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Resolution Journals

My journals from 2013 & 2014

January’s just begun and so has the resolution making for 2014! Do you usually make resolutions for the year? I think most people really dislike making resolutions. The arguments usually go as follows: You can’t keep them. No one remembers them past January 2. You can probably fill in the blank with a lot more reasons not to make resolutions than to make and keep them. However. . .

I have come to enjoy making resolutions. 2012 was the first year I made a list of resolutions and really took it seriously, and I feel like I accomplished a lot! I like to think of my resolution list as more of a long-term to-do list. A few goals, written down, to work on is never a bad thing. I didn’t wind up completing all twelve items on my 2012 to-do’s or even my 2013 list, but I did complete many of them and was encouraged to do so simply because I remembered what they were! How did I remember? I made a resolutions journal, which I wrote about some time ago.

Here are my tips for creating your own:

1. Get a small journal or notebook you can carry with you. This past year I used a Jotter from Wit & Whistle. A small 3×5 notebook with a cute design works perfectly for me. I can carry it around and mark things off as I accomplish them.

2. Pick a number. Any number. Start small. For 2013 I did 12, and I am scaling back to 10 for 2014. Might I suggest starting with FIVE? Five goals to accomplish this year. You can totally fit that into your schedule over the next 12 months.

3. Decide on what you’d like to accomplish in the coming year. Reading, volunteering, cleaning, hobbies, whatever. ¬†Designate one page of your book to each goal.

4. As you write out the goals, make them attainable and specific. Say you want to read more in 2014. A goal of “Read more” will have you making excuses all the way to December about the meaning of “more” (i.e. “Does one¬†word more count?”). Saying you’ll read every best seller from last century will have you feeling overwhelmed. Think of what you normally do, and set your goal slightly ahead. If you read three books last year, you might formulate your to-do item as “Read six books by December 2014.” Follow it up with a list of possible books, and check them off as you finish them. To-do? DONE!

5. Leave space on each page to make notes about your progress or to fill in the date you completed the goal. Looking back to see what you’ve done will be more inspirational if you have a little of the story behind it.

Finally, remember that these goals aren’t set in stone – You made them, and you can change them! I make a note at the end of my list not to feel bad if I don’t get every single thing on the list accomplished. Focus on what you DO get done instead and reevaluate the incomplete items at the end of the year as you think about your next year’s list.

What do you want to accomplish this coming year?