Every year you set out a master work plan for changing your life in the next twelve months. You title this plan “New Year’s Resolutions.” The plan is ambitious, detailed, comprehensive, and impossible. Within a week or a month, it has been abandoned. Nothing has really changed. You file it away for next January 1.
Instead of going through the same motions this year, why not develop a series of 12 mini goals, goals that are practical and achievable? For example, you know your online resume needs updated, but that’s such an ugly task. So decide to update only one critical section, perhaps your current job title and responsibilities. It will only take a few minutes, and you won’t be embarrassed if someone lifts the information when introducing you for a presentation.
Or, you hate getting home from work so late each evening, but you don’t have the discipline to get up extra early. Set a goal to get to work 15 minutes early for one week only. See if that makes any difference with traffic. You may find that you like getting started just a bit sooner.
Or, you know you should network more, but it takes such energy. So start slowly. Choose one previous mentor, or coach, or professor and give that person a call. Just check in with them and let them know how you are doing. If you need them as a reference at a later time, it won’t seem like they haven’t heard from you in years.
Other mini goals may be getting your flu shot while you are at the pharmacy, or using 15 minutes of one lunch hour to get a new bank card since yours doesn’t always work. Or you have been meaning to check the renewal date of your passport or get new passport pictures taken. These are simple tasks that only take a few minutes to cross them off your worry list.
Going to the gym on a daily basis seems overwhelming, but you think you might actually like yoga. Try signing up for just one introductory yoga class and see how you feel after it is over. it might be something you wish to pursue—or not.
You get the idea. Mini-goals are items that don’t necessarily make it to your regular to-do list, but they are always nagging at you. Completing 12 of them in January may not be life-changing, but you will be further ahead than making resolutions that you know you will never keep. Happy New Year.