4 Steps to better resolutions for a happier new year – Step 2

Review Step 1: Run a reality check

Step 2. Translate ‘what’ into ‘when’.

image_thumb[1]So you’re starting the year with a realistic goal – now what? Any goal – anything you want to do differently – needs a diary entry that converts it from a vague what to a crystallized when.

Whether it goes in your Outlook, your Filofax or your head, it needs to be recorded – or you can pretty much fugeddaboutit.

Here’s how to convert a what into a when:

Yuk: I’m gonna take up exercise next year.
Yay: I’ve scheduled 20-minute lunchtime walks on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

It’s important when time-tabling your whens that you don’t wait for the scheduled time to arrive before you decide what to do with it. Whether your resolution is to go on more outings with the kids, write that novel or find a new job, make planning the project part of the resolution. This takes the sting out of getting started, taps into your motivation when it’s high and helps you make some early strides.

For instance:

Yuk: So kids, waddya wanna do this weekend?
Yay: Hey kids, how about going to the aquarium on Sunday afternoon?

Yuk: I’m gunna write that dang novel this year, so help me!
Yay: I have a rough plan for my novel and I’ve split it into small chunks. Each week, I’ll tackle one of the chunks.

Yuk: I hate my job. Gotta find me a better one.
Yay: I’m taking [friend’s name] to lunch to help me brainstorm all the things I need to do to find a great new job. Then I’ll do a couple of tasks each day/weekday/weekend.

By converting your resolutions into diarized tasks, you boost your chances of making the changes you desire in 2008. Then you have to keep it going…

Tomorrow: Step 3. Focus on progress, not perfection.

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Image by imurdock under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.