Setting and Putting Yearly Goals Into Action

First, I want to wish you a happy, healthy 2018! We made it through 2017 my friends. I am so excited to start 2018 with you and this little beginning of the year “series” of posts. But before we get started, here is a friendly reminder that now is the time to update your copyright date on your website, photography programs, etc. Type in that 2018 date loud and proud. Now, with that little bit of business out of the way, let’s get started on making plans for the New Year.

Setting goals for the New Year is one thing, putting said goals into action is another ball of wax. To be honest, I have never been much of a goal setter – until recently. This Stephen Covey quote sums up my history with setting goals. I finally realized that unless I have a clear plan, with a clearly defined work plan, I’m probably not going to consistently work on specific, long-term goals on a regular basis. Sure, I regularly work on what needs my attention most at any given time. But the long-term goals, with no immediate deadline, seem to get lost in the shuffle. This past year I have been working on systems that best suit me and the way I work. The overall system is surely a work in progress, but I hope that some of these tools might be useful to you. And, I am certainly interested in learning about any tools you have found that work for you. I hope that, together, we can help each other make 2018 our most productive year yet. So, let’s start with planners.

Passion Planner

A couple of years ago, I was gifted a Passion Planner to use for 2016. I really liked the Mind Mapping, Goal Setting, and regular reminders to review your goals. Overall, I think it was a good planner for me, but I am still in search for a system with more customization because I think I need more help in making sure I am consistently working on my goals. This is not any fault of the planner, but rather my novice status at goal setting. As I mentioned previously, I am rather new to the whole goal setting arena and I am still trying to “educate” myself. I am certainly not ruling out the possibility of returning to this system, but I need to refine my system first. More information is good, right?

Your Best Year 2018

In 2016, I bought Lisa Jacobs book, Your Best Year 2016, but I never put it into action because I was using the Passion Planner. The Passion Planner is pre-dated and therefore, I perceived it as time-sensitive to put into use. Well, I returned to Lisa Jacobs this year and purchased Your Best Year 2018. I have printed the pages, organized them in a 3-ring binder, completed the “exercises”, and I’m ready to get the 2018 party started.

So, now it is your turn. How do you set goals? And, more importantly, how do you hold yourself accountable for working on your goals or track progress?

I do hope you will return tomorrow. I will reveal the details of my primary planner for 2017, time management tools, and why I will still be using them in 2018.

What is Your One Word for the Year?

In the January 2017 Newsletter, I mentioned that the word I intended to focus on for the next 12 months was Gratitude.

I begin each morning with my journal, and in 2017 I started the day by listing three things that filled me with gratitude. Some mornings my gratitude included things as simple as my morning coffee, a comfortable bed to rest and renew my body, the luxury of warm running water that I didn’t have to haul or heat for my shower… And other gratitudes included much more complex or personal focus. I have to say it was (and is) a great way to start my day and has become a habit I hope to continue for years to come. I found the whole experience of focusing on Gratitude rather like a snowball effect. I say this because, I found that the more I focused on what I was grateful for, the more I found to be grateful about. I even found myself making notes throughout my day to tuck inside my journal as reminders of gratitude so I would not forget some seemingly small moment that happened when I journaled the next morning.

With my year of actively acknowledging Gratitude, I realized it was time to select a new word for 2018. So, I became curious about how other folks choose a word, and how they keep themselves accountable for 12 months. So, I purchased the book, My One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen to read. I also have a new journal with fresh, clean, crisp, pages at the ready. (I guess you can tell by the description of my journal, that I love fresh new beginnings all full of possibility.)

I think I know what I want my word to be for 2018, but I’m still thinking about it to be sure. However, I am curious if you select a word for your yearly focus? If you do select a word, what is YOUR word for 2018? Please do tell.

And, please come back tomorrow for more conversation on New Year planning ideas and tips. I have some ideas to share that worked for me in 2017, as well as some new things I’m going to try in 2018.

BUT, before you leave, be sure to post your Word for 2018 in the comments.

Happy Year of the Rooster

Happy New Year! Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. Since 2017 is the year of the Rooster, I thought I would share a warm-up painting exercise of a rooster I painted years ago.

Oil on Panel, Copyright © 2009 SuZan Alexander

Okay, I KNOW this is not a rooster, but I am throwing it in as a “poultry bonus” just because I have a feeling it is going to be a great year. Well, that and she has been staring me down in the studio for a few years now.

Watercolor, Copyright
© 2012 SuZan Alexander