions are to people, I've decided to share mine here - well, my professional ones, anyway (who cares about my personal ones but me, anyway?). I'm hoping that by putting them in writing - in bold type, no less - it will force me to set the more difficult ones and work even harder to achieve them.
So, here we go:
1. Get Organized!
This is on the top of a lot of people's list of resolutions. I think that we're always in a such a rush to get things done that we seldom take the time to pay attention to the small details that help keep us more organized. In teaching me to cook, my Mom always said 'If you clean up as you go along, you won't be looking at a big mess when you're done.' So I hereby resolve to Clean Up As I Go Along: take better notes, label things properly, put things back where they belong, etc.
2. Keep In Contact!
Again, probably on a lot of folks' professional & personal lists. While I have all the tools I need to contact my customers and potential clients, I often let this very important (and valuable) responsibility fall by the wayside. So I hereby resolve to Connect & Communicate: post on my blog, send out my Newsletters, participate in my newsgroups & forums, etc.
3. Stay Focused!
As I sit here writing, I can think of the 12 other things I have on my list of things to do today - which inevitably leads me to starting 6 things, working on them all at once and never finishing more than 2 or 3 by day end. And I know that if I can just focus on 1 item at a time, I would be much more successful. It stems from me thinking 'if I at least get it started, I will finish it today' - and that's usually just not the way it works. So I hereby resolve to Work the List: create a prioritized list and never start a 'lower' task until the one above it is finished - period.
4. Stop Procrastinating!
Yes, also a very popular Resolution - and for a very good reason: it's hard! And I'm guilty of it on a regular basis - as I have mentioned in at least one prior blog post. It's always a battle of procrastination against sheer willpower - and I believe I need a serious plan of attack in order to conquer it once and for all. So my first strategy is to hereby resolve to Acknowledge the Enemy: when I find I'm putting something off 'til tomorrow, I will recognize that I'm procrastinating and will myself to get it done.
5. Reduce Stress!
I put this one last because I honestly believe that a lot of my stress comes from my poor management of goals 1-4. By achieving - even just working on - my first four goals, this one will will basically accomplish itself! There are so many sources of day-to-day stress, but I can only work on the ones I have control over - so I hereby resolve to Stop Obsessing Over Things Out of My Control, and try to only concern myself with the things I can improve on my own.
Well, I think this is a pretty good start. I have lots more, as we all do at this time of year.
Some resolutions we achieve immediately, some we work on day by day (and even year-after-year) and some will fall by the wayside, but all resolutions are made with good intentions and can be labors of love. And some will change us, whether we succeed or not, into better people.
Want to put a few of your New Year's Resolutions into print? Share yours - and your plan for success - right here!