Monday, January 3, 2011

The New Year's Revolution

Sometimes, new year's resolutions can seem trite and insincere. We pick five things and we forget about them by the end of January. It's a shame. In 2008, me and Jake and some of our close friends started the New Year's Revolution. The point was that the little goals we were making simply weren't cutting it. We had had a change of heart. Together, we wanted to use the new year as an excuse to become better people.

It's not easy to set lofty goals. In fact, lots of experts say that it's unwise. I could care less about what they say though, because I grew more that year with the support of my most beloved friends than I ever have before. Looking back at my list now, I realize how much of it became a factor of my life today.

The Revolution is a part of us now. We use it to remind each other; we use it to remind ourselves. Jake and I have started a new list this year. For the most part, it's not something we're going to share with the world wide web. It's between us and God and the people who will help us to be accountable to our commitments.

I've learned a lot since 2008 and we are going to be making some improvements to the Revolution. I don't claim to be an expert on goal setting, but I've at least earned a couple gold stars in it. Here are some things that we are doing to honor the Revolution. Maybe this will help you with some of the things you are trying to accomplish and maybe you'll choose another method (like this micromanaging method by unclutterer), but either way, we wish you all the best with becoming a better and happier person in 2011.

1. Dream Big
Lots of people will disagree with this, but I don't believe in limiting what you want from your life because of what you're scientifically most likely to accomplish. Forget the 3-5, or the size of the project and write up a list of who you want to be and what you want to accomplish. The list might be one that would take a lifetime to accomplish or just a couple very busy years, but there is always time to narrow it down later.

2. Chart It Out
Next, for every big goal, chart out the path. List the steps that need to be taken to get there. For example, in 2008, one of my goals was to treat my body better. Some steps to that would be making a meal plan, planning time to go to the gym, etc. This year, one item on our list is to go to Italy and Greece in August. To accomplish that, we need to work out a monthly budget, book the trip with an agency, get passports, and many more steps. You may also want to set a loose deadline for each of your steps. Keep in mind that some will take longer than others.

Don't be discouraged if your goals will take longer than a year to accomplish... all the more reason to get started now!

3. Get Acclimated
It is almost impossible to get started from January 1st with no prep time. In our house, we're taking the month of January to lay the ground work for our goals. We'll be researching, getting organized and plotting our course.

Don't worry if you are finally getting around to setting your goals on January 7th or March 31st, just get inspired and committed.

4. Put It In Plain Sight
Once you've made a plan, keep it in plain view! Maybe you frame a picture of the place you want to go in your living room, put out a cuss jar, or post a meal plan on your fridge. Whatever it is, make a visual symbol that means something to you to help remind you of your goals.

5. Be Conscious
The revolution, at it's core, is about being conscious. In order to make big changes, you have to make EVERY decision count. "Do I want this pair of shoes or a trip to Italy more?" "Do I want to spend an hour online or make a healthy meal?" From the second you wake up, to the moment you crawl back in bed, think about every choice you make and make it count towards your goal.

Happy New Year & Viva La Revolution!

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