Now that we’re fresh off the holiday season and into the New Year, we enter that very special time of year… resolution time!
Wherever you are and whatever your beliefs, you can probably at least agree that it’s a good idea to have goals. Goal setting is a healthy practice year-round, but there’s no more opportune time to set new goals than the start of the new year. So why not take this opportunity and set some of yours goals to tackle your biggest chaos. That may sound intimidating, but there’s no time like the present, and I’ll be here to help you rock those resolutions throughout the year!
Now I don’t want to get preachy on you, because I certainly don’t have it all figured out either. And I don’t want to just share some fluffy, inspirational messages about staying motivated – that’s not what The Chaos Whisperer is about.
I’d rather arm you with real, functional tactics that you can immediately use to better achieve your own goals. I can’t presume to know your goals, or understand how complicated your life and your life’s Chaos may be. But I can share with you what my own Chaos-whispering resolutions are, and then the actually applicable methods I am using to realize them, and hopefully some of that will prove useful for you as well.
So first, here are my 2012 resolutions, which address the areas of my life that can most benefit from greater balance with Chaos.
- Reorganize my work spaces for greater productivity & creativity.
- Clear the clutter in my life (literally & figuratively) and seriously question the value add of any new purchase.
- Consolidate all my finances and investments under one easily managed roof.
- Commit to a healthier sleep schedule to address my insomnia.
- Regiment my workout routine, train harder and more consistently to master new martial arts/acrobatics/stunt fighting skills.
- Blog weekly (post here every Wed) and make regular writing time to develop other stories & ideas.
- Dive further into mastering my film producer role and seek guidance from more experienced producers.
- Learn to forgive the patterns of my past & accept the new challenges of building a lasting & loving partnership with someone.
- Find greater comfort in silence, and appreciate not just the words of others, but also the space between them.
- Ensure that each of the Chaos-balancing systems I create own my unique voice and celebrate (rather than suppress) my free spirit and authentic self.
Now what are your resolutions?
If you’re having trouble coming up with yours, try to think about it differently. Don’t think of them as goals so much as ways you want to live more intentionally. What matters to you this year? What do you hope to build in the next 12 months? Now what is currently holding you back from doing this? Name your Chaos. Turn those answers into your resolutions and then let’s see if we can help you make them happen.
Because it’s all well and good to make resolutions, but quite another to make good on them. So now I am most pleased to share with you my top 10 tactics to rock your resolutions this year. (hint: some of these tactics can be resolutions of their own!)
- Simplify! Look at your list of resolutions and ask yourself – do I really need this many goals? If you have more than 10, try narrowing your list down some. Keep it simple and actionable, and you’ll have a better chance of actually completing them all.
- Prioritize! Assign an order of importance to your goals and keep this in mind as you attack them accordingly, especially if you find yourself getting a bit off-track or overwhelmed at any point. Multi-tasking is a myth – if you prioritize properly, there is no need to multi-task.
- Think Big, Act Small! To avoid the overwhelmed feeling, break up each goal into smaller bite-size steps, and take them one at a time (according to their priority). Try giving yourself no more than 2 critical tasks towards your goals each day, and make sure you do them! (Ask yourself: If this is the only thing I accomplish today, will I be satisfied with my day?)
- Set Deadlines! Give yourself a time frame to accomplish the steps towards your goals. Remember to be realistic, but don’t be afraid to push yourself. Parkinson’s Law essentially says that any task will take as much time as you allot it. So whether you give yourself two weeks or two days to complete a task, it will probably take you that long.
- Stop Justifying Your Time! If you do find yourself getting overwhelmed, stop and ask yourself – Am I adding more work for myself just to feel busy? Am I being productive or just active? Am I inventing things to do just to avoid the important? Sometimes the things we least want to do are the things most needed to get done. So if you find yourself facing this challenge, recite this mantra: “The sooner I do it, the sooner I don’t have to do it!”
- Outsource! Look at your list of steps towards each goal, and ask yourself if any of those can be automated or done by someone else? Take advantage of the great many tools we have available in today’s age of technology. And don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember – the key to having more time is doing less.
- Imitate! Why reinvent the wheel? If you are struggling for ways to automate your steps, or even what your steps should be, look at what others have done. Talk to your friends and colleagues, ask for their advice as well as their help. I don’t necessarily mean copy exactly what they did, but their experience can prove a more helpful starting point than if you tried to start from scratch. You can still take what you learn from them and make it your own!
- Define Your Space! Identify those places where you feel most productive – your office, a coffee shop, your living room, etc – and make that your daily workspace. Organize all your necessary materials and resources in that space, and keep it free of any other irrelevant clutter, to make sure you can focus all your energy on the tasks ahead while you are there.
- Teach It! As you try to master new skills and reach your goals, find a friend or colleague who wants to learn what you are doing and share with them along the way. I’ve found that one of the best ways to learn something yourself is to try teaching it to others. Take this blog for example: by researching and relaying these Chaos Whispering tips for you all, I’m learning new and better ways to improve my own life.
- Stay Positive! Try not to dwell on your mistakes or when things go wrong. Stay focused on the Chaos you can influence. Learn from the past and move on to improve the future. Life is too short to waste a moment, especially on things you have no control over.
Bonus Tip: Make It Your Own! The most important thing to remember as you embark on this new Chaos-balancing journey is to know what you want and never give up on that. Stop defining your goals based on what others tell you is important. It doesn’t matter what your family, friends, or even society say – never let anyone tell you it’s not worth it. Define your own definition of what success means to you, then go for it and never look back!
I know I am working towards a kind of success that means something to me. Why don’t you join me? It’s a new year and a new start – and it’s time to take the lead with your life’s Chaos. Happy Resolution Rocking!