I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for setting goals and building habits. I am all about self-improvement. I just don’t usually tie it to the turn of the calendar year.
I am a proponent of constant self-improvement, which includes setting goals and building new habits at multiple points during a given year. Basically, whenever you discover that there is something that you could do to improve yourself, you sit down and make a plan to start working on it as soon as possible.
That said, I suppose the beginning of the calendar year is as good a time as any to induce some self-assessment.
Plus, this year I have an area of improvement that I want to work on for which the timing coincides roughly with the new year.
I’m pretty good at time management, but I want to be better.
I’ve completed the entry level time management tips. I have drastically cut back on my television time. I have drastically cut back on the time I spend using social media.
Between these two things alone I have probably freed up 15-20 hours per week.
My biggest problem is that I have too many things that I want to do and I do not properly prioritize them.
When I started this blog, I made a commitment to myself that I would post every Tuesday and Thursday for a year. I knew that I would be tempted to quit and move on to some other project and I wanted to make sure that I gave this project the time needed to develop a bit.
I’ve missed three posts. One in November and two in December.
All are understandable. The first I was debilitatingly ill and could not get out of bed, never mind stare at a computer screen and think critically enough to write a worthwhile article. The second and third were an absurdly busy period of time at work and I just could not get to it.
But I should have been prepared for those things.
When dealing with money, we know that we need to build an emergency fund when things are going well. Emergencies happen. We cannot predict when they will occur, but we know that they will hit at some point and we need to be prepared.
Time should be the same way. I should have banked extra articles when I had plenty of time and things were going well. Instead, I finished my articles for the week and then moved on to the next priority. I knew that time emergencies would happen. I even had a plan to get and stay a month ahead of schedule with my articles. But I didn’t. I got the minimal necessary work done on one priority and then moved on to the next.
What I need to do going forward – what I resolve to do – is to make better use of the good times. To bank progress on the top priorities before moving on to lower priorities.
I also want to better balance my goals. I overachieved in some areas and underachieved in others. I wanted to read a significant amount this year. I set a goal on goodreads of reading 70 books. I actually read just under 100.
At the same time, I haven’t spent as much time on this blog as I wanted. I’ve done no SEO work. I am terrible at incorporating pictures into my posts. I don’t have the slightest clue how to use pinterest to promote my posts. (I don’t actually really do anything to promote my posts). I also want to spend more time on more in-depth articles.
I haven’t spent enough time exercising. I was significantly better in 2016 than in 2015, but I still should be spending more time there.
In short, I have gotten better at not wasting time. I am using my time towards productive goals. But I am not balancing my use of time to hit all of my goals.
This is my number one area of improvement to target in the beginning of the new year.
To this end, I will work on being more cognizant of how I am using my time during the good times. I will create specific blocks of time in my calendar to use towards specific goals, and I will not use those blocks for anything else. I plan to audit my time for a week in January as suggested by Laura Vanderkam and will do a follow-up audit in the spring.
I hesitate to call it a New Year’s resolution, but this is my resolution for the beginning of the new year.
What are your thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions? Do you have a goal that you intend to work on in the new year? Do you face time management issues like mine? Any tips for how to get better?