5 ways to to rock 2015

I’ve never done well with resolutions or life goals.

I record them in bright ink in my day planner or journal, sometimes even read over them every day for a week or so. But after January slips into February, the cold pulls me back toward old comforts, and I soon forget my resolutions and only limp along towards any sort of change or goal.

But…
Nothing changes if nothing changes. 

This year I’ve decided to take that mantra to heart. If I want to achieve a goal or simply change something in my life, then I actually need to structure my life to do so because “structure wins over intention.”

I’m excited about this year because  I’ve come across some amazing tools and wisdom to actually make changes in my life. I’m all about passin’ on a good word, so here are 5 ways to rock (your goals, resolutions, life changes, whatever) in 2015

5 ways to rock 2k15

1. Create measurable goals 
When it’s resolution-making time comes around, most of us slip into trap of focusing on outcomes instead of objectives. “I want to be healthier” versus “I’m going to eat one leafy-green a day.”

When we focus on outcomes, we don’t have a pathway to get there. It’s all good intentions and nothing more. When we create objectives, when often get closer to reaching the outcomes we want and can actually measure our progress along the way.

2. Make a mind-map

mind map

Mind-maps have been around for stinkin-ever, but I’ve never really considered what a powerful tool they can be when it comes to personal goal-setting and life changes.

Time yourself for 5 minutes and write down life goals, 3 year goals, and 3 month goals. Then set the timer for 5 more minutes and pick one goal from each section and then create a mind-map of how to get there. This idea came from Angela Trinidad, creator of the Passion Planner and works great to actually organize your thoughts and prepare to “pencil in” what’s important to you.

3. Make a visual of your week
I borrowed this idea from a book called “What’s Best Next”. The dude who wrote this runs train and understands that being productive is not getting more and more done faster and faster, but getting what’s most important to you done in the most efficient way.

passion planner
The passion planner comes with half hour increments and sections for note taking, priority setting and “good things that happened”

weekly visual.
It’s easier to show this then tell about it, but basically you make a chart with time on the left and days of the week across the top. Then you create slots of time each day, so you’re able to visualize where you time is/is not going.  The hubs and I did this together on a manila folder so we could be sure we’re on the same page (literally-ha) with each others’ schedules, goals and priorities. The key here is not to get too specific (e.g. create slots for basic things such as “workflow” and “gym” versus each and every little task)

4. Schedule in your objectives
It’s all great and dandy to have objectives to reach goals and make changes, but again “structure wins over intentions.” If my life is not structured to allow me creative writing time I will never ever get anything published. If your life structure/schedule doesn’t have a slot for your objectives, you will never move any closer to your goal. Check out your weekly visual and see where you can add/take away to make sure you have a slot for achieving your goals.

This is the passion planner. Each day has half hour increments and each week has person and work to-do's along with a spot to record "good things that happened"
This is the passion planner. Each day has half hour increments and each week has person and work to-do’s along with a spot to record “good things that happened”

5. Review & be grateful
Don’t give yourself an excuse to set aside your goals or changes that need to be made. Post up your mind map or the visual of your week. Check off tasks that you complete and write down the extras you did that weren’t even on a list. Find accountability in a spouse or friend who will actually say it how it is.

Most importantly, let your mind camp-out in the good stuff. Research (from Harvard ya’ll) says, if you exercise “gratitude thinking” and record 3 good things every day it increases an individual’s positive outlook by 25%. Thanks to Ann Voskamp for that little tid-bit today.

I hope these 5 rock you like they are rockin’ me. Here’s to a year of living life and not letting life live you!

~M