Brand New Day: Five ways to get it done this year

Adventures in 2011! On to 2012!

Well, here it is!  A brand new year with which to start afresh.  So far the first two weeks of fulfilling my resolutions are about half and half (Half of my resolutions, half of the time).  Yes, technically, I have been flossing daily and working on my business, but I also ate half a pizza the other day with the speed of a competitive eater, and have broken my don’t-sleep-in resolution twice.  One doesn’t gain the character to accomplish all that one has concocted just because the clock strikes midnight.  As I hang my new calendar, I hope that that 2012 means a new year crammed with adventures and accomplishments.

So while many people abandon the idea of resolutions right about now, I instead offer you the encouragement to keep going!  Here are my five tips to you for starting your new goals.  Hopefully we can encourage each other in our endeavors. What’s on your list?

1.  Look, mom!  No matter your goal, sharing your successes always elicits an overwhelming response making you even hungrier for more success.  Photograph it, post it, publish it.  If your goal is to clean your room, wipe, sponge, scrub and scour, then invite someone over.  They’ll swoon at how much you cleaned just for them and you’ll be fired up to keep it up.  Don’t worry if it’s not perfect yet.  I think sometimes we wait for just the right moment, and wait forever.  Put it out there, and fix it along the way.

2.  A little a day keeps the failure away.  We all have these goals that have been there for years, and as years go by we can’t seem to even get started on them.  Schedule 15 or 30 minutes for it every day.  Break up a long project into manageable blocks.  Writing, scrapbooking, watching LOST from episode one or whatever it may be, after dinner sit down and spend 15 minutes on it.  It may not seem like enough time.  But sometimes half the challenge of a goal is just getting started.  Sometimes you’ll get started and then you’ll get inspired to keep going for hours.  Or maybe 15 to 30 minutes is all you can spare.  But let that 15 minutes become a routine and suddenly your novel is finished, your photos are beautifully scrapbooked and you’re sobbing at the final episode.

3.  Network, network, network.  If you have a big goal, tell everybody and their brother about it.  Don’t be afraid of failure.  Ask for the help of your family and friends.  They love you and want to you to succeed.  Ask them for contacts or recommendations.  Talking about your goals with others keeps them at the forefront of your mind, and focus is important.  If it’s not a goal you can tell everyone about, at least tell a trusted friend.  Having someone to hold you accountable to your goal can be very effective.  Now, you’ll always find people who will brush you off or tell you it’s too hard.  Never mind them.  Eventually you will find those people that make you feel encouraged, and you’ll know where you can go for some support when you need it.

4.  You can do it!  If this is something you really want, make sure your mind is in the right spot.  Resolutions tend to be a little difficult to maintain, and thus they have a bad rap.  But you can do it, especially if you can convince the voice in your head that laughs at you whenever you have setbacks to shut up.  It’s easy to feel motivated when we begin, but somewhere along the line doubt often creeps into our head and dampens our spirit.  Learn to fight back, and make sure you are telling yourself that you have the capacity to reach your goals.  You can do it.

5.  What am I doing again?  I always write down my goals, and every few months I review them.  This is most important.  You’d be surprised how many I forget over the course of even a week.  Maybe it’s old age or lack of attention, but writing your goals and reading them often reminds you of exactly what it is you’re trying to do.

It’s easy to fall into the patterns of the days leading up to the new year, but I love new starts!  A fresh chance to begin again always makes me feel motivated, even if its just a new day.  Good luck and Happy New Year!!!