It comes around far too quickly for my liking; no sooner have you taken down the Christmas decorations (which for me is rarely saved until 12th night!) it’s time for Easter eggs (and we all know our first 2014 trip to the supermarket will be met with Cadbury’s chicks, bunnies and other confectionary treats); then it’s summer holiday time and before you know where you are, you’re back to square one planning how to cope with the cost of Christmas.
So it seems to me that 1 January is a pretty good time to put the brakes on and take control of your vehicle of life, steering it in the direction you want to go and at a speed to suit.
Easier said than done? Not at all.
For me, I am going to revert to my ‘working’ days, when I had a desk job and authority over more than two recalcitrant boys and a toaster. I am going to think about being SMART.
Not the wardrobe, clean cut spit & polish smart, but the mnemonic sort:
S = specific
M = measureable
A = achievable
R = relevant
T = timed
I’ve decided to do this, not because I’m pining for my workplace (although one of my targets this year is to secure a ‘proper’ paid job) but because I can quite see the benefit of this technique that has shown itself after last year’s resolutions, of which I achieved 1½ out of 3. Not bad going you may think but if I equate that to a pay rise based on achieving targets, I’d have ended up with nothing more than the inflationary increase!
So looking at how I succeeded in reaching 50% of my goals, I realise it was because I broke the target down into less daunting and smaller parts, but more importantly, I took action; I actually made that phone call, sent that email, set that date and if something happened that was out of my control to frustrate my efforts, I would regroup and plan a new strategy, always with the target in sight.
For me 2014 is the year I will finally live in my own house rather than renting but unless I win the Lottery, it is going to take quite a few smaller steps before I reach the top, the first one of which is securing a meaningful job that pays a reliable wage.
I also have some smaller resolutions on my list, including meeting up with friends, enjoying more live concerts and performances and visiting an aged relative, but even those will require a phone call, an email and setting a date!
So grab that steering wheel with both hands, keep your foot on the brake ready to stop off en route.
Happy New Year!