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New Year’s Resolutions

A friend of mine photocopied a chapter out of Your Spacious Self by Stephanie Bennett Vogt, a book about clearing the clutter out of your life. I haven’t read the book, or the chapter for that matter, but what my friend told me she got out of it is this: When setting goals, make them so small that you feel no resistance toward doing them. Then, once you’re comfortable with that goal, increase it a little. For example, if you make a goal to run three miles every day, and you find yourself never having the time or never being motivated, try making that goal SO SMALL that you don’t feel any resistance toward doing it at all. It may be as absurd as jogging to the end of the driveway, or to the end of the block. From there, you can increase it. If it’s writing and you find that day after day after day you aren’t accomplishing your 1000-word goal (or whatever it is), try writing just 15 minutes a day. Too much? Try 10 minutes. No goal is too small because anything you accomplish is better than nothing at all. For me, it’s about doing three suryanamaskars (sun salutations), and if that’s too much ONE, just to get back in the rhythm of doing yoga again. Once I’m comfortable with that, I can increase it. And often you’ll find yourself increasing it right on the spot and going beyond your goal to run all three miles or write for an hour or do an entire yoga class. That’s great, that’s a bonus, but don’t feel bad if you don’t. Remember, your goal was to jog to the end of the driveway.

A tool I recently discovered by simply googling “goal tracker” is Joe’s Goals. It’s very simplistic and works only for daily goals, but I love it. It even incorporates Jerry Seinfeld’s productivity secret of creating a chain of Xs (or in this case, smiley faces), by marking each day that you achieved your goal. So after you party till you drop tonight (or, in my case, struggle to stay awake until midnight, so I can then go home and get some sleep), sit down and set those goals. And make them small.

Happy New Year! See you in 2010.

8 comments to New Year’s Resolutions

  • I've made my goals totally reachable too. Here are mine for 2010:

    1. Breathe.

    2. Walk upright.

    3. Fight.

    4. Write.

    5. Love.

  • And PS thanks for posting that Jerry Seinfeld productivity secret. I absolutely love it and it really fits in with the way I do things. Very nice. I've bookmarked that link.

  • Hehe, I like Sierra's goals.

    I totally agree with this philosophy, but… I'm doing the opposite. Instead of a bunch of small but achievable goals, I'm going for just 2 big ones. We'll see how it goes.

    Happy New Year!

  • Sierra, love your goals! And Kristan, you can break up those two big goals into little daily ones, too! My big goal is the same as last year: get an agent! Sell my book! All the rest is little stuff.

  • Mine is to grow my hair out.

  • The best thing about yours, Jade, is all you have to do is wait!

  • Hi Meghan,

    I'm honored to see your mention of my book "Your Spacious Self," which references my simple technique for reducing resistance (aka clutter). Thank you. The inspiration for my "R & R" [reduce and repeat] approach to clearing our stuff and our stress comes from a fabulous little book called "One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way" by Robert Maurer, Ph.D. His simple model is designed to bypass the part of the brain that goes into fight or flight, and works like a charm to soften hardwired habits (of holding on). I call it going slow to go fast.

    p.s. In the spirit of new year's resolutions, you can read mine in my blog here (yes, I did manage stay up past midnight to write them––barely): Cheers!

  • Stephanie! Thank you for your comment. My friend raves about your book, and I hope to read it one of these days when I have a little more time. And thanks for the link to your blog. I will check it out, and I hope others will, too. Happy New Year!