Goal Planning and Organizing for the New Year

With the start of the new year, people are making their New Years resolutions, but we should simplify the concept and call it what it is: goal planning. This is an excellent time to make goals and to get organized to accomplish those goals. Goals can be new skills that you want to learn, a bad habit that you want to eliminate, or tasks that you want to achieve.

Setting Goals

  1. I recommend starting with three goals. These should be your top priorities and things you think you can accomplish. Once you have reached a goal, you can add a new one.
  2. Post your goals in a place where you will see them frequently – on your bathroom mirror, or on your computer desktop, for example.
  3. Try to break down the goal into milestones. You are more likely to stick with it, if you can see the steps you are accomplishing.
  4. Add goal dates or timelines.  It’s ok if you don’t meet those deadlines, but they can help you to keep on task.
  5. Acknowledge your accomplishments when you meet a goal. Share it with your friends, shout it out loud, dance a victory dance, or simply write a note to yourself to remind you of your achievement.

Getting Organized

  1. Use your phone for calendar items and lists. There are several different apps that you can use. The calendar is an excellent tool to keep track of appointments and tasks. Keeping your shopping list on your phone, and always with you, can prove very helpful.
  2. Use a planner. A planner can help you see appointments and goals in a more comprehensive manner than a phone might allow. Find a planner that you can make part of your daily routine. A smaller one will fit in your purse or bag, but if you need more space for notes, you might need a large one. If you have a hard time remembering to look at your planner, set an appointment in your phone to remind you to look at it.
  3. Use a wall calendar. A wall calendar, when placed in a spot where you will see it frequently, can help you remember future important dates.
  4. Use a notepad or whiteboard on the refrigerator. A refrigerator is an excellent place to make sure you see the reminder.
  5. Use post-it notes. Post-its have gotten a bad wrap as something an unorganized person uses, but when kept under control, they are a simple and useful tool.

Don’t worry if you don’t accomplish your goals. Goals can be re-evaluated and changed as needed. Working toward goals can help you grow as a person, even if you don’t complete them. Use the goal process as a tool and an opportunity for self reflection.

-R.D., guest blogger

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