by Guest Contributor Aby Garvey
What is it you want for 2012? Each of us has goals, hopes, dreams, or wishes, and regardless of what you call them, these thoughts represent your desire for a better life. But does it seem like too often, your grand plans for the New Year are all but a fleeting memory by January? This year try a new approach. Take out four sheets of paper and follow this four step process to begin making real change in your life.
1. Celebrate Your Successes
On the first sheet of paper, write down your accomplishments. What do you like about yourself? What makes you proud of yourself? This isn’t the time to be humble, so let loose and give yourself the credit you deserve!
2. Dare to Dream
As crazy as this may sound, many of us have forgotten how to dream! This exercise will help you remember how much fun it is to dream. Using your second piece of paper, write down five to ten changes you’d like to make in your life. Would you like to be in better shape? Quit smoking? Change careers? Improve your financial situation? Start a new business?
3. Wave Your Magic Wand
Now, take out your imaginary magic wand, and wave it over your list of dreams. If only one of these dreams was guaranteed to magically come true, which one would you choose? Write this dream down on a third sheet of paper as a goal. As you write down your goal, make sure it is:
- Personal. Use ‘I’ and ‘me’ statements, and make sure this dream only pertains to you.
- Present tense. Write your dream as if you have already accomplished it.
- Descriptive. Use adjectives that describe the benefits of achieving your goal. Use words that make your goal irresistible!
- Time sensitive. Set a deadline for achieving your goal.
Here’s an example: “It is March 31, 2012. My business is profitable and well-run because my office is organized and efficient.”
4. Take Action Now!
On your fourth piece of paper, write down three action steps you will take today. You don’t need to have all the steps figured out before you begin taking action. Every small step forward makes the next step even easier to see. (And every step forward creates momentum, too!) Remember, this: action creates change! So don’t worry about finding the perfect step to take, just take one step forward today. Then…
Do It Again
Once your initial three action items are completed, pull out your goal again and write down three more tasks that will move you a step closer to your goal. Repeat this step until you have successfully reached your goal.
By focusing on just one goal, and working toward it three steps at a time, you will be well on your way to achieving your goal by the end of the week! Just think where you’ll be at the end of January…you’ll be seeing real progress toward your goal, instead of facing a fleeting memory of what could have been.
Aby Garvey is the founder and co-owner of simplify 101. Her passion is helping people create real and lasting change in their lives by getting more organized. Aby believes organizing is a fun and enjoyable process, which is why she developed a whole new way to get organized—simplify 101’s online workshops. By making the process creative and fun, simplify 101’s online workshops teach students how to implement organizing and time management solutions that really work, putting an end to disorder and the stress that comes along with it. Connect with simplify 101 on the web, blog, facebook, or twitter.