Every year I get to hear all my friends and coworkers coming up with New Year’s Resolutions, it’s even crept into our schools. Teaching sensibility has gone out the window with common sense. Focusing on our priorities and goals instead of resolutions helps us focus on moving forward instead of only toward a date where you only do it for a short time and then by some magic you have permission to revert back to your old habits (the reason why you made the resolution in the first place.)
The place to start is with goals. Now many of you know that I am not a goal setter because I get really hard on myself when I don’t reach my goals. It happens a lot to me. I spend all this time, working on setting up a goal, make my goal visual and even hang it up in several places around my home and even have it come up on my phone every morning. But what is the point when I ignore all my signals to focus on this goal?
Now, I am not saying you shouldn’t make goals. I have found a way that helps me reach my goals without focusing on the individual goals, instead, I focus on the priorities to reach my goals. Priorities change each month, week, and day. Goals stay the same. For instance, one of my goals in 2016 is to pocket away $1,000 a month. I have chosen one goal in each of the seven realms of wellness (social, emotional, spiritual, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and physical).
For each goal I have chosen, I have written down some priorities for the month of January.
- Go through all our monthly bills and see which areas we can cut back on or eliminate.
- See where our money is going. That $5 a day Latte has been cut out and I bought a one cup Black & Decker coffee maker (uses regular coffee, no K-cups in this house) that comes with an insulated coffee mug. This will save $130 this month.
- Get to a Comcast store and see if we can get rid of our cable and still keep the Xfinity service to watch TV on our devices because we hardly ever watch TV on our TV. This would save us about half of our monthly bill ($165)
- Keep a pantry shelf filled with healthy Paleo snacks or ingredients to make Paleo snacks instead of heading to the store when the “I have a taste for” moments come up. Yesterday I made some Paleo Chocolates and only a small square of chocolate is necessary to satisfy my chocolate cravings. Money saved $32 a month just on chocolate (What can I say? I only buy Theo chocolates because it’s organic from bean to bar at $4 a bar and I buy two bars a week.)
Jan 1 – Jan 9 priorities for this goal. There is no reason why two people can’t eat a healthy Paleo diet on $400 month (especially when one of those people only eats two meals a day).
- Plan my menu around the weekly grocery sales ads. (It’s difficult to do this right now, since the two stores I normally shop at, both within walking distance, are closed; one for bankruptcy the other for remodeling. But will try to do with a couple of other stores in the area.)
- Plan social gatherings but not centered around food.
- Go through closets, book shelves, and storage to see if I can sell more items I’m not using and haven’t used in a year. Take photos and sell the items. I bought a bedding ensemble last year, put it on the bed and didn’t like the pattern at all. Instead of sending it back to the maker, I stuck it in the back of my closet. Wow, that really helped! So now I’m selling it for half of what I paid for it ($75)
Knowing that each week’s priorities will change because of what I want to accomplish and the timing. For instance, at the end of January, the grocery store that is remodeling should be open again. It will be different with a new name and what it carries, but at least, we will have a store that is within walking distance again. When you live in a city, you expect to have this kind of amenity, so when it closed last year it really changed the way we shopped. We were forced to go to a store that was much more expensive, then the bottom fell out of that too and that store closed because of bankruptcy. This all meant that we needed to shop at yet another store that was more expensive than the first expensive store or cross our toll bridge at $5 a to shop in a different city.
Pick your goals for the year then break them down and focus on the priorities. Make your goals meaningful whether they are SMART, CLEAR, or DUMB goals choose the system of goal setting that works for you. Then set your monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, and moment priorities. Think of your priorities as the gasoline that keeps you moving toward your goals.
Wishing you wellness in 2016!