New Year’s resolutions – easy to make, hard to achieve

6 January 2011


 Image by SashaW

Word count:  450

Estimated reading time:  5 minutes


I’m not big on setting once-a-year resolutions. Maybe this is because my experience with it has never been very positive. Exercise every day to lose weight. Write every day for 30 minutes. Eat a healthy diet. So on and so on…


Still it’s hard not to think about future hopes and plans at this time of year. So I try at least to set some general goals. Then throughout the year I take a look at them to see where I’m at and where I still need to be.


A year of (non)focus

Last year I announced the Year of the Tiger as a ‘year of focus’. I have to admit that after about three months, I kind of lost focus.  That’s about how long I kept my ‘Autofocus’ journal – the daily list of things that needed to be done. I used ‘Habitforge’ for a while but became de-motivated after too many resets back to Day 1, which means that I obviously set some unrealistic goals.


So I need to take a tougher look at my goals for 2011.


Resolution themes

Erin Rooney Doland, writer of the blog Unclutterer set New Year’s resolutions differently in 2010. Instead of a single list of items for the entire year, she broke them into quarterly lists that focused on these themes:

--Winter: Increasing energy

--Spring: Embarking on new adventures

--Summer: Finish it!

--Autumn: Nurturing


She reported at the end of the year that of the four quarterly themes, the third one (Finish it!) was her favourite. During that quarter she didn’t take on any new goals until all the previous ones were finished. The goals were very specific and easy to put down on a schedule and check off.


I quite like the idea of ‘themes’ instead of resolutions. And learning from Erin, the goals for each theme need to be specific and easy to measure – and we should probably stop taking on new stuff until we meet the old goals.


Looks like the theme of ‘focus’ is perhaps a bit too vague. Focus on what? I’m still working on that right now. To be honest, I’ve been too busy with a backlog of work to take some low-tech days for planning. (And I’m feeling the stress from it.)


What about you?

Did you try using the Habitforge or Autofocus tools to help you improve your writing in 2010? Or did you use a different method?


What specific learning goals/tasks did you set for 2010? How successful were you? Will you try something different in 2011?


Are you willing to share your tips with other readers of this blog? If so, please leave a comment or send me an email. Thanks!

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