My past is littered with broken New Years resolutions. Let’s see… I’ve gained additional poundage (not lost them), dipped into the emergency fund, busted my budget for discretionary expenses and gained additional poundage procrastinating in front of the boob-tube (there’s a reason why they called it the idiot-box!). Lists will only work if they are followed and my New Year’s lists have tended to gather dust on the bulletin board.
This time it will be different. Really.
Over the past 2 years, I’ve come to realize that the core principles used to run a successful business may also be applied to our personal lives. If we can set measurable goals (with matching midyear performance appraisals) in the line of work, surely we can do the same for ourselves and our family.
Ok, so that may be easier said than done. Thanks to Chris Guillebeau’s remarkable blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, over the next few days, I will create a personal roadmap for 2009. His self imposed “Annual Review” is a much more grounded alternative to making vague New Year’s resolutions. What I especially appreciate about Chris Buillebeau’s blog is that he was generous enough to share the excel template he uses to systematically organize and track his categorized goals. There are provisions for quarterly and full-year reviews + metrics used to track progress. I love love love the level of detail and flexibility of the template.
I should note that what can be applied to us personally may also be applied to our families. After creating your individual roadmaps, sit down with your spouse or life-partner to piece together the family’s collective goals for the year(s). Remember: Collaboration is the key to success of any relationship. =)
What about the children? Frannie Daez, in her book Keep It Together (available exclusively at Fully Booked) wrote that writing goals for her children “gives me a clear picture of what each of them is like at certain stages of their lives, helps me create meaningful goals for them, and helps me determine what it is I need to do in order to help them get there.”
She lists the following steps she uses to set goals for her children:
1. Write down the name of your child.
2. Write down the date and age of your child.
3. Write down a description of that child. Start with the positive traits, followed by behaviour that you would like him or her to improve.
4. Write down what you would like your child to do more.
5. Write down what you would like your child to stop doing.
6. List down the things you have to do to help your child reach those goals.
Too much? It may seem to be tedious process but I agree with Chris that if we take some time to do this right, you’ll thank yourself later. Let us all have the best year ever!
Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep