Friday, 7 January 2011

Happy New Year!

If you’re like us, you may be setting some goals for 2011. To help, here are some goal-setting tips from “The Lifestyle Lowdown: A Simpler Life, ” by Lucy McCarraher and Annabel Shaw.
Check that each of your goals is SMART:  Specific - don’t make loose aims to, say, get a new car soon. Decide exactly what you want, make, model and colour. Measurable - if you can't measure it, how will you know if you’ve achieved your goal? Don’t aim just to lose weight or become fitter; rather set a target to lose ten pounds or to be able to walk five miles Achievable doesn’t mean you have to know exactly how you’ll do it; just that it’s possible within the time you’ve allocated. You can’t predict what new job you’ll be in at the end of this year, but you can be certain you’ll find one. Realistic isn’t the same as easy – a goal which isn’t challenging won’t motivate you. It means “do-able”. If you can’t reorganise your entire working system this month, focus on sorting out one aspect of it. A realistic project may push your boundaries, but it shouldn't break them. Setting a Time frame for the goal gives you a clear target to work toward. Without a start or finish time, the commitment is too vague and often gets lost or postponed. 

If you don’t already have one, a well-used, working diary is a considerable aid to living a simpler life – whether it’s the old-fashioned paper kind, or an electronic personal planner. It’s a good place to keep a list of your long-term goals and mid-term objectives, but at this point you need to schedule into your diary at least one concrete action towards each mid-term objective which you’re going to take in the next four weeks. Preferably this week. Best of all, find at least one thing you can do today to start off on the journey to your Simpler Life.

If you’ve decided that finding a life partner is a top “Love” goal, ask your friends around tonight for a brainstorming session about singles they may know already and places to meet new ones. If this is the moment to sort out your finances, book an appointment with a financial advisor right now, or sign up for an online newsletter. You could combine a goal to cheer up your social life with one to get healthy and join an exercise class at the gym this evening. With an ongoing activity like that, you can schedule it right through to the end of the year. Every time you complete a task, cross it out and timetable in the next step you need to take.

This part of the plan to achieve a simpler, more satisfying life is without a doubt the hardest. Creating your goals takes time, thought and energy. Taking the first steps towards achieving them can feel daunting - but the payoff is huge. The realization that most of your dreams, or the desires that underpin them, are achievable and that within a comparatively short time will come into existence, is a life-changing experience. Replacing a nagging sense of frustration and disappointment with powerfully authentic self-belief and success moves you out of the shadows and into the clear light of a simpler life.” – from “The Lifestyle Lowdown: A Simpler Life,” published by Creative Content Ltd.

Click here to check out Lucy and Annabel’s latest book, “The Real Secret – What to Do When the Universe Hasn’t Delivered.”

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