Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Busy Moms Don’t Need Resolutions, They Need Action Steps!

As you know, declaring a New Year's resolution doesn't automatically make it so, but many times we seem to act that way.
Picture this --

I am so ready for a fresh start. This year is going to be different, I can feel it. I want to set and reach new goals in my career and I want to make sure I have more quality family time. So, I work extra hard on a new project and institute a family fun day. After about the first week or two, reality sets in, distractions occur here and there. I start to feel out of control again and frustrated. I know I want things to change but I don't know what else to do. I've already tried setting goals and that doesn't seem to work.

So why does this happen? There can be many reasons, but I firmly believe one key reason is that we usually fail to break our goals down into actions steps. We fail to develop a plan that we can follow step-by-step until we reach our goal. Actions steps work for me at home and in my business. For more For more Works-For-Me Wednesday Ideas, stop by Rocks In My Dryer.

Here are the steps you can take to transform your goals into actions steps and commitments so you can achieve excellent results!

Step 1: Designate a notebook that you can use. It doesn't have to be anything fancy but it does help to choose one that you can easily carry with you. You never know when an idea will strike you. Yes, it's OK to use a computer for this or even a voice recorder.

Step 2: Take some time to look back to 2008 even if it's just for 15 minutes. Write down your excitements, accomplishments, your frustrations and your letdowns.

Step 3: Now make a list of everything you would like to do or improve upon in 2009. There is no wrong answer here; allow your thoughts to spill out onto your paper (or computer screen).

Step 4: Pick two or three of the most important areas you would like to work on in the coming year. These will be your main goals.

Step 5: Choose one main goal at a time and write it on the top of a fresh page. Be specific and very clear on what you want to accomplish and when it will happen. You can even describe how you will feel-this really helps paint a picture and make it more real for you.

Example: I will have a system in place by March 1 to keep my papers, bills and mail organized so I can find what I need when I need it and eliminate the piles on the kitchen counter. I will feel less stressed and great in my space!

Step 6: Now break the main goal into small projects or tasks. Write down the action steps you have to take to accomplish your projects. These actions steps help you climb closer to your goal. It might take a bit of practice to get your mind to look at things in a new way, but the more you do it, the easier it will get.

Example Project:
I will seek out the help of professional organizer so I can learn how to set up and maintain a system for my papers that will work for me.

  1. Search for possible organizers or classes via the Internet and get referrals from friends.

  2. Contact at least 3 organizers by January 10 and decide who I will work with by January 15.

  3. etc......

Step 7: Now grab your calendar and start setting appointments with yourself to get it done.

Step 8: Repeat steps 4-6 with your remaining goals. You most likely will not get through every step in one sitting. It may work best for you to focus on one goal at a time or you might prefer to work your goals simultaneously.

When you hit a tough spot or you get thrown off your path, look back through your notebook, make changes if necessary and keep going.

Now picture this --

It's the start of New Year. You are so inspired by what you have accomplished in the last 12 months. There were some trying times but you definitely are not were you started! What's next?

If getting your papers finally organized is on the top of your list, join me on Saturday, January 31, 2009 for the Paper Organizing for Busy Moms Virtual Workshop. I've got the steps all laid out for you!


Retro Heather said...

See, this is why you are Paula and I am Heather.

There's NO WAY IN HECK I could do all that instrospection and get that mentally organized. Great tips of course, I just wish I had your spunk!

Kate said...

This is good stuff, and I know, those papers can take over your life. I try not to let them get out of hand so I don't have a nervous breakdown.

eight helping hands said...

What a great post! The notebook idea is clutch! I will get a purse sized one. I do tape a calendar page to the front of my fridge and write EVERYTHING on it, from homework, to the menus, to anything we did as a family that I don't want to forget, and I save every page and keep the calendar for a few months then transfer it all to a diary. Thanks Paula!

Farrah said...

You're right breaking down each goal further is a sure way to accomplishing the goal.

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