Sometimes, a plan that seemed like a great idea at the time turns out to be not so great after all. Often, though, it just needs a little tweaking.

I think that was the case with my New Year’s Resolution this year. I decided that I was going to complete a new project every week throughout 2014. My first project was to compile a list of 50 projects and goals I wanted to complete, and I’m happy to report I was able to check that one off the list almost immediately. Not only did I compile a list, but I organized it into different categories, such as Personal, Business, and Home Maintenance. And I made a chart so that I could keep track of what I completed, and when.

I made it to Week 7.

That could easily have been the point at which I wrote off this New Year’s Resolution. But I didn’t want to do that. So instead, as the second half of 2014 begins, I’m looking at what I did right, what I did wrong, and how to get back on track.

One mistake I made was in the scope of the projects. Many were too broad and vague, or had too many moving parts to take on in a single week, such as processing and eliminating all old emails, or creating an entirely new coaching program. Others were boring or tedious – such as cleaning out closets and cabinets – which is why they needed to be on a list in the first place.

Another mistake I made was in my timing. I resolved to look over my list every Sunday evening, and choose a project for the following week. But Sunday evening is wind-down time for me, and I never managed to establish the habit of selecting and starting my weekly project, so it never became an automatic item on my agenda.

Here’s what I’m going to do differently from here on out. First, make a new list by starting with my long-range dreams and goals and working backwards to develop projects that will help me reach them. I’ll make sure that the initial projects consist of small “chunks” that are easily doable – until I build momentum for the bigger and heavier lifting that some of the other projects will require. And I’ll put a reminder on my calendar to select the next week’s project on Friday afternoon. That allows me to get started on the weekend, if I’m so inclined, so I’ll already be in action on it by the time the following week gets going.

These may seem like minor adjustments – and they are. But sometimes it’s the small things we do that have the greatest impact. Or that simply bring about the change we are hoping for.

If you started this project with me at the beginning of the year, or even if you didn’t, I invite you to join in now. Jumpstart the second half of the year with your goals refreshed, determination restored, and inspiration enthusiastically renewed for all that you’re going to accomplish and achieve in the next six months. Then join me in planning for a strong and satisfying finish to this year, and a positive and powerful start to the next one.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on July 10, 2014.
©Betty Liedtke, 2014

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