As much as I love December — snow is still exciting, listening to Christmas music all the time is socially acceptable, there’s time for vacation and visiting with family — it is an incredibly busy month for most people.  When January rolls around, I’m usually relieved to have a break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.  The weather seemingly always turns a little (or a lot) colder.  It’s in the teens in DC today and very windy, which means I had to break out the long underwear and I got to test out my warmest hand knit gear!

The colder weather forces us to slow down and maybe stay inside a bit more.  It’s the perfect time to reflect on the year that’s passed and the year that’s ahead of you and set some intentions (or resolutions, if you will) for yourself.

Here’s some tips to help you set and keep those intentions for 2014.

  • Think about the upcoming year.

It may sound easy enough, but we all know how hard it can be to give yourself some time to just think quietly.  Try taking a coffee or tea break away from the computer and your phone.  If you’re like me, bring along a pen and scrap of paper and jot down some ideas.  What life changes came in 2013? Have you adjusted your routine to accommodate these changes – or are you still struggling to keep up?  What changes do you want to make for yourself in the upcoming months and year?

Here’s my list so far:

  1. Establish routine for working on my organizing business.
  2. Establish routine for working on this blog.
  3. Keep all shopping intentional and planned.
  4. Continue daily walks – adding weekend walks!
  • Start Small.

The idea here is that you want to set yourself up for success.  By starting with something small, you’re more likely to achieve the goal.   I read an article that suggested changing the goal of exercising more to putting on your running shoes each morning.  Once you’ve accomplished something small, move onto something bigger!  No one says you can’t revise intentions during the year.

Here’s the changes I’ll make to my list of intentions:

  1. Block off 6 hours (minimum) weekly to business work. [One could argue that goal this isn’t small enough. I’ll acknowledge that and move on b/c I’ve got work to do! :) ]
  2. Work on the blog once a week: brainstorm, write a rough draft, or finalize a post.
  3. If I find something I like, wait a full day before actually making a purchase.
  4. Walk somewhere either Friday night, Saturday or Sunday every weekend.
  • Acknowledge your successes

We started small for a reason – so you could feel success sooner rather than later.  Once you do something on your list, even just once, acknowledge it!  Mark it in your calendar as completed.  Tell your mom, or BFF, or someone who likes you.  Say “Woot! I’m awesome”.  Put on a song and dance around to it.  Do not be embarrassed.  It’s a big deal when you do something you set out to do.

  • Get a support system

I got this idea from my knitting group.  We all put up our personal knitting plans in a forum post so we can cheer each other on during the year.  I think accountability is a great thing.  I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I put some things up on my blog just so you all can hold me accountable for plans and goals I’ve declared.  Remember that support systems should be about supporting you – not putting you down.  Let’s keep things positive!

  • Keep it going.

We’ve all heard that it takes n days to make a habit a routine.  Whatever that magical number of days is, an important thing to remember about New Year’s resolutions is that you made them so that you would make a change to your life – not just to your life during the month of January.  Create a reminder for the first of every month of 2014.  On those days spend 5 minutes reviewing your intentions for the year.  If you’ve stopped working on them, acknowledge that fact and start again. Make changes where you need to.

Happy New Year!  Feel free to share your personal resolutions in the comments.  I promise you’ll feel more committed to them!

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