Goals, SMART Criteria, and You

I’ve talked before about goals – whether that’s the traditional New Year’s Resolution(s) or more generally setting goals for our life.  We all know that what makes this most likely to succeed – setting SMART goals – and yet we don’t always follow this mnemonic when the New Year is here and we choose what we want to be different this year.  And aren’t there always things we want to be different this year – the resolution of a past struggle or success at some new endeavor?  Then what’s stopping us from using the SMART mnemonic as we set our sights on how things can be different, even better?

Quickly, here are the SMART criteria:

  • Specific – be specific about what you want to change/improve, answer (usually) each of the 5 W’s (what, why, where, who, and which)
  • Measurable – what are you going to measure and how to know you’ve accomplished your goal (i.e. weight lost or time walking a mile etc.)
  • Attainable (and realistic) – how can the goal be reached?
  • Relevant – the goal matters and the timing works
  • Time-bound – answers “when?”; sometimes an end date, though might be first milestone where you can feel successful along the path to creating routines

First, as I’ve said before, is this a good time for you to be setting goals?  Simply because this is the time of year when we’ve been taught to set resolutions, with the calendar moving into a new year, does not automatically mean this is a good time for you to be embarking on making changes.  Can you ignore the social conventions of setting a goal and just say no?  The R in SMART is “relevant” and sometimes that means recognizing that this is not the time for you to set any goals.  The flow and events of our lives aren’t necessarily going to follow any calendar events – therefore, consider whether there is a more realistic (or “attainable”) time for you to set goals.  For example:

  • work slows down in the summer and I won’t feel so overwhelmed
  • 2 of the 5 big time-consuming things I’m juggling right now need to be dealt with before I will even have the time or focus to contemplate other changes
  • I’m more motivated in the spring with life springing up around me

Simply because the timing doesn’t work for you does not mean you are procrastinating or making excuses – really.

Second, if you know the principles of using the SMART mnemonic, do you use it?  What gets in your way for working through the SMART goal steps?  There are any number of reasons we might avoid working with these criteria, yet finding our own resistances can help us find our way through to making successful changes.

As we all things we do and want to change, we go through an ebb and flow, where our motivation and focus fluctuates.  And it’s not always clear to us where in the process we exactly are – from being realistic to easily discouraged to highly dedicated – to the goals we have.  I know that my goal from years ago of losing weight, which I share in Consider Setting Resolutions – or Not, that I wasn’t always aware of the stage I was currently in.  The “goal” of losing weight was consistently there, it felt like a priority most of the time, and despite these pieces, it wasn’t enough.  I’m not sure I can clearly identify what was missing early on and have the perspective now that we each simply have to find our own path.

I was certainly resistant to using the SMART mnemonic early in my goal of losing weight, so now when I see myself avoiding applying the SMART steps I take a step back and consider if there is some issue with the goal.  It often becomes clear that there is a conflict between my goal and the SMART steps.  Emotionally I’m trying to ignore that – after all, I really want to change this; “I don’t want to wait…”

Using the SMART criteria means that we take time to work our goal through each step.  The idea of taking time for each of the SMART steps can feel daunting – after all time is a precious commodity – and who doesn’t wish “if only it were simpler…”  I’ve been known to make occasional comments about wishing I had a magic wand – and how I’d share it.  Yet, there’s no magic wand and the time we spend on these SMART criteria will only support us in reaching our goals.  It’s also important to be focused during the process – to identify the pieces for each step of the SMART criteria and that all of them are feasible, i.e. just because a single working mom wants to get to the gym 5 days a week doesn’t mean it’s realistic for her schedule and the demands on her time.

When we use the SMART criteria, we’re claiming the intention for change clearly.   The evidence of our commitment is laid out with all the steps and pieces we’ll need to be successful.  Even though I feel like a broken record, I’ll say again – there is no need to feel obligated to set resolutions at this time of year or any time of year, find the timing that works for you.

Temptations of Purchasing

About a month ago I became aware of the large increase of catalogs arriving.  “Aha, it’s that time of year again.”  From this point, I can have any number of reactions – from apathy to curiosity, sometimes I even feel annoyed.  Of course, their job is to convince you to spend your money with them – at this time of year, with their offers of saving money and finding the perfect gift.  Yet it’s not just this holiday time that we’re surrounded with offers – their hope of being tempting.

How do you think about the approaches and offers all around you?  Do you consider the strategies they’re using?  Do you know what and when you are more prone to giving into the temptation?

If only it were simple to have set rules for making intentional purchases and avoid collecting clutter.  Which isn’t to say that there aren’t some strategies for doing both of these things – yet, with all the variables, they’re not likely to be foolproof.  The more we understand our own dynamic – the factors that impact our buying more things – the easier it will be to catch ourselves.

There are times that the idea of an item being scarce can be a challenge for me – “uh oh, I absolutely love that, it’s on sale which means it might be going out of stock (or is less expensive), so I should just get it.”  Once I became aware of how this situation of an apparent scarcity (or “good” deal) can lead me to impulsive purchasing, I can now catch myself most of the time from buying into the perception of scarcity.  I realized that it was more important to me to be able to take the time to process and evaluate buying items, then that if it was in fact not available (if I even went back to get it) it was “just not meant to be.”  This is one of my strategies – in response to one of the marketing strategies that can entice me.

For me with the idea of scarcity, it only applies to some things.  When it is in the clearance area of a store, I practice skepticism about why something has made it there.  Yet I learned that the hard way – I picked up too many things over the years that were flimsy.  Just because something is marked down doesn’t mean it’s really a savings to buy – if the item is poor quality, it won’t work or last long anyway – so it’s a waste of your time and money.

The marketing aspects that can tempt me are not necessarily the same ones that lure you – just like the approach we take to handle it will be different.  If we don’t pay attention – learn from our experiences – we will spend money we don’t need to and have that much more excess stuff around making more work for us.

It’s not just as simple as the marketing – the things retailers are advertising and trying to tempt us with.  We also have an internal sense of when something is too much – whether it would match anyone else’s view or not.  So, consider if you later regret how much you spent on x, y, z, etc.  Do you need to adjust your internal sense or apply it only within certain limits?

Then there’s also how our personality, mood, and feelings influence how we buy or not buy as well.  For me, it also affects my tolerance for shopping at all – sometimes the last thing I have any desire to do is walk into a store unless I have an immediate need.  Then there are other times that I want to look around and explore.  Once I even said, “I want to go into the “clutter” store.”  Then I chuckled – both at the desire to go into the store that seemed cluttered and how I labeled it – automatically.  Here’s the window that somehow drew me in – and after going in, I admired a few things, considered if anything wanted to come home with me, and left happy – exploring and not purchasing.


cluttered store front full of items

The “clutter” store I wanted to go into.

We all have opportunities to buy things we don’t need and end up not using or appreciating those things.  And more than the opportunities, we all spend on our money on these things – at least sometimes.  This isn’t about how much money you do or don’t have – since you can collect clutter at dollar stores just as easily as higher end boutiques and the excess stuff still requires your attention, at some point.  We can choose to consider the things influencing our purchasing and explore how we can do that in ways that are truly supportive of our life.

Giving Thanks

This is the time of year when we tend to think about being grateful – at least if you’re not already practicing gratitude regularly.  After all tomorrow is Thanksgiving – a day we often associate with sharing the things we’re grateful for – before digging into the feast.  Yet, it seems as a society we’re thinking more and more about gratitude – and the value gratitude has on our own lives.  How often do you take time to consider what you are grateful for?

It can be all too easy to downplay and dismiss the value of expressing your gratitude – after all you’re busy and the things going right don’t require your attention, either in remembering or for problem solving.  One day is enough, isn’t it, for sharing the things you’re grateful for?

Although we certainly don’t want to forget those things in life that need further attention from us, there is value in remembering all the things that went right, that there were things that we can be grateful for.  Human nature is to focus on the negative, yet this just reinforces the ruts in our brain that can limit our thinking and perspective.

Earlier this year at the ICD (Institute for Challenging Disorganization) conference, one of the speakers talked to all of us about “Living Stress Free.”  Lots of things can contribute to our stress level and the way they interact then has a further impact.  Therefore, we can reverse the path to stress with some practice and tools.  And you probably guessed it – one of those tools is expressing gratitude.

His recommendation was at the end of every week to count your blessing with these 2 steps: 1) recall 3 things from the prior week for which you are grateful and 2) acknowledge 3 things in your life (not time constrained, but overall) for which you feel blessed.    He went on to share that research suggests that this practice translates into people with less depression and stress and that they are more likely to make progress on important personal goals.

New to me was that there is some evidence that counting your blessings once a week is more beneficial than doing it every day.   I found contradictory information on this in my research – and overall that there is no consensus yet about the frequency.  There seems to be no debate about the value of being grateful – of making a practice of it – as long as you don’t get so habituated to it.  Consider the feelings that accompany being grateful – those are part of what benefits the brain.

Sometimes it can be challenging to find things that you are grateful for – whether you’re experiencing depression, a series of tough life events, or whatever else it might be that interferes with identifying the blessings in your life.  Every organizing client that I’ve had has had areas where they are successful – though they don’t always recognize it.  Search out the parts you are succeeding with – I insist there are some! 😉

Due to my worldview, the obstacles and struggles I’ve faced in my life are blessings – they helped me learn and grow.  So even in the midst of a struggle, I can be grateful.  That doesn’t mean I’m not frustrated or challenged, simply that I have confidence that it will in the long run be a blessing for my life.

Similarly, you can feel gratitude for the goals and desires you have.  Where would you be without those?  If you’re dealing with a cluttered living space and desire more order – can you acknowledge the strength and blessing of wanting it to change?  This focuses on the positive – which will support us in moving forward.

We’ve probably all heard that “Thanksgiving was never meant to be limited to one day.” When we make a habit of gratitude we shift things for ourselves – we’re more resilient, more realistic about our self-worth (rather than pessimistic), and it helps us live mindfully in the present moment.  With my approach of experimenting – if you find yourself resistant to the idea of making a practice of gratitude in your life, test it out.  Commit to 2 weeks and just do it – and then observe – how do you feel? Has anything changed? In what ways?

13 Posts in Honor of the Beginning of 2013

In honor of the beginning of 2013, I’m going to share 13 posts I’ve written over the past 4 years (though my first year I started quite late in the year).  It’s hard to believe that I have been blogging this long and many of you might not have seen some of these posts.  Especially when you consider that I have about 170 posts at this point.


1- Ever feel like a bratty child approaching your dreaded tasks?  I know I have.  Check out “I Don’t Wanna!”

2- My first video where I reveal a dumping ground in our home and the approach we took to reclaim that room – “Revamping the Dumping Grounds in Your Home & Other Lost Rooms.”


3- The title of this brings a half-grimace and half-smirk to my face as I think about how it could be misinterpreted, though the point remains; do you have an “Organizer Problem or Personal Problem?”

4- When you’ve decided to tackle an organizing project, it can be challenging to manage your way through it successfully.  These are some of the questions I ask and suggest for people to consider as they work, “Ask Yourself These Questions During Organizing.”

5- It’s surprisingly common to struggle with handling those lovely plastic storage containers.  Therefore, here’s one take on how to “Tame Your Tupperware.”

6- Have you heard of the O.H.I.O. idea?  It’s interesting as long as it’s used in the manner it was intended, which not everyone realizes.  Check out “Only Handle It Once” and see what I mean.


7- I’ll admit it, sometimes it’s hard for me to remember all the things I’ve written about.  This one stays with me and brings a smile to my face – “Contagious Clutter” can plague all of us.  (And be careful it does multiply when you look away.)

8- There’s a common poem that outlines the “Guidelines for a Happy Home” which I use to illustrate some of the things that apply equally to be organized.

9- Although this title is a little misleading, it’s more about some steps to take when deciding to tackle an organizing project, including waiting until you are fully prepared, “You’re Organized, Right?”

10- This is such a little known planner, yet it remains as the one paper style I think about most as it limits our daily tasks, “Taylor Planner.”


11- We all collect things.  Yup, we sure do.  So, then it’s worth thinking about “Collections, When to Stop.”

12- Arts and craft supplies can be one of the most daunting things to try organizing, there’s so many different approaches and so many things.  That’s why I wrote about “Organizing Art & Craft Supplies.”

13- This was probably the most overdue topic since I only really broached it this past year, how to handle the small spaces – from the storage spaces like closets to the living spaces, “So Little Space.”

There it is, 13 posts to celebrate the beginning of 2013.  It wasn’t easy choosing which ones to share and I’d love to hear if there’s one that I missed that you appreciated.

I hope you all have a wonderful year.  Here’s to being organized – in the real meaning of the word, being able to find what you need when you need it. Happy 2013!

Consider Setting Resolutions – or Not

There’s a certain amount of dread I find as the New Year approaches.  I feel an obligation to talk about resolutions and goals, as this is the expectation for this event each year.  Part of me wonders how many of you actually set New Year’s resolutions.  Or how seriously you take them.  As time passes, I have a sense that people sitting down to make their list has dissipated over the years.  It seemed like everyone did it when I was kid and you needed to be prepared since someone (more likely several people) were bound to ask you what your goals were for the coming year.  I’m not sure how many of us view this event the same now.

And let me be perfectly clear, I am all for setting goals.  I’ve mentioned before that I just personally resist this once a year on January 1st list making.  I strive to incorporate it into my life, throughout the year.  I do dislike how we have the potential for undermining our confidence by setting goals and not meeting them.  This feels extremely contrary to the intention.  What I want for all of us is positive self-regard, the feeling of being successful in all our life.  Anything that challenges that needs to be reevaluated in my book!

So, let’s talk about goals here.  You probably know all the guidelines – start small, set concrete and specific goals that you can measure, and keep the list short.  I’ve even written about these things before in Goals, Already?

Yet I can’t help but wonder, maybe we half-heartedly set some New Year’s resolutions simply expecting that they probably won’t happen.  Most people I’ve talked to know about the above guidelines for being successful in setting goals and yet when they’ve set goals, they’ve neglected to develop their goals far enough to apply those guidelines.  That’s part of why it occurred to me that New Year’s resolutions might have become almost an almost rote task for some of us.

Probably the biggest thing for me is that taking steps to reach our goals can’t be so easily proscribed.  I remember years ago I desperately wanted to lose weight.  I went through phases of wanting a quick and easy fix since I blamed some medication for my weight predicament.  Then I accepted that there wasn’t going to be any quick fixes and made some beginning efforts at exercising.  Those often faltered with the realization of how far I had to go – even 5 minutes on a stationary bike was exhausting.  Then finally I was able to commit to the process, starting small with specific goals at 5 minutes each time 3 days a week.  That progressed to 1 hour 5 days a week and guess what – the weight came off.

Except that this goal had to move through various stages before it was truly prepared to be my goal.  It took me a long time from the “I want to…” until I was ready to set small and specific goals.  That didn’t correspond to any set date on a calendar.

And this really is the crux of why part of me dreads writing about setting New Year’s resolutions, I don’t want to propagate that you need to set goals at this time of year.  You don’t need to be ready to make changes this moment.  Changes take time and you really need to be prepared in all ways to begin to make those happen.

Therefore, if you are ready to make a New Year’s resolution, go for it.  If you’re not, then cheers to you too.  And remember the other part of New Year’s is to review your successes over the past year – I hope there were many. Happy New Year and I hope it’s a fabulous one.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Here I am about to state the obvious – my blog always comes out the day before Thanksgiving.  This causes me to have mixed feelings – I want everyone to be focused on enjoying their day.  There are times to be thinking about our habits, our organizing, our time management, and etcetera.  Then there are times when it’s time to set that aside for a while – other priorities are more important.

One of the things I talk to people about is setting priorities.  When everything holds the same value, everything can lose its value.  Think about it in terms of stuff – if you are so surrounded by things you love, how can you love everything when you can’t see or find it?  This applies just as much to our interests – if you want to do everything, you need to figure out what exactly you want to focus on first.

Even more importantly, you need to decide what can wait – when it’s time to set something aside – either permanently or just for the time being.  This is part of what causes someone to feel overwhelmed – the feeling that there is just so much to be done and not being able to leave something undone.

All of life is a journey – like organizing – there’s not an end point.  There’s always more to be done, more to organize, more to improve, and on and on infinitum.  It’s part of what makes life so interesting.  It’s also exactly this that frustrates our efforts.

My vision of this is walking down a road, coming to the familiar crossroads, and choosing a path.  Sometimes this path is about setting something down for a while – I leave that thing, the interest or desire, by the side of the road – because it’s just an image, I know I can pick that interest back up again after I’ve traveled for a while.

Often the holidays are full of routines – we always get together with so and so on Thanksgiving.  As with virtually everything I talk about – I encourage you to figure out your own needs and values – for Thanksgiving as with anything else.  It can be challenging to align your priorities with your life, yet it’s important to do.

Goals, Already?

Yes, it’s not even Christmas and I am already talking about goals. I’ve mentioned before that for me I review my goals throughout the year, yet some people focus on the beginning of the year and the changes they want to make.  And it’s never too early to start planning for the New Year.  In fact, beginning now may even make a positive impact on your upcoming holidays.

Who is it that you want to be? How are you different from that idea?  Is it something you can actually change? I would love to be someone who doesn’t have a chronic disease, yet I have no control over that.  On the other hand, I am adamant that it does not control my life.

Supposedly one of the most popular goals of the New Year is to get into shape/ lose weight/ or other diet and health related goals.  Being organized is often up there as a popular goal. And we have all heard the dire statistics on how well we as a whole follow through on our goals, especially at New Year’s.

There are several reasons that we don’t make much progress on our goals: too abstract, too many, too dramatic a change, and the list goes on. This is a prime reason that it’s a good time to start thinking about what your goals will be – giving yourself time to let it float around in your brain and percolate.

Let me cover some basic ideas and I am sure they are out there in cyber space aplenty:

  1. Get specific. If you want to lose weight, come up with a plan on how you will work on that. If you want to be more organized, define one area that matters most and focus on that specifically.  What steps are needed to accomplish this goal? Do you need to schedule time to exercise? Do you want to check the dining room table twice a day and spend time clearing it if things are accumulating?  What do specifically want? Set the guidelines for yourself.
  2. Choose one goal to start with.  If we divide our attention to many different goals, we’re likely to do none of them.  You can always add a new goal after a month or so of success with the first one.  Remember, on average it takes 30 days of doing something consistently for it become a habit – whether that’s exercising or keeping the dining room table clear.
  3. Start with small changes.  Our routines are hard to change, we’re used to doing things in very specific ways, and switching how we do them is uncomfortable and hard.  I’ve heard it compared to ruts in a road, it’s hard to get out of the rut and to not end up back in those ruts.  Our brains are used to us behaving as we always have, and to suddenly be trying to make large changes – it’s unsettling.  This is also where recognizing the ways you are successful can help, then making some modifications to become more successful.

One of my goals for the coming year is to monthly tackle one room in our house and review it and the things in it.  I’ve recognized how easy it is for things to build up.  I don’t always appreciate the decor as the years pass since I too can become “blind” to it.  I want to be surrounded by things that inspire me and especially not bogged down by things that aren’t relevant to me anymore. It will also keep the space relatively fresh, and I won’t stop seeing things out of habit.   Also, at the monthly level it will give me time to tweak some systems if they need it before we’re on to the next room.

What’s one thing you want to be different next year? You can make it happen, I believe in you.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! :)

It’s the night before Thanksgiving.


There are better times to be considering ways to be more organized.

There are better times to be considering improving your time management.


This is the time to be getting ready to enjoy your Thanksgiving, whatever you do.

It’s a great time to be continuing to think about the things you are thankful for.


Here are some quotes to inspire you…
I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home. I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.  ~ Nancie J. Carmody


As we express gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy


Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.  ~ Marcel Proust


A grateful mind is a great mine, which eventually attracts to itself great things.  ~ Plato


Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.  ~ Robert Caspar Lintner


An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.  ~ Irv Kupcinet


Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.  ~Native American saying

Gifts – Giving and Receiving

Here it is the beginning of October and Christmas decorations are appearing in stores.  I was going to share this later this year, yet with the décor bringing Christmas to mind, we can start to think about what we will give this year.

When my husband and I were first together, we’d go crazy at Christmas.  We had so many gifts under the tree for each other.  They were mostly things that other wanted, and hence not really clutter.  Then something happened.  A Christmas came and when we talked about what we each wanted it turned out that the list was tiny.  Suddenly we were satiated and many things started to seem like clutter.  At this point, we decided to change things.  Now, we only exchange stocking gifts – though often the items don’t actually fit inside the sock!  We also decided to think about larger, household type gifts.  We set a budget and each year decide on a larger joint item.  One year it was a new couch and chair for the living room; another year it was a DSL camera.

I encourage all of you to find ways to make the most of this holiday season.  If you suddenly find yourself feeling like you’re getting a bunch of stuff that you don’t actually need or want – consider ways to change it up.

It’s common in larger families to draw one name and exchange that way, so you don’t need to spend tons of money buying something for everyone.  I’ve also known families who just buy gifts for the children.  Some families are open to buying gifts from a wish list, while others are against that idea.  You need to find what works for you and your family.

I love the idea of buying “experiences” for people.  One birthday, my husband bought me horseback riding sessions, how fabulous since I don’t get to ride as much as I would like.  This can be especially wonderful for grandparents who might go overboard at Christmas.  Instead of buying toys galore, you get a family season pass for a museum or the zoo.  You get them lessons for something that interests them – martial arts, music, sports, or whatever that offers them experiences.  It’s something they cannot outgrow since they create memories and can be cherished always.

Like with so much, don’t be afraid to reevaluate how things are working.  After a couple of years after my husband and I had been only doing the stockings – it started feeling stale.  We still really liked the idea of limiting our gift giving to the stockings, so we made up a “treasure hunt” of items.  We created a list of categories to try to find – so there needed to be a bed or bath item, a spiritual item, 2 pieces of media (we do love our books and music!), and several other categories.  Suddenly opening our socks didn’t feel stale anymore.  For now, it continues to work, though when it doesn’t we’ll talk and figure out what we might need to change.

We often do this after Christmas, while it’s fresh and make plans for the changes in the following year.  Of course, by doing it that way, you need to remember when it comes around the next year!  You can change the way you approach your gift giving and receiving at any time.  This is a great time to consider what you want to do this year – with store decorations going up; they begin tempting us to spend our money.  What do you want to give this year?  It’s never too late (or early) to make plans so you can make the most of the holiday season and appreciate its real purpose – to appreciate family and be grateful for what you have.

Schedule Your Resolutions

Picture this: me, as a young girl, I’m sitting down to make a list.  No, I’m not an organized child – it’s New Year’s and I’m writing my resolutions for the coming year.  Fortunately, I was not encouraged to make a huge list, though often had around a dozen items.  I had big dreams for all the things that I could change in that year.  If only making the list made it happen.  We all have faced the reality – it’s not that simple.

Creating new habits – changing our behavior – is difficult.  We’re creatures of habit, and cannot decide on a “complete overhaul” and expect that we’ll pull it off.  We need to train ourselves.  That means that we need to start simply – with a very limited number of things.  I’d even say that maybe even only one thing at a time.  You can work on multiple things; though try to make it for different times during the day.  If you want to try changing three things – choose things that are done throughout the day – one thing for the morning, one thing for the afternoon, and one thing for the evening.

Like any skill you want to have, you need to practice.  You cannot learn to play an instrument overnight; you need to start with something relatively simple and then practice.  And practice and continue to practice.  Then you can move on to the next step in the process – and then practice some more.  Eventually you’ll have the skills.  It takes time and work to cement those skills for yourself.

Don’t become a nagging parent to yourself to practice whatever you’ve decided to work on.  Hopefully you’re setting goals that you’re passionate about, and therefore want to succeed with.  Yet, you’ll need to figure out when it makes sense to practice them.  Put them into your schedule.  It’s quite a phenomenon that when we put something into our schedule that we want to do, we more often actually do it.

If you’ve decided to make time to exercise, look at the next week (or two weeks or month) and decide when you’ll do it.  The frequency is up to you, maybe you want to start slowly, and two days a week is all you can manage.  If you have a schedule that allows you to block the same time on the same days, it makes it easier.  If you have a more erratic schedule, just make sure you put time into the schedule.  Don’t “play it by ear” waiting for the time to appear for your exercise, doing that just makes it more likely this goal will fall by the wayside.

Ideally, you’ll want to make time to review how you’re coming on your goals.  If you’ve faltered along the way, you can consider what went wrong, make some adjustments, and begin again.  On the other hand, if you’ve made good progress, you can think about whether you want to add some new goals.

It’s remarkably easy to dream big – you’re determined that you want to do this and that, ad infinitum.  We want to stay on top of those regular tasks and have time to also do much more.  At this time of year specifically, it’s traditional to evaluate the things we want to change and make resolutions for the transformative powers of the New Year.

When you examine your goals and priorities, don’t overwhelm yourself by a long list – whether you think about it once a year or many times.  If you want to succeed, limit the goals to a small number.  Then the challenge is – you need to put concrete steps into your schedule.  You need to plan specifically what you are going to do.  This applies to everything you decide to work on, at any time of year.  ☺