Monday, January 3, 2011

Goals & Post-its

In our family, we have a clash of opinions regarding the celebration of and traditions held on New Year's.  My husband is a strict "Resolutions" man, where I am a flit-y float-y "Goals" kinda gal.  I believe it's all in the motivation.  Are you 'resolved' to do something, or merely planning on getting around to it?  I figure if I'm resolved, and then do not continue my resolution past say, January 5th, then I have failed, and I will have to wait 360 days to try again.  This is neither encouraging nor motivational to me.  Now if I have goals, that's just vague enough to not be restricted to any given time-line.  A goal is simply a glorified 'list item'.

I'm a list-maker extraordinaire.  Post-its are my best friend in the entire world.  They are the modern day equivalent to the proverbial string-around-the-finger.  (I picture Uncle Billy from It's a Wonderful Life)  They are the perfect place to unpack a scrambled brain full of things to do, places to go, quotes to remember.  My kitchen cabinets are covered in post-its.  I have three magnetic notepads on my fridge.  The school table has post-its of all sizes(mostly the book-marky sizes), my bedside table has notepads, even my bathroom counter has a sticky-note pad and pen(sometimes the best ideas come when brushing one's teeth!) 

Everyone knows the best thing about lists is crossing things off of them.  When making a to-do list, I even write in already accomplished items for the day, just for the satisfaction and further motivation of drawing that coveted line through said things. 

The other sneaking thing experienced list makers do is to include the things we know we aren't going to do, or know we can save for another day.  This way, we can convince ourselves we're just too busy to clean out that closet, or assuage our feelings of guilt by reminding ourselves that the gym will be open tomorrow as well.  There are some things on my lists that I will only do when I loathe the other things more.  Most days, it's a toss-up between laundry and bills.  An example...

1. Return books at library(easy)
2. Go to bank(no prob)
3. Go to gym(ha ha ha ha!)
4. Clean out closet(never going to happen)
5. Pay bills(eh - how much laundry do I have?)
6. Do laundry(eh - how many bills do I have?)
7. Make dinner(we gotta eat sometime, and I don't see anyone else looking in the pantry for fixin's)
8. Tidy up (this can always be moved to another day)
9. Walk dogs(seriously.  they're going nuts from being cooped up)
10. Ask if anyone has fed the dogs because they look very hungry(they're actually just quite good at that look)

I don't suppose dogs ever keep lists in their heads, but perhaps a short-term goal list would go something like this:

1. wake up; find someone to feed you
2. eat; convince someone else that you haven't yet been fed
3. eat again
4. tap on the slider to go outside
5. turn right around and tap to come back in
6. nap
7. try and communicate you want to go for a walk
8. give up and nap some more
9. eat again
10. look as sad and as hungry as you can while begging for dinner scraps or a second helping of food

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And now, a story within a story about Post-its.  I am not paid or employed by the Post-it company, but as I have mentioned, I love them.

About a week before Christmas, a funny thing happened.  I ran out of post-its.  Now, I still had my magnetic refrigerator notepads, my night stand stash, and even one or two on the upstairs counter, but my go-to kitchen stash in the "junk-drawer-that's-not-really-junk" was devoid of post-its.  Ugh, it drove me nuts.  Upon what would I write to remind myself to go get more Post-its?  With the holiday rush, I had simply neglected to plan ahead. 

On New Year's Eve eve I finally made it to the store on a mission for one thing:  Post-its.  I settled on a three-pack of recycled paper stickies with lines(love those lines!)   Ahh.  Now, the lists may continue.  My first item?  "Buy more Post-its"

The End.
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As for 2011 goals?  My list starts with the basics: read more, watch less; listen more, yell less; walk the dogs more, procrastinate less(if I get around to it).   Some things I'd love to do or try in 2011... more close-to-home trips with the dogs, vegetable share delivery, more outdoors activities in general, and to finally get the last two years of family photos into albums.  With all that traveling with the dogs and trying new vegetables, I'm sure to be very busy.  Not sure if I'll have enough time to do the picture albums...

How about you?  What are your top goal items for the new year?

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