At it happens with transitions between years, I’ve seen a lot of articles about goal setting and resolutions lately. What I know: People who set many goals are more productive than those who don’t. (Shocking) To be attainable, goals should be clear and measurable i.e., “I want to take one picture every day” is better than “I want to take more pictures this year.” And goals are also easier to achieve if they are framed in “attraction” language versus “avoidance” language–“To be healthier, I will eat three servings of vegetables everyday” is easier than “I will lose 10 pounds” or “I will stop eating sugar.” With all that in mind, I’ve been reviewing last year’s spreadsheet-o-goals and planning for 2012.
How did 2011 stack up? Of 80 goals, I achieved 51, a 63.7%. Funny, it’s the same percentage I completed in 2010, although I made 15 additional goals this year. The good news? I tried 57 new recipes (goal: 25), was just four books shy of my 25 non-school books goal (rationalizing alert: 8 of them were 600+ pages!), and I kicked butt at school goals including successfully passing comps and getting a research grant. The house and yard got a lot of attention, and Mr. T and I had a ton of fun (for proof, see “2011 in pictures“). The less-than-stellar parts? I exercised 800 fewer minutes than last year, averaging 2.69 weekly workouts which did not meet my goal of three per week. I did not, contrary to my fourth-quarter assessment’s hope, submit a third paper for publication, sell my wedding dresses on Craig’s list, or hang pictures in our living room. Of course, I’m not crying about missed goals. Instead, I’m re-evaluating the leftovers and shuffling the meaningful to-dos onto this year’s spreadsheet.
So what do I want 2012 to look like? Broadly, I’d like the new year to be filled with love and joy. I’d like to make the world a better place. I want to nourish my soul daily. And I want to help people. Along those lines, I’ve developed 70 starter goals with varying levels of difficulty in four different categories: Self-improvement/hobbies, household/home improvement, school/professional development, and Mr. T things. (I also have 5-year, 10-year, and lifetime goals. Yes, I am that anal-retentive.) Some highlights for the new year:
1. Exercise three times per week with as much Zumba as possible
2. Try 75 new recipes
3. Make Julia Child’s boeuf bourgignon (Really this time! This was a 2011 holdover)
4. Paint the bedroom and master bath (A 2010 holdover)
5. Take a photo every day
6. Write in my journal everyday (Even if it’s just a log of the day’s events)
7. Go to Disneyland! (Cheater goal… We’re totally going the day after tomorrow!)
8. Send a snailmail letter every week, preferably telling someone I love something kind (This has a good chance of happening. As Mr. T will attest, I keep Hallmark in business.)
9. See my work published somewhere
10. Clean out our closets/office/garage and get to Goodwill
11. Sell or donate my wedding dresses (I’m trying Craigslist and will give it a few more months before I donate these suckers)
12. Finalize and defend dissertation proposal
13. Manage my food resources better (e.g. stop wasting food!)
14. Fly somewhere new with Mr. T
15. Take a fantastic vacation (Also a cheater goal. We’re going to Alaska in June!)
16. Submit three articles for publication
17. Volunteer an hour a week (Whether that be formally for an organization, helping friends or babysitting for parents who need a sanity break.)
18. Get 100 folks following the blog
19. Tell Mr. T something I appreciate about him every day (Even on them “off” days!)
20. Dissertation-a-palooza (I have 10 Diss goals so far. Whoa!)
What are you planning to do this year?