For many of us, the time of starting over in the new year holds its appeal. There is something satisfying about creating a goal, and accomplishing it. What makes it even better is if we can plan it for the first day of the year, so that by year-end, we are where we wanted to be. However, even the best plans fall short, and we often can become discouraged within weeks, days, or even hours after committing to our goals. It is so much easier to set a goal than it is to accomplish it!
Why It's Good to Have Goals
Goals in themselves are great motivators, bringing us one step closer to actually achieving what we want. Proscrastinators may not even get to the point of writing down what they want to do, so it is very crucial to spend some time on a regular basis to determine what you see yourself doing months from now, years from now, and especially on a weekly or daily basis. Just like we have goals to meet at work, we should realize that even at home there are things we should be doing. There's nothing wrong with relaxing, taking some time out, or giving in to whims - unless, of course, you do that all the time, and find it hard to unclutter your life - both mentally and physically.
Part of having goals is having organization. Even if you are not an organized person by nature, it is still plausible for you to have enough organization skills in order to meet your goals. As a pack-rat who has been successful at making my home more asethetically pleasing and less stressful, I can definitely say this is something doable!
First, have a notepad or planner where you can jot down your thoughts. Don't use a random sheet of paper that can get lost in the shuffle of daily life. A book of some sort is much better so that you can hold yourself accountable and add to it as you go. If finances are a problem, go to the Dollar store or your nearest Walmart for a cheap selection. Or, use any number of free software or online programs to also help you in this regard. But it can be harder to stay with your goals if you are dependent on using the computer to view them each day, so that is why I recommend a physical notebook as first preference.
Having a timeline is not as important as knowing what you want to accomplish, and sticking to that plan. Don't stress out if you couldn't work out a list before January 1st, because it is never too late to plan for your future success. Whatever day it is for you TODAY, take some time to reflect on what you want to do. Have a more organized home? Lose weight? Have an improved marriage? Learn how to perfect a skill? Whatever it is, list that goal, but don't do anything more than writing down what you desire for yourself. As you make your list of what you would like to do, be honest and picture what you would want to see in as quickly as a day, a week, or a month, rather than just a year or years down the road. This way, you can set short-term goals that will help you meet your longer ones, and end up with more success than if you just had an arbitrary goal of accomplishment. When you are too vague even with yourself, you can be more prone to procrastination and carelessness.
Once you've made your list, you can sub-categorize your goals, lasting numbering each step so that you have everything detailed. This is where you make short-term goals fit with the long-term ones. No matter how small a task you set, remember that it is still progress. So if you are dedicated to changing your behavior in some way, build a new habit by incorporating some aspect of what you want for yourself into your day. For example, if you want to be more organized, start by always waking up and making your bed in the morning, or cleaning the bathroom after you freshen up. Or, spend 5 minutes each night doing a little straightening before you go to bed. Such things are not as hard to do, and they can still help further your objective.
Is it Wrong to Not Have an Agenda?
Not everyone wants to have a life dictated by a checklist. If you feel that way and don't want to feel like a failure for not keeping up any resolutions or goals you make for the year, consider the following. Yes, it can be too much like having school-work. But any business person knows how crucial it is to always have a game-plan in mind, for the sake of keeping a company thriving. Our own lives should be treated as nothing less. After all, no matter what our objectives are, we want to do better, be better, and live better. It might entail gaining money, fame, or even love. In the right context, there is nothing wrong with wanting any of those things. So to have that happen, we have to be proactive and responsible, not lazy and thinking that maybe a little luck will rub off occasionally to help us get by. Just saying we want to be healthier doesn't make it happen, nor does spending a lot of money on supplies do it, either. We have to actually do to make it happen.