Sticking with Goals: The Secret Weapon

With the new year, everyone expects you to be on the ball with your resolutions, ready to look at yourself in the mirror for the next 365 days and chant you will keep up with everything.

But how to do it? That’s the part people are vague on—how do you get to the point to maintain all those lofty goals you set for yourself? You always hear the stories where day one your friends are going hard, knocking all their goals out of the park, but by week two most of those goals are forgotten, trampled over by other activities deemed more important.

What helps me? Lists. I’ve geared up my list game, where I’ve created a yearly spreadsheet, breaking down the months into weeks, and within those weeks, days. I can see the months laid out in front of me, so I can write and plan my goals as far out as I want. I started using it last week and so far I like it, seeing my days and weeks strategized, like a general going into battle: I will tackle my to-do lists; I will check off what I need to do. There’s also a habit column where I can track things like exercise, writing, and anything else that comes to mind (like watering the plants).

I’ve got some goals on the horizon, and I’m in the process of planning them out accordingly. When the next semester starts, I will have an anchor point to pin my calendar meetings around, and plow through.

Of course, a plan is only as good as how well you follow it. I’ve already crossed items off and moved things to the following day. But alas, that’s the nature of lists; the underbelly of planning: sometimes you just can’t do it all.

Now Elsa, she put in some planning this past year. I had a bag of kitty holiday hats stashed in the exercise room. Occasionally I would find them around the house, but whoever was moving them remained a mystery. I would put them back in their sack and then a couple of days later they would be hidden across the house.

Until one day I saw Elsa come out of the room carrying the cute Santa hat with the kitty paw. She walked right towards me and dropped it on the floor. My guess is she disliked wearing them so much her plan was to hide them so she wouldn’t have to suffer the shameful consequences of looking like a chicken or being festive.

She had her plan down; her goals were set, and she almost got away with it. My husband decided for one last photo op with her wearing the Santa hat and Socks wearing the Elf topper; they were not happy campers. But alas, it is a rare occurrence.

If the cat can make it almost 365 days with her goal, I plan to knock it out of the park with my lists. As for Elsa, I left the hats in the bag so she could continue to drag them out, just to make her feel like she had the upper hand.

Because as of this week, I’m giving her a new goal: she goes on another diet, having gained a few pounds again. That’s her New Year’s resolution.

How are you tackling your goals for the coming year?

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