It’s been seven days since 2017 came, and I just want to ask you, how are you feeling?
Is it just, well, another day is just another day?
Or is it, hopefully tomorrow will be much better?
Or maybe it’s still that bubbly emotion whenever you think of how it’s the New Year. When everything is reset and you find yourself having a new chance at what January, February and so on will look like.
For me it still certainly is, now that I have finally discovered the secret to accomplishing my New Year’s resolutions.
I once heard someone say that New Year’s resolutions are futile. They aren’t achieved by most of the people. Awesome for those who do get to do them, but to those who don’t get to fulfill their wonderful hopes, they get stressed, guilty and sad. Yes, I do agree that it is so frustrating when you realize halfway in the year or at the end that you’ve done one or two, or maybe none of your resolutions at all.
But it’s not making resolutions that is the root of the problem.
Yes, that’s right. It’s not making them, it’s the lack of planning for them.
It’s only a few days into the year but I’m already so hopeful for all my plans this year because I finally discovered the secret and I want to share it with you too. Don’t worry, there’s no product I’m going to sell to you, rather, it’s something I learned from experience.
How to Make 2017 Yours
1. Write ALL Your Goals
During the last days of 2016, I decided to write all the goals I want to achieve this year without holding back. Think of it as like writing the first draft, just write all that you feel, as messy as you want it to be. Just write.
If you suddenly want to write even the weirdest things (rainbow unicorns, song lyrics that pop into your head) that aren’t even goals, just go on, it’s not yet the end.
Here’s an example of what I wrote:
- learn about colors
- write a book
- lose weight
- eat more vegetables
- edit my book
- it’s levi-YO-sa, not levi-OW-sa
2. Organize Them
After that, I organized them according to what they are. Are they my writing goals? Or are they creative projects I want to do?
If you would see the earlier examples, I could combine b. write a book and e. edit my book since they both have the same goal of writing a book, same as c. lose weight and d. eat more vegetables, since they correlate as the goal of being healthier this year.
As for f, don’t mind them.
3.Narrow Your Goals to Your Big 10
Finally, decide on only 10 or less as your major goals for this year so that you might actually have a chance at being able to do them if they’re not as many because you would be able to focus on them.
Once you put your goals under those big 10, you might realize how those other goals are sort of mini-goals that would lead you to your major goal.
Here is an example of one of my major goals:
-choose an idea
-write an outline
-write the first draft
-publish online (?)
If I didn’t combine them, they would’ve looked like a lot, but now we see that the sub goals are actually just steps that could lead us to our major goal of writing a book.
Of course, this is all awesome by itself, but then, I realized I needed something that would help me pan out these goals across the days of the year. I thought of doing a notebook that says what I need to do for each day when I realized that that was what a planner essentially was.
I have never used a planner before because the problem is, I hate the planners they sell in stores. I might like the cover on this first one, but then find the inside totally disappointing, or sometimes, the inside is fine but it doesn’t have all I need. Thus, those things make it seem like the price doesn’t live up to the expectations so I don’t buy anymore.
So I decided to make my own. With a few simple words and some more clicks, I learned that others actually do it too. Much assurance to me that DIY planners work.
I downloaded some templates, but in the end, I just typed my own printable sheets on MS Word, –yes, it’s possible, and I love them because I even watermarked my own initials on my pages.
What I love even more about it is the fact that when you make your own planner, you have total control over the content you want to have. Like for me, removing the ‘Contacts’ sheets because in my opinion, that is so unnecessary when you have your phone anyway. And then, there’s also perks of adding your own sections for your hobbies like my writing and blogging checklists so that I can track the day when I wrote or when I didn’t.
Every morning, I finally wake up looking forward and confident for the first time in my life. I am sure that I have a huge chance at accomplishing my New Year’s resolutions not because I’m speaking from overconfidence but because there’s the fact that now, I will be working towards these goals.
Why? Because I don’t want to see a goal not checked on my planner, thus, it makes me actually motivated to do my everyday goals, no more thinking that it’s alright, no one’s recording it.
After all, goals aren’t just going to get themselves done. What we should never forget is that these goals are doors at the end of the staircase and every day is a chance to take the steps, the smaller goals, one by one.
Maybe planners aren’t for you, that’s alright, the most important thing is you remember that every day has a purpose. That every day you wake up means you’re doing something that will mean something in your life, not just the immediate future, but will last even when you’re already old.
I’d rather die of humiliation than live with regret and inaction.