Check Up and Step Up: 2012-13
Fingers crossed, after some of us about collapsed last week, we’re all back on our feet and feeling ready to barge on into 2013 to show it who’s boss.
Yep, it’s time for what I’m calling Check Up and Step Up. We’re going to look at the year we’ve just had, and peek ahead into 2013 to work out what we want it to do for us.
The blogosphere is full of guidelines and templates to do with New Year resolutions. So, as much as I enjoy reinventing the wheel, this time we’re going to see what’s already out there, to find a system that works for us.
I’m testing two systems as we go along, and I’m recording my own personal results separately; they’ll be online at some point in the next few weeks, in case you want to see an example of how these systems work, or just be a bit nosy.
First up is The Uncaged Life’s Year in Review (click to download).
Becca has put together a nifty little PDF file to help her readers think about how this last year has gone, and, with those answers in our heads, to decide how they want the next year to look. This is the clean, simple, slightly bigger picture approach.
If I’m honest, before I started doing this, I didn’t really want to do it. I was kind of doing it just for the sake of this blog post (sozzles). But some of those questions really made me look at things differently, and made me realise a thing or two.
Even if you’re not feeling particularly keen, I think you should give one of these exercises a go. If you’re like me, you’ll find that some of your answers surprise you, but that they make sense, and that, if you have to think too long and hard about an answer, it’s probably not something that you care about enough to prioritise. I filled in these answers but, after realising that, deleted my answers.
Anyway, this tool would be great for you if you’re not used to evaluating your own life, and would like to get an idea of what’s what, without getting overwhelmed with details and specific plans. It’ll take you into 2013 with your eyes wide open, let’s say.
Live Your Legend: 2012 Goal Setting and Action Workbook
Again, I was reluctant to go through this workbook, but it also turned out to be very useful. This is definitely the ‘let’s really break things down and figure out how we’re going to do this’ approach.
Scott starts by getting you to identify the broad areas of your life that you’d like to focus on, like ‘health’ (I wouldn’t recommend choosing too many). He then gets you to be more and more specific about your new goals and habits.
Now, I know that goals should be specific but I always struggle with this part; specific goals feel too restricting, especially if I don’t know much about the area of the goal yet. But I made myself complete this section, by starting with very attainable goals; I figured that I can always make them harder as I go along.
What I found really useful was how Scott gets you to work out some of the smaller things you need to do in order to start achieving the goal. For example, to start exercising at least once a week, I could go out tomorrow and buy a new helmet, and identify some programmes or films to watch to keep me entertained while I’m on my crosstrainer. They’re not exactly difficult; I could do them tomorrow morning, and then I’d be pretty much set.
From going through this workbook, I’ve now got a list of goals falling into four categories (health, career, social skills, and learning), each with some initial easy peasy tasks that I can do to get myself on my way.
Now I’m going to make myself a ‘goals’ book to keep on top of them, and to see how I’m doing each week.
Those two systems complement each other brilliantly.
One’s big-picture-how-do-you-feel stuff, and the other’s let’s-get-down-to-this stuff. Pick and mix or do both, but at least take a look at them and think about your 2012 and 2013.
Of course there are tonnes of different approaches you could take towards checking up on last year and stepping up for next year. Here are a few more:
- Life without Pants: Just Say Thanks
- Zen Habits: The Definitive Guide to Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions
- Zen Habits: How to Have the Best Year of Your Life (without Setting a Single Goal)
- Location 180: 13 Ways to Actually Stick to Your Resolutions in 2011
- Steamy Kitchen: For 2012: Make a Memory Jar
- The Art of Non-Conformity: Annual Reviews series
Now go away and do something to make sure something good happens to you in 2013. Because it is up to you, after all. No-one else is going to make it a good year for you, lazybones.
Oh, and let me know what sort of things you want to achieve in the comments box, and I’ll do my best to make sure Young Ambitions is as relevant to your goals as possible. I’m nice like that.
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