Monday, January 9, 2012

Setting goals for 2012

Several years ago and feeling like I was having a not so fun mid-life crisis (yes, I'm an early bloomer!) I set out to fix whatever was causing my discontent.  In the process I happened to read a couple of very different books.  Actually I read so many books on the topic that for a few weeks I was pretty much the designated Queen of Self-Help.  But there were two in particular that had ideas that meshed so I could combine them into a method that works for me... Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss and Be Your Own Life Coach by Diane M. Scholten.

When I first started  working this out I decided on 8 key areas that define, for me, what a happy and balanced life looks like.  Then I wrote out short affirmations for each of them.  These really haven't changed much over the years.
Personal Development.  I am happy with the person I am becoming and where my life is going.
Friends & Family.  I have friends and extended family who I love and who love me.
Career & Money.  My work is satisfying and enables me to meet my current financial obligations, save for the future and obtain the things I really want.
Physical Environment.  My home is a sanctuary.  It is beautiful, comfortable and clean and I am proud to share it with others.
Spiritual Fulfillment.  I am assured my thoughts and actions are in accordance with God's plan for my life.
Romance.  My words, actions and thoughts show those around me that I love and value them.
Health & Fitness.  I am healthy and fit in all areas of my life.
Fun & Recreation.  I am open to expanding my comfort zone to include new people, places and things.
My next step is all about assessing balance.  It's a look at where I am going into a new year.  And yes, I'm a geek... I put it on Excel to make a graph so I could see how I was progressing year-over-year.  The graph is set up by assigning a point value between 1 and 10 to each area indicating my level of contentment.  1 means things are pretty darn crappy and 10 denotes that it just can't get any better.
This helps me visualize balance, or in some years the utter lack of it, and focus on what I most want to accomplish.  Once I have this frame work in front of me I jot down 4-7 things in each area that I think will help bring me happiness and better balance in the coming year.   For example, under Physical Environment for 2012 I have these items listed:

  • Develop a thorough and workable cleaning plan and DO IT!
  • Add some "cuteness" to the decor so my home feels more cozy and welcoming.
  • Major project:  Patio (currently 1/2 done!) and yard/garden.
  • Chimney caps on remaining open flues (because of the puddles on the basement floor).
  • Finish Emergency Binder.
That gives me an outline to decide on the specific tasks that I need to do.  It also provides a checklist because I'm addicted to that feel-good rush from checking things off lists.

That's how I set goals.  I try to make a habit of looking at my list every day to keep me on track.  How do you do it?  What method works best for you?

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