January 5, 2012

Not A Model Contributor Post - How to eat an elephant

While I provided my 6 insights for 2012, my contributor k* (who hates capitalization and prefers anonymity) wrote this great piece about resolutions. Enjoy! xx
the thing about new year's resolutions is that they're often made and rarely kept. i think this is because they're usually a mental note after a few glasses of bubbly and also when it comes down to achieving the goal post-holiday season, the fun's over, it's cold out, and you feel broke and fat. an already defeated state of mind is not ideal to embark on a quest to resolve a problem you've identified with yourself. it can seem impossible and overwhelming.

when overwhelmed, the best piece of advice i ever received was from my dad. he said, "how do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time."

when i have what feels like a monumental task in front of me, this analogy always calms me down. so how can it be applied to new year's resolutions? using the following steps, making that resolution a reality should be a bit easier.

1) identify an achievable goal.
it's great to want to save more money, for example, but if you don't plan how much money, it's difficult to measure success. in the case of money, pick a number. if you're in debt $1,000.00, identify that's the amount that needs to be saved.

2) make a list.

figure out the steps needed to achieve the end goal. if you need to save $1,000.00, how many lattes and impulse lipsticks and pairs of shoes does that mean refraining from a week? credit card statements are a great help - figure out what unnecessary items are eating into your balance each week.

3) write it down.
it's great to make a mental note, but daily decisions made can derail your end-goal when it's not top-of-mind. write down your first step. so if you're $1,000.00 in debt, write down "no lattes this week, so drink free coffee at the office and save $50". place the note somewhere you will be reminded, like on the bathroom mirror or on your computer at work. once the first step is complete, replace the note with step 2.

4) have a deadline.
once the steps are figured out, you'll know how long it should take you to achieve your goal. circle this date on the calendar, set an alarm/reminder on your phone, and make yourself aware that there will come a day when all the little steps have completed the whole.

i'm going to make the same resolution i made last year - to blog more. i didn't follow my own advice last year but plan to this year, so more posts i hope in 2012.

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