I’ve been poking around on the internets for ideas on how exactly to best come up with resolutions AND keep them in 2014. I found a lot of challenges I’m interested in – reading challenges, fitness challenges, etc. but I want to have well-rounded resolutions that provide me with a balanced life and gives me some things that I’ve been wanting in my life. So, I’ve thought about having a monthly challenge. But, I tried that back in 2011 and it failed miserably. So, then I thought maybe I should do a 52 week challenge. But, I was a little intimidated with coming up with 52 things to do by January 1 and I want to have something well-planned when the year begins. So, I’ve decided to have “focus areas” and each week, I will dedicate at least three hours (I admit the three hours is a totally random amount of time – but, it seemed doable – 180 minutes a week, divided up however it works out) to EACH of the focus areas. That way, I have balance on a weekly basis. So, you’re probably wondering what my focus areas are going to be. I am too! 🙂 I am actually going back to an exercise we did in one of my leadership workshops this semester. The leader of the workshop is a counselor in the student counseling center (not academic counselor, but psychiatric counselor) and her presentation was on prioritization and making good, healthy choices during a busy time (aimed at students, but us fellows were probably equally in need of the message). She gave us a stack of cards, a little smaller than playing cards, kind of the size of business cards. On each card was a word with a short description when necessary. So, here are some examples:
- Family happiness – being able to spend quality time and develop relationships with family of origin or family by marriage/relationship.
- Excitement – experience a high degree of, or frequent excitement in your work or life.
- Economic Security – having enough money
And so it goes. There are 20 cards. She first had us go through and “discard” anything that wasn’t in our top concerns. Then she had us repeat that – obviously, taking into consideration that at first we though all of the things left were “top” concerns. We did it three or four times until we got down to five or six cards. So, I’m feeling good about getting down to seven. And those seven can become my “focus areas”.
If you would like a list of all 20, email me and I will send them to you with the short descriptions. It is a fantastic exercise to do with family, friends and even workmates to see where different people’s priorities lie. It also is good for decision-making since you can easily identify your top concerns and make your prioritized to-dos based on that knowledge.
So, tonight I will identify my seven areas and then I hope to continue this post in Part Two by identifying some specific action ideas/steps I can identify for each of those areas. So, there is a priority and a to-do list based on that priority. Some, I am sure, I will have many to-dos based on, others I may only have a few that will be repeated over and over again. I’m kind of looking forward to this as it will help me to really be specific about my resolutions! See you in Part Two!