Every year, right after the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, I say to myself, "This year is going to be different." I make big plans to work out more, eat out less, save money, drop old habits, develop new good habits, wake up early on the weekends, send out holiday cards, drink less coffee and more water.....the list goes on. But by March, my list of 50 resolutions has dwindled down to 5. Soon it's July, the year is more than half over, and my resolutions are long forgotten. This year, I thought long and hard about how to make changes in the new year, rather than mindlessly writing them all down. After giving it much thought, the answer finally came to me; three little words that would simplify my life: be more organized.
Duh. How did I not see that coming?
I consider myself a woman of many occupations (as many of us are): a daughter, a sister, a bride-to-be, a working professional, a dancer, and a blogger...to name a few. I needed a strategy for organizing and prioritizing my life. I decided to group up the most important things in my life, and every day, choose one thing from each group that was most important to focus on, no matter how big or small. Here's what I've come up with so far:
This is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: my job. Am I happy with where I'm at career-wise? Can I work towards a promotion? Am I moving particularly slow one day and falling behind on my daily tasks? This could be anything from making a career change to something as small as setting time aside to catch up on e-mails. Giving myself structure within my work day allows me to maximize my productivity throughout the work day. Alternatively, looking at the bigger picture helps me to set goals for myself that I can slowly chip away at throughout the year.
Here's where things get a little less specific. This could change on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For instance, I could set a goal to go to the gym at least three times a week, for one month. I could give myself a 24 hour window to return phone calls (I suck at this, big time). I could try being vegetarian for a few months. I could be better about not forgetting a jacket or my phone charger when I leave the house, because I always seem to need them most when I don't have them. You get the picture....anything big or small that will allow me to simplify my life overall.
With all this strategizing and goal-setting, there has to be some room for enjoyment, right? So this is where I stick all the fun stuff--the things I've always wanted to do...or wish I'd done earlier. I'll make a better effort to be social. I'll start saving up for that trip I've always wanted to take. I'll find a new hobby, make a new friend, try a new sport. Basically, I will do all the things that make me happy. And I will do it, guilt-free.
The way I see it, even if I'm achieving mini-goals or making small changes to my life, every day will be an improvement from the next. I will constantly be changing. I'll be focused, without putting pressure on myself to give every last thing a deadline. There is so much you can do in a year, but there's also so much you can do in just 24 hours. Gotta start somewhere, right?
So this blog is my first step at putting this plan to the test. I suppose it's a little bit personal, because it's a creative outlet from my busy life. But also it's for fun, I've always wanted to try my hand at blogging. So here I am, giving it a shot! Wish me luck!!