Much is made at the new year of making goals or resolutions, thinking back on the year before and the year ahead. I’ve even written about that in the past. In previous years, however, I didn’t have a very structured way of going about that reflection, and my progress (or lack thereof) during the rest of the year towards my goals exposed that deficiency.
This time, at the cusp of 2013 (once we made it safely past the whole 2012 end-of-the-world thing), I reflected on the year just finished and the one ahead in a much more conscious way. I compiled a number of questions from different people’s lists, and reflected and wrote on many of them. That’s not what I want to focus on, however; I also created a plan that will keep me focused throughout the year on what it is I’m working on in my life. That’s what I’d like to share with you, in the hopes that it sparks some ideas for you about how you can move through the year more consciously attuned to your own path of growth.
I pulled ideas for my structure from too many places to mention them all, but two key ones were my research in the past year on habits and how to be successful at change, and Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project.
So here’s the basics of my plan.
- My theme for the year is Inspiration, as that’s one of the things I would like to experience more of this year.
- Each month, I will choose a different area of my life to focus my habit change efforts.
- Within that area, I’ll choose a small number of practices (preferably daily ones) that will move me ahead in the ways I would like to improve in that area.
- I created a simple tracking system for these practices. The idea is for those daily efforts to get established as habits during that month and continue on.
- I am also linking my main theme of Inspiration to my monthly themes.
- I’ve already scheduled time into my calendar for the end of each month to choose the theme and practices (from my habit waiting list) for the coming month.
- I will keep all the tracking sheets for my end-of-the-year reflection time, which is also already scheduled into my calendar.
And that’s it! So far, it’s going well, even just three weeks into the new year. I plan to write each month about the theme and practices for that month (which will keep me accountable) so stay tuned!
What’s your plan for staying on track this year?