do-you-have-direction-in-lifeCan you relate? I find myself wondering at night, “What did I do today?” I was busy all day, but can’t remember exactly what I did. Mostly it was a repeat of the day before…and the day before that…and the day before that. There certainly are things I want to accomplish, projects I want to start, or finish. But yet, I find myself waiting to do that tomorrow, or someday.

What I’ve discovered (and no surprise here!) is “someday” is not a day of the week, and tomorrow isn’t listed on the calendar. I remember 2015 was going to be the year to get my health together, eating better and exercising regularly. Uh, yeah well…that hasn’t happened. It seems I always have the same goals and start out strong, but then just fizzle out. There is an old saying that, “A goal without a plan is a dream” was cited in a 1976 newspaper advertisement for the Dale Carnegie Course. Truths don’t change, and that one is certainly true.

So, here’s my plan:

  1. Make a master list of actions I want to become habit. As the habit is formed check it off and go to another. At the end of the year, I’ll have a visual of my new habits.
  2. Make a master list of everything I want to accomplish that is a one-time project. Add to it as projects come up.  Again, I’ll have a visual of what I’ve accomplished for the year.
  3. At night on a sticky note write down one thing from each list to be done the next day. I could put down more, but I usually overwhelm myself with trying to do too much and end up doing nothing, so I’m starting small.
  4. Each morning keep the sticky note with me wherever I go until it is accomplished. I can be so forgetful! By sticking it to my phone or on my computer, it will be in plain sight until I check it off the list.
  5. At night check them off the list, or put them on the next day’s list again.

For me, my first two tasks are walking for thirty minutes and going through all of my books and downsizing my library (I have eleven bookshelves in my office and several are double stacked, so I definitely have books to share), giving them to the local coffee shop, Cups and Cones, who has a lending library.

I know both of these will be on the list for a couple of days (the walking will be on there for weeks), but it’s a starting point. I can do it today.

I’m not overwhelmed because I have a plan. It’s not a quick fix or a magic path. It’s my plan to become healthier and happier by accomplishing goals.

So, what goals do you have? No need to wait for January, I’m starting today so I have a head start on making 2017 the best year ever.

Kayla JW Marnach is the author of the Can Do Kids Series.