I’m not a big fan of making New Year’s Resolutions. They always seem to be pie-in-the-sky types of things, too often focused on habit breaking or creating, and bound to fail and cause great discouragement.
I love making lists, and even more, crossing things off the list, so a few years ago, I changed my focus and started creating an annual list of goals. It’s more like a list of things to do. Most are practical, do-able things and admittedly, some of them may take more than a single year to accomplish.
On my list are the projects I want to complete or large projects that I want to make significant progress towards. Some of them are just annual things that need done, like maintenance on the car or health issues I want to get on top of. Thankfully, the health list went from fairly long last year to nearly non-existent this year! The car list on the other hand got significantly longer as the odometer just passed the 100,000-mile mark! Time for some heavy-duty maintenance to keep it running for another 100,000 miles! Also on the list are trips I’d like to take, large purchases I’d like to make and a few financial goals as well.
Throughout the year, I refer to the list often to evaluate where I am with the goals. Could I be working harder towards some items? Have circumstances changed making a goal obsolete or impractical? Can I cross something off the list? Do I need to add anything? If I’m not making forward progress on a goal, I know it’s time to re-evaluate that goal and what I need to do to achieve it. It’s a process that works well for me. Last year I was able to cross off over half of my long list and was able to make significant progress on about ½ of the remaining items. I’m pretty happy with that considering the magnitude of the items I crossed off! A few things are getting transferred to this years list and I’ve gone through and marked a few items with a higher priority to keep me on track.
I do have a couple of new "Annual Projects" which I'm starting today. One is to take a photo a day. I tried this somewhat informally a couple years ago and loved having the record of the year on an almost daily basis. I want to get focused back on creating art on a regular basis, and so I'm hoping to produce a watercolor sketch every week. In addition, I'm trying to do a small crazy quilt block a month. My sister and I have also started a monthly Calendar Journal project. We got started on this last month, creating the foundation for the coming year. It's already fun to see our different takes on it! I'll be sharing these annual projects at my new blog; Ivory Blush Roses Annual Project, that you'll see listed on the sidebar.
This year, my Mom shared the following, which I like a lot because it takes the focus off of myself and turns it towards benefitting others instead!
Instead of making resolutions, try doing 12 ACTS OF KINDNESS throughout 2012. You can do them over and over again.
1/ Send a card to a friend for absolutely no reason.
2/ Bake goodies for a neighbor.
3/ Buy coffee for an old friend,
4/ Hold the door open for a stranger.
5/ Compliment a server for their service.
6/ Pick up litter that you see.
7/ Write a note to someone special.
8/ For one day, smile at everyone you pass by.
9/ Let someone go ahead of you in line.
10/ Pass on a memento to a loved one.
11/ Invite a friend or neighbor over for a simple meal.
12/ Call a family member and tell them how much they mean to you.
Whether or not you set resolutions, goals, to-do lists or something completely different, I wish you all the best in achieving them!