Happy New Year from the Art of Being Civil! As you can imagine, 2015 was very exciting for Art of Being Civil with the start of the blog.
During the holidays, I enjoy spending my free time reflecting on the year as I set new goals for the upcoming year. I started setting yearly goals about seven years ago on the insistence of a friend. I never looked back. Goals are so much better for us than New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions are typically about what you aren’t going to do in the year when goals are about what you are going to do.
They give me focus.
2016 First of the Month Challenges
One of my goals for 2016 will be to post a challenge on the first of every month in 2016. The post will include an article that talks about a way of thinking that has helped shape my life. Each post will list my related 2016 goal and a related challenge for my readers.
For those that choose to participate, I would like you to write to me at Art of Being Civil about why you chose that challenge and how the experience was for you. Every submission will go into a draw to win a piece of art! This also means I have to produce 12 pieces of art! I guess that will be a goal, too.
Details on the challenge and how to enter will be posted soon.
2016 – January challenge – Goal Setting
So, with goals in mind, it makes sense to set the first challenge as goal setting. If you are new to this idea, here are some things I learned about setting goals:
- Make sure they are goals, not wishes! For example, you can wish to win the lottery in order to take your family on an overseas trip or you can set a goal of saving more money or finding an alternative income to do the same thing.
- You don’t need your list completed by January 1 or else, but don’t procrastinate too long either. I like my list done by the time I get back to work after the holidays with room to tweak. As this post goes to “print”, I’m somewhere in Vietnam trying to sort out some realistic goals. I want to stress the word realistic.
- Goals can be changed. For example, last year I wanted to read more, so I decided I was going to read the newspaper every Sunday. After a month or so of that, I realized that I wasn’t getting much out of reading the paper. I didn’t feel like it was enhancing my life in even a minute way.
Instead, I decided to dedicate my morning commute to reading a book of my choice in lieu of just staring out the window to music or scrolling through Facebook. Of all the goals I set for 2015, increasing my reading and changing how I spent my morning and evening commute rates very high on my list of things that have added quality to my life. But the most important thing to take away was that I could have been stubborn about my goal of reading the newspaper. The reason it was okay for me to change this goal was the intent was still maintained – to read more, to learn more and to stop wasting precious time. The upside was that it changed my commute and opened up my Sundays for other things!
- It’s better to make a short list of goals (even just one) than a list that is long and overwhelming. Last year, I made so many goals, I had a moment of panic. A lot of that panic was tied to the fact that I quit my job to allow me the ability to achieve a lot of those goals, but it was also because I made too many. I didn’t know where to start. I decided that some were not as important as others and took them off my list. If you feel overwhelmed, either prioritize your goals and mark them off one by one or set only one goal at a time.
- It is better to be able to mark 50% of your goals as 100% completed at the end of the year than to complete 50% of 100% of your list.
- Goals do not need to have yearly timeframes. If your goal is on a 2,3,4…year time frame, just be sure to specify what you want to accomplish by the end of 2016.
Good luck with your 2016 goal setting and don’t forget about the competition to win some original art work.