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Thursday, January 21, 2010

New Year, New Decade, New You!

So I may be 21 days late, but rather than setting New Year’s resolutions, I am sitting down to make a list of goals that I would like to accomplish this year. What is the difference you ask? Well, they are really a list of life goals... the year is just a rough timeline. I think that each year we all say “I am going to do this more” or “I am going to doing that less”, and we put pressure on ourselves to make drastic changes overnight. Inevitably, after a month or two we give up. Just look at any crowded gym in January and then a month or two later... free treadmills again! I don’t want to force myself to make changes, instead I want to make choices in my life in the upcoming months that will precipitate changes in order to create the life I want to lead, in the world that I want to live it in. And I encourage you to do the same.

Not sure where to start? Start by envisioning your future. Picture yourself a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now. What do you see? What will your career path be, where will you be living, with whom will you be living, with whom will you have meaningful relationships? Don’t be afraid to get detailed! Think about the things that are most important to you.

Then take a look at the present. On a piece of paper write down categories for each aspect of your life: work, home, relationships with friends, family or significant others, exercise, hobbies, health, etc. Next to each category write down a number between 1 and 10 indicating your satisfaction with that area of your life, 10 being completely satisfied. Now look at the lower numbers, the areas that need improvement, and think about what you can do to improve them. Write a few words next to each describing the reasons why those things are not fulfilling.

Now make a list of desires. Things that you want in your life that will help feed and nurture you and improve the areas that are unsatisfying. If you scored your home life with a 3, how can you make it a 10? Would redecorating, reorganizing or de-cluttering make your home more comfortable? Maybe you are unhappy with the location of your home and want to move somewhere warmer or closer to work. Whatever it is, write it down. Write down all of the things that would make you happy, whether small or large, but be clear about your intentions.

Lastly, write down at least one step that you can make towards achieving each desire, and take action! Call Bob and get the number for his real estate broker, or go to the store and get the boxes you need to reorganize your closet. As you accomplish each step, check them off and take a moment to reflect on how good it feels. Continue to add steps and check them off if necessary until you reach your desired goal, and be sure to reward yourself in the end!

Keep your lists somewhere where you can see them everyday as a reminder, like your nightstand. As you fulfill your desires, more will come. Write them down too. It is often helpful to start each day by writing down your intentions for the day... what steps you can take during the next few hours to help reach your goals. And don’t forget to take a moment before you go to bed to reflect on your day and check off your steps! If you missed a step or two, do not punish yourself. Instead, state the intention for the next day and find a way to motivate yourself to get it done. To keep track of your progress, re-score your categories every few months. Good Luck!

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