I always look forward to the New Year, I love that clean slate feeling that always gets everybody so motivated, and willing to look inward and start bettering themselves. Go on a diet. Hit the gym. Spend more time with family.
Admittedly, it kind of crept up on me this year with moving, Christmas, and the general flurries of life, so about a week ago I decided I’d block off a few hours on the 31st of December to reflect on 2016.
I thought a bit on what went right and wrong throughout the year and put pen to paper on what I wanted to change in 2017, but one thing kept coming back up.
That New Car Smell
I think of it like those first months of owning a new car. You make a rule that no one can eat or drink in the new car. You wash and vacuum the new car every week. All of the sudden all the parking spots are just a little too narrow for the new car, so you park closer to the back of the lot.
Then a few months slip past…new turns to newish. You notice that first little ding in the bumper, you let your guard down, and your buddy drops a ketchup’ed fry on the seat. You clean it, but nonetheless, newish eventually turns to old, and the brake dust begins to cake up your wheels and you can write “wash me” in your rear window.
This is the same progression we go through every New Year. It’s become a laughing matter about how quickly we’ll break our New Year’s resolutions, even though we set out with such strong convictions to keep our new car in new car condition.
My newfound passion for the New Year led me to come up with a concept for not letting the convictions of the New Year fade away.
The concept is simple, much like we all use the New Year to set resolutions, I’m going to set a resolution for the entire year, but I’m going to break that down into smaller, more achievable, quarterly resolutions. And those into monthly resolutions. And those into weekly resolutions.
I want to feel the self-inflection and freshness of the New Year…. EVERY WEEK. Just like the New Year, I want a chance to look at last week and say “well I screwed that up, what can I do better this week”, or “last month was great, let’s do that again this month”.
Do I sound crazy? Yeah, that’s what my mom said… but nonetheless.
Here are the rules:
At the end of every period, review the progress from the previous period, and re-evaluate for the upcoming period.
- Each resolution/todo/goal should be quantifiable or completable
You should be able to track if you succeeded or failed. Are you off target, ahead of schedule, behind in savings, etc.
Bad example: Lose some weight Good example: Lose 2 pounds
- Each goal should match it’s time frame
The granularity of the goal should be respective to the granularity of the review. In other words, don’t set overly specific goals for the year. Bad example:
- Failure IS an option
…as long as you learn from it.
That’s really what this is all about… growth and learning. Instead of having a New Year’s resolution, failing by January 14th, then waiting until next year to try again, re-evaluate and pick back up on the 15th.
So, I’ve set up a recurring reminder for every Sunday at 5pm to look at the goals I set for the previous week.
I will do two things, first, review the previous week:
– Did I hit the goals I set at the beginning of the week?
– If I missed the goals, why? What could I have done to hit them?
Second, I’ll set goals for the upcoming week. These may be repeats from the previous week, and that’s okay, as long as I’m learning and understanding what I’m doing wrong.
In addition, if this week’s review cycle also ends out the month, I’ll review the month, and plan out the next one… so on and so forth with quarters and years.
To all the weirdos,
Happy New Year! Happy New Quarter! Happy New Month! Happy New Week!