Happy New Year! We’ve been on a much needed break from the blogosphere, trying to get “real” stuff done. The good news? We’ve made a lot of progress. The better news? It’s the perfect time of year to build on that momentum.
Admittedly, it’s hard to get back in the swing of things. We’re kicking off our second week of vacation and as I type my house is full – there’s a basketball game upstairs that’s about to get out of control, children screaming from being touched by cold hands and a constant din of “fun” coming from my husband in the other room. My desk is semi-full of clutter and the office is still in need of some purging and organizing. I could sit here and pine away about wishes for the new year and make a list of pie-in-the-sky things that I’d like to strive for like world peace and miraculous weight loss. Around here, though, we’re not making resolutions this year.
We’re making plans. And I LOVE making plans.
Resolutions are nice. They’re safe – so often they are lofty ideals that we would love to strive for backed by lingering warm-n-fuzzies from the passing of the holiday season. But without something concrete and achievable they become nothing more than words on a paper. It’s the plan – the steps and the actionable items – that make it all happen.
Now, I know there’s a ton of people out there talking about setting and achieving goals, so the plan isn’t new. I run into SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals all over at work and at home. I get it. But I am equally right-brained and left-brained and this system doesn’t always work for me. So I take bits and pieces of goal-setting work and do my own thing instead.
That’s how we’ve started making progress on our plans already. In October of last year there was a tremendous momentum shift that occurred in our household. It started with a list. This wasn’t just any list, either. It was the list of all lists around here. This was our master list. If there is one thing I love more than plans, it’s lists. I’m not alone in that either. Between Bryan and I we amass random lists like rotten food in a hoarder’s kitchen. So, suffice it to say, this list is pretty freakin’ awesome to take the top spot.
It was the result of just one evening, maybe 2 hours tops. We broke it down into 5 main categories – finances, household, business, health & wellness, and family & personal. Then we just had at it. EVERYTHING that we wanted to make progress on in the short-term, and sometimes longer-term, went on the page. Now, we simply work from the list.
Items get prioritized, shorter lists get created. There’s a whiteboard wall in our office that is now organized and filled with the current priorities, new ideas, mantras and “on-deck” projects. This is Bryan’s key to keeping things top of mind. My current vice is a short list that becomes an “Immediate Actions” list with big and small components of our projects broken down into daily to-dos. So far we’ve knocked 21 things off the list in roughly 3 months. Some items we have to revisit because they’re habits we wanted to create for ourselves that we’ve let slide. A number of things have been added, as well. This simple practice, though, has paid off huge.
Not only are we getting things done, we’re building momentum. The more we get done, the more we want to get done and the more we actually do. In addition, we’ve got a list of great things that we have or want to accomplish and we’re focused on it. It’s all positive and it’s creating a flow of abundance. It’s energizing our entire household and it’s fantastic!
We’re renaissance souls through and through. We have our irons in many fires all the time. Being able to have something tangible that we can turn to in order to refocus our energies is a necessity. I’m collecting books, articles and advice on all of it along the way and I’m trying to boil down the big ones so I can share them here this year. One I just found this morning stands out, though. It was in my latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens and it was talking about resolutions, of course.
“By all means, lose that weight, learn that language, and find more family time – just not all at once!”
I think that reminder is going on the list, too.