Life Planners & Resolutions

Even though it’s March, it’s still a good time to discuss a topic usually reserved for January – setting resolutions and goals for the coming year.  I love making resolutions.  I have a motto that “every moment is a fresh start,” but I especially feel that way at the start of the year.
Every January, I transition to a new life planner and update it with important dates, a vision board and multiple lists that I refer back to throughout the year.  I believe there is power in writing out goals (the more specific, the better), and I use these lists to keep my decisions on par with my overarching desires as opportunities arise during the year.  I also use my planner for listing items I’m grateful.

As far as life planners go, I love the one by Erin Condren.  It’s colorful, peppered with inspirational quotes, and has all of the features I want.  It has a monthly calendar and also weekly spreads.  Additionally, it has a lot of extra pages where I can capture my resolution lists and vision board.  By the way, the feature image for this post is a snap shot of one section of my vision board.  I treat my vision board as a visual representation of my goals and what I value.
As for the lists themselves, I write them for several categories.  I shared my full lists for my money goals and leadership practices at the bottom because I think they are beneficial goals for everyone to have.  As for my other lists, they are personal so I describe them and offer a few examples for each one.
  • Personal Resolutions – These include things that pertain to health and appearance.  For example, quit processed sugar and revamp my wardrobe (I’m exploring prints) are on the list for 2016.
  • Work Resolutions – Here is where I list projects I want success for and products I want to introduce or become the owner of.  This list could easily include items like career changes, increasing your network or pursuing a job search.  I also include compensation goals in this category.
  • Blog Goals – This blog has truly become a passion project and it deserves its own list!  Included for 2016 are items like migrate to a WordPress platform (check), write an eBook and become a guest blogger for other noteworthy sites in my space.  You will see me advance on these as the year progresses.
  • House Goals – We bought our house knowing sweat equity would go into it.  I have a multi-year plan on how we want to tackle the remodels and upgrades.  If we stick to the plan, we’ll have the house of our dreams in 2018!
  • Giving List – I believe in sharing my good fortune.  I try to be generous with family and friends.  I also give to several organizations.  I have, what I call, my trifecta of giving which focuses on children in need, elder support, and animal rescue.  To that end, I choose to give to Children’s Hospital, Childcare Worldwide, Meals on Wheels and the ASPCA. Unlike the other lists, this is one that I add to throughout the year to track my generosity.
  • Someday List – I used to call this my Bucket List because it was a list of things I wanted to do prior to kicking the bucket.  Then I decided that was a bit morbid, so now I call it my Someday List since all the items are things I intend to do someday.  These are bigger ticket items that I may not feel prepared to tackle yet, but they may get worked into annual resolutions down the road.  A couple examples include to hike the Camino de Santiago and publish a book.
  • Money Goals – This one is a year over year list that I took from another source and tweaked to suit me.  I’ll share the full list with you, because I think this should be part of everybody’s goal setting.
    • Be debt free
    • Plan for early retirement (I’m aiming for 50)
    • Have a well stocked emergency fund (6 months of bills)
    • Create multiple income streams
    • Have enough insurance to cover contingencies
    • Live on less than you earn (target is to live on 50% of what I bring in)
    • End addictions to stuff (not necessarily substances – this could be materialistic items)
    • Make a plan to do work that you love
    • Share your good fortune (see Giving List)
    • Plan for your finances after death
  • Leadership Practices – This is a list I took from my company’s CISO and will share fully
    • Be loyal
    • Put others before yourself
    • Be reflective
    • Be obsessively organized
    • Assume you don’t know enough
    • Be detail oriented
    • Never get comfortable
    • Believe in a Higher Power

These lists don’t have to be the same categories every year.  My blog list is new this year and in the past I had lists for education.  It’s really up to you to decide which lists best map out what you want to accomplish.  If you have suggestions to offer the rest of us, please feel free to share in the commnets.

 

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