Apologies – this is another post about last year. We’re only a week into the new year so I still have a few days of grace to drone about 2017… right?
Inspiration can strike in the strangest of places and for me it was during a visit to the gym back in December. I’d completed my work out, although had probably spent longer in the jacuzzi than on the treadmill, had a nice chat with a lady in the locker room about the weather (snow was forecast) and was now supping my Soy latte and catching up on my #mamahustle in the cafe bar.
As I sat there I encountered two very different mothers. One an immaculately presented Personal Trainer giving her toddler a bottle ahead of her next client appointment; the other a hippy-dippy type who was a firm believer in fate and who had returned to college to study Reflexology.
I’m not even sure why these mum’s inspired me, maybe it was just that their situations were so different to mine, but between that and the post-workout endorphins I decided that, whilst my life was good, I did need to make some changes and what better time to do that than the impending new year?
New year resolutions?
I tried to think of resolutions but my busy mind was whirring away and wouldn’t let me concentrate, throwing me off track and distracting me every time I came anywhere close to setting a SMART goal. So I stopped, in order to understand where I wanted to be I needed to stop and take check of where I already was. But how could I do that?
Obviously, I did what we all do when we’re unsure and headed to Google, typing in searches along the lines of ‘new year goal setting’ and ‘life audit’. I found a few articles, but nothing that really resonated. Then I came across one of those little spider web things where you plot how content you are with certain areas of your life. I had no interest in attributing numerical values to how happy I was at work or elsewhere, but instead used the headings (or at least most of them) as starting points to evaluate where the heck I was.
Over the course of a week I explored the topics of:
- Self image
- Health and Fitness
I didn’t do anything fancy. I literally just grabbed a piece of paper, wrote the heading at the top and then just allowed the words to flow about ‘where I am now’, sometimes things were positive, sometimes not, other times they were a mixture, or an ‘OK but could do better’. I then wrote about where I wanted to be, sometimes this would flow in prose, other times it would be more tangible goals. In some instances I went crazy and set ‘next level’ goals, after all, why settle for OK when you could have fabulous and if life isn’t about pushing yourself sometimes then, meh…
Once I’d managed to focus my mind, I turned the ‘where I want to be’ into proper goals and added them into a spreadsheet (geek, I know) with a tab for each area. I tried to be specific with some (e.g. take a multi-vitamin daily) but left others fairly loose (e.g. Investigate mum and toddler yoga). I saw this more as a vision setting exercise, rather than setting strict goals to live by for the rest of the year. I then went through and highlighted the tasks I wanted to work on in January. Sure, I could have tried to tackle everything at once, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and I knew that if I tried to do that I would freak out and become disheartened. Instead I’ve chosen a few easily achievable tasks which lay the foundations for the rest of the year. Once they’re in place I’ll work on the next ones and I’m not in a massive rush either. Whilst I would like to achieve everything overnight, I know it’s not realistic, especially with the responsibilities I currently have, plus, I’m conscious that I need to be kind to myself and allow myself down time and quality time with the people who I love.
Next up came the diary, a rather pretty and compact one from Tesco this year (I love Tesco stationery). I added tasks in for the first week of January to keep me on track, keeping it to just one or two tasks a day to keep things achievable. I’ll add tasks for the coming week on each Friday as planning too far ahead doesn’t tend to work for me.
Then, on a similar stationery theme I set up a daily tracker for all the things I wanted to be doing daily – things like drinking enough water, remembering to take my make-up off, taking those vitamins. I used some squared paper from a notepad which I had also picked up from Tesco and also my gorgeous new pastel highlighters to colour in the cubes as I complete the daily tasks.
So there you go. Vision set, tasks in the diary and checklist up and running. If you want to find out what my vision for 2018 is like, keep ’em peeled for a blog post very soon.
How do you plan for the year ahead?
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