Frankly, I’m not a fan of New Year’s “resolutions.” So many people recite resolutions they think they “should have” because that’s what the internet says: save money, lose weight, get organized, spend time with family, read more, etc.
Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with these resolutions, they are nebulous and it’s hard to gauge success. That’s why I don’t focus on resolutions; I focus on goals.
I love goals. Specifically, I like goals created using the SMART goal process. SMART goals keep me on track, give me accountability, and push me to achieve the important things.
I find goal setting to be stimulating. It makes me think about what I want my life to look like and how much time I am willing to devote to each facet of it. Setting fewer, more critical goals that support my Values and Needs sets me up for success.
Here are five of my 2021 goals and how I performed using the SMART structure:
1. Send at least one card per week to family and friends.
I sent 102 pieces of snail mail to family and friends, and they loved it!
I know how excited I am when I receive happy snail mail in my physical mailbox. So I’m hoping to share that joy by sending physical cards, primarily focusing on birthday, anniversary, and, when appropriate, “You are Awesome!” cards.
2. Make 12 whole blood or platelet donations.
I made 13 platelet donations, helping provide life-saving support to those in need.
I have O negative blood. One of the benefits of this blood type is that it is universally beneficial. Everyone can use O negative blood. To that end, both whole blood and platelets with this blood type are very much in demand. Since I am healthy and have a flexible schedule, I can take the time to help others in this way.
3. Send at least one card per week to clients, individuals, and companies that support my business.
I sent 120 pieces of snail mail to business-related individuals. The feedback I received was heart-warming. People like to be remembered on their special days.
Individuals come to me when they are in challenging situations, feeling down on themselves, and needing to make hard choices. So, in addition to sending birthday acknowledgments, I will send notes of encouragement and congratulations.
4. Exercise six days per week for at least 30 minutes per exercise session and drink at least 70 ounces of water per day.
Although I didn’t do as well on this one as I’d like to report, I pretty much averaged exercising five days a week, and my water consumption increased dramatically.
The best gift we can give ourselves is the gift of good health. Am I ever going to be a professional athlete? No. Will I devote an hour every day to exercise? Again, no. But there are some things I can do to point myself in the right direction of maintaining good health.
5. Daily, record three things to be grateful for and one meaningful experience.
I’m happy to report that, with two days to go, I’ve journaled every day of 2021. It’s a fantastic way for me to end the day, focusing on the positive things in my life.
Studies show gratitude can help with health and well-being. I heard about the research. Intuitively, I knew it was true, yet, I never focused on gratitude. So, I started a gratitude journal on January 1st, 2020. I’ve not missed a day yet and can feel the power. Every night I write down at least one thing to let go of (frustration, worry, concern, etc.); at least three things to be grateful for (time with my family, my health, good friends, etc.); and detail one meaningful experience from the day (reminding myself what made the experience so powerful); and I set an intention for the next day (presence, connection, gratitude, giving, etc.). It takes less than three minutes, yet I end my day grateful, not stressed. Big. Win.
What made manifesting my goals possible? Planning and setting my environment up for success.
- I tracked my personal and business snail mail success each week and put the task in my weekly calendar.
- I made platelet donations weeks in advance to ensure the time was reserved on my calendar.
- I prioritized exercising in the morning, not putting any appointments on my calendar until 9:00 AM to ensure I had time to accomplish the task before my busy workday started.
- I set my journal on the nightstand to ensure it was available when I headed to bed.
Here are my 2022 goals. Some goals are a one-time accomplishment; some are ongoing:
- Spend 10 weeks at my Mom’s in support of her ongoing care.
- Achieve the next level of coaching accomplishment through the International Coaching Federation.
- Attend the 2022 International ADHD Conference.
- Perform 12 Platelet Donations(yes, we can repeat goals).
- Send birthday and anniversary snail mail cards to my immediate family.
- Send 52 pieces of business-related snail mail.
- Attend the International ADHD conference.
- Continue daily journaling.
- Continue my self-care by exercising five days per week, eating healthy, and driving 70 ounces of water per day.
What are your goals for 2022? How do those goals align with your Values and Needs? What’s essential for you to connect with as we turn the page into the new year?
Cindy Jobs, PCAC
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