February Resolves January: An Easy Way to Help You Get Things Accomplished

By | February 2, 2011

Maybe it’s because there were too many other people setting New Year’s Resolutions, and sounding all optimistic about the future. Maybe that made me slightly bitter and want to rebel a little.

Closed Purple Flower

Who says you have to set goals at the beginning of the New Year?

For whatever reason, I wasn’t ready to “turn my life around” or “get back on track” or even “do better this year” when everyone else was. So I started off January in a sort of funk. I purposely ate lots of donuts, slept in late, spent money on frivolous items, played volleyball everyday, and didn’t work a lick.

Flock of Birds Flying

Sounds kind of fun, doesn’t it? A carefree lifestyle, just drifting with the wind.

It was great, for a short time. But after doing this for most of the month, I started to realize a few things:

  1. I’m not made out of money and my bank account isn’t expanding on its own.
  2. I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything lately (I hate that feeling)!
  3. The month is almost over, and I have nothing to show for it.
  4. I’m tired of being so…. whatever I’ve been being.
  5. I am feeling stressed out. (Did you know that doing nothing can stress you out, even if there are donuts involved?)

So I decided that now I’m ready. My February will resolve January, and I will make up for all the things I did not get done last month. In fact, I’ve already gotten a head start. Here is the strategy that is helping me along:

I started making a list, a week at a time, of three things every day that I want to accomplish. These are things that I have been putting off and off and off, things with no set deadline that I just want to be done. As soon as I think about something else I want to get done, I just add it to my list. Then I don’t have to worry about forgetting it.

Some of them are quick 5-minute tasks, like:

  • Find that Armenian language site and bookmark it. (Barev dzez yes Evelyn em: –The transliteration for “Hello, my name is Evelyn,” in Armenian.)
  • Return DVD.
  • Clear computer desktop of misc. items.

Others take a little longer, like:

As I finish each item, I cross it off my list. (That feels so good!) And since there are only three items on the list each day, it doesn’t feel overwhelming to accomplish the tasks. And usually at least one of the items is super easy, so it barely takes any time at all and I still feel an awarding sense of achievement because I GOT IT DONE. That’s the main point. Get something done.

To be honest, my first week in, I didn’t cross off three things every day. I missed about four total items. But it doesn’t matter, because without the list, I would still have 21 unfinished tasks. I would much rather complete 17 and miss 4 than have absolutely NO results to feel good about.

The other best part about this system is that I don’t feel guilty for not using all my spare time to get miscellaneous chores done, because I know that they are on my list for later in the week.

Using this system is helping me feel more in control of my days. In doing so, I have more positive motivation to put in some actual hours of work, which in turn is going to help me pay my upcoming bills.

Open Red Flower

Let’s hear it for betterment, improvement, and personal development!

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