Ah, January. The time of year where we all get out our pens and write down our resolutions yet again. They talk about it on the news, the gyms are packed, it's as if we all got two new double A batteries loaded into our brains and we're ready to tackle our list!

Wait a minute….what do you mean you're not organized, in shape, done reading all those books, remodeled your kitchen, gotten in touch with lost friends, found a new job, had quality time with your significant other and made scrapbooks of your kids by December???

Because thinking about resolutions or even writing them down on a crisp piece of paper just doesn't cut it, my friend! So, (cracking knuckles), keep reading to find out a better way.

First, acknowledge that conquering a goal is difficult, but not impossible. If it were easy, we would all be endlessly happy and rich to boot. So, don't beat yourself up for past resolutions or goals that you have failed at. We've all been there, even Tony Robbins, (I think. He's human, right?) so move on.

Second, make your list and leave lots of room in between goals. Think about what you want your new year to look like. Where do you want to be 12 months from now? Even if it's the scariest, hairiest goal ever, WRITE IT DOWN! The scarier, the better. Go back and with the space you left, write down the reasons you have not made these goals happen in the past. Then, write down why this goal is important to you. (For example: Resolution- start working out. Reasons I haven't done it- don't have time, too tired, it's boring. Reason it's important- lose weight, live longer, I love spandex.) Lastly in this space, write down HOW you will do it. Be specific! (I want to walk 2 miles in my neighborhood in the mornings twice a week for 2 weeks, then 3 times a week thereafter). Make sure this is attainable and realistic. We've all been taught to “reach for the starts”, but sometimes, we gotta start with reaching for the doorknob. Make sure that your goals are measurable. Try to stay away from general statements like, “I want to lose weight”. How much weight? And by when? Re-read your list and pick ONE goal at a time to tackle. If you see one where your intuition tells you “that's not going to happen” really think about it. Are you self-sabotaging yourself? Or, is this the one goal that you are ready to be proud of that you finally accomplished it?

Third, and this is where you may need to be a little organized, plan it out. Just writing down, “I will walk twice this week” isn't enough. Plan it in your week. If you have a day planner/organizer/tech gadget figure out when you will have time, and schedule it in. Put it somewhere where you will have to see it.

Everyone is different when it comes to attaining goals. For me, the more people I tell about a goal, the more I strive to attain it. Accountability is a great way to get things accomplished. Life is too short to sit around and just talk about what we want to do. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some goals to write down!!

Photo courtesy of flickr by brownhorse