Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Make it Visual

This chart makes me laugh!  You would never believe the number
 of stickers we bought to potty train Flanna.
As a speech-language pathologist, using visuals comes naturally to me.  If I want to teach a skill, a concept, a new vocabulary word, steps in a process, --pretty much anything--I usually create some visual way to teach it.  I make a graphic organizer.  I draw a picture.  I make a visual schedule.  I draw a diagram.  I make a behavior tracking chart.

But for some reason, last year, I didn't use any visual tracking system to help myself meet my happiness resolutions.  I kept thinking, "Gee, I should really make a little chart with my happiness resolutions on it that I could post somewhere so I'd see it every day.  That would totally make me keep my resolutions."

But did I ever actually do that?

Um, no.

(Perhaps that's why I only partially met some of my goals?)

So, this year, I'm going to help myself in every way possible to meet my happiness resolutions.  First of all, I kept them short and sweet.  Second, I made a google doc "Resolutions Chart," inspired by the super-organized Gretchen Rubin.  My chart is accessible from work and home e-mail and looks like this:


January 2011 - Resolutions Chart
“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun.  I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.  I will look at cliffs and clouds with quiet eyes.  Watch the wind blow down the grass, and the grass, rise.”
DateExerciseTeach F re: GodFocus on marriagedeclutter
1 x


  (etc. for all the days of the month, and for next month's I'll change the month and the quote hopefully)

At first, I was recording how I did each of these things daily ("walked" for exercise, "ate out w/ hubby" for Focus on marriage, etc.), but now I'm being more efficient and just putting an X if I met the goals that day.  I'm hoping that soon I'll start seeing a chain of Xs emerge that will inspire me to maintain the forward momentum on my goals.  

I'm hoping this visual tracking strategy is going to keep me mindful of the big picture of what I wanted to accomplish this year.  Fingers crossed it will help!

How do you keep yourself focused on your goals?

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