Almost exactly two years ago I found myself in an airport looking for a good-read to take on the plane with me. I wanted something thought-provoking, non-fiction (usually my go-to), but a little bit lighter than the Brian Tracy-esque library I had been browsing at lululemon.
My eyes found “The Happiness Project” (Gretchen Rubin), read the first chapter and kept themselves busy with those words for the entire 3-hour flight. A former Supreme Court Justice Clerk, Churchill biographer and working-mom-of-two suddenly realized, “The days a long but the years are short.”
The confession here would be that I have yet to actually read through to the very last page of this book, even though I stand behind its message, approach and lessons. (Yes, I did note that I’d like to finish books. Consider this exhibit A.) But I took something away from those pages that has totally changed my approach to the days the calendar reads “1”: I set goals/focus for every month, all year long. Sometimes the focus-flavor-of-the-month is completely different from the 30 days that preceded it, sometimes it’s a continuation. Regardless, the goals are SMART and keeping me in line.
It’s an old-fashioned approach; I write them with pen & paper, tape it on the fridge and check the box when it’s appropriate! Sure, there are apps for that, but don’t mess with what works, right?
January’s goals seemed to be focused on an attitude, but the measurable stuff included things like this: use the EPIC yoga pass (that had been dormant for a month), cook at least 5 new recipes and run at least 20 miles per week. All boxes were checked, and getting back into that exercise routine helped set me up for February.
This month the mind, motivation and I are all business. I’m looking into a blog redesign, creating a media kit, planning my 2013 races (one confirmation is in!), planning spring travel and trying to learn the acronym language of business.
The idea here is to give yourself some things to work on without completely overloading the list and overwhelming your brain but also putting enough on there that you feel challenged and motivated. The next step is to break down that goal into the steps it will take to get to that check-mark.
Example – my baby-steps: contact blog designers & narrow down options (check!), look into other media kids for an idea of what I’m getting into (check!), look into local & national races to start debating what’s worth all of those dollar bills (check….ish) and reach out to RDs in private practice (check-in-progress).
To get your mind in the right place, remember this:
What are you up to this month?
What’s on your bucket-list for this year?
Think about it…