In my planner, calendar and journal I scribble a code when I organize a project or target an objective: wdywthh? Asking myself What do you want to have happen? is my most effective method of setting goals. Let me illustrate.
A common goal might be: Don't eat dessert. The first time I fudged I'd be disappointed, the second time I'd be discouraged, and the third time I'd be a failure. And, as a failure, I'd stop trying.
With the wdywthh? method I'd state the goal differently: I want to feel good about myself. There are many ways to accomplish this goal. I always list some ideas. For instance: have the Lancome lady teach me how to do my eye make-up; change the color of my hair; exercise; don't eat dessert; smile at myself in the mirror; read something uplifting every day. Doing anything that makes me feel good about myself gives me a charge, and I have a better chance of achieving success.
Last year I wrote:
Wdywthh? I want to forgive myself for not looking like I did when I was eighteen. Some ideas:
- Dress the body I have. (If I like how I look, I'll have more incentive to take care of myself.)
- Stay active. Enjoy all the things my body still lets me do.
- Communicate support to each individual whenever I can, however I can.
- Rejoice in the fact that they are conscientious and capable. Let them know how proud I am of their contribution to their world.
- Respect their responsibilities and step back so I'm not in their way.
- Keep in touch with each kid and grandkid and keep them informed about each other. Be positive, sensitive, and tactful when talking to (and about) them.
Furniture arranging: Do I want to encourage conversation, have a couple of reading nooks or make it easy to play games? Instead of randomly setting chairs here or there, I know what I want to have happen, and prepare the room for that activity.
When I plan a party, instead of thinking "What would be fun?" I list what I want to have happen, and then decide on the way to accomplish it. Do I want the kids to interact with the adults? (Maybe a baseball game or a big puzzle.) For a shot of self-esteem, I organize a talent show. How will the kids entertain themselves while the parents visit? (A box of dress-ups and a full length mirror in the bedroom will keep them occupied.) It's a different way of thinking that helps me recognize what my goal actually is.
The other part of my New Year's planning is writing a Mission Statement. I always start it out with
- "My life has meaning, purpose and direction because . . ." and then I elaborate on that.
- I continue with "I am dedicated to . . ."
- "I find joy in . . ."
- I list "Qualities I value and want to develop."
- The final section is "If I could do anything I want this year, I would . . ." Then I sign and date it. I read my mission statement a few times a year and write an "addendum" with any changes, and then I sign and date it again. It keeps me focused in a loose, positive way.
So, what do you want to have happen in 2012?
It's time to make a plan!
It's time to make a plan!