It’s the holidays and we should all stay present and enjoy the season! But can I confess something to you? I am already excitedly thinking about goals for 2014! (Ok, ok — I bet this comes as a shock to absolutely no one.)
I just LOVE goals and experiments and (most importantly) KEEPING TRACK because it just tickles my brain. Goals and I go together like Buddy the Elf and Smiling — it’s a Can’t Stop/Won’t Stop situation. Whether I achieve the goal I set out to or completely fail in the process I just love seeing my intentions and efforts turn into real change over time while learning new things.
We are right about to embark upon that time of year where people like to publicly complain about how resolutions are stupid. No one ever keeps them! We are just setting ourselves up for failure! THE HORROR! But I firmly believe (as I’ve said a million times around here) Failure Is Awesome! And while I am clearly and firmly in the Pro-Resolution Camp, I understand that everyone isn’t as dorked about setting goals as I am.
But if you are contemplating setting some new goals for yourself next year, or if you are just starting to tinker with the idea of trying something new, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite things to do during December that help me set me on a path of success come January.
Enter: The Dress Rehearsal.
To me, the month of December is FULL, and I generally don’t try to commit to new routines or make sweeping changes. Tis the season to celebrate maintenance as if it were serious progress, right? But that is absolutely the beauty of trying new things in December — you can try something, perhaps fail at something, and then when you get to January you’re like “Doing this new thing without all that holiday complication? Man, that feels like a piece of cake!”
Mind tricks. I like them, you see.
Here’s what I’m trying new in December:
Have you heard of 43 Folders?
It’s an organization/reminder system based on David Allen’s awesome productivity book Getting Things Done. I read it back in July and thought there were a lot of good ideas in it, but wasn’t really in an implementing mood, you know? But I’ve been thinking about it a lot because over the last few months Garrett and I have drilled down that a good amount of our life stress comes from this feeling of not using time effectively. When we have it we’re not using it, and then we have to scramble at the last minute to get things done when we DON’T have time. UGH. Something needs to change for sure.
So we decided to dress rehearse a new solution this month. Best case scenario, we love it and the holidays run even smoother. Worst case scenario, we do it for a week, get too busy, forget all about it and then we try again in January learning from our mistakes. Anyway, here’s a quick overview of what it entails:
43 Folders Overview
It’s a really simple file folder based system (you have one for each of the 31 days of a month, plus one for each of the 12 months of the year) and the idea is you can place physical ephemera you will need on a specific day (Invitation to a Baby Shower on Saturday December 13), reminders of things you want do on a specific date (On December 6, Buy Baby Shower Gift), or pending things you want to review later (I printed out the baby shower registry the day I got the invitation, then put it in the December 6th File Folder.) Each day in the morning (maybe with your coffee!) you open the folder with the current date. Use what you need, prioritize your to do list accordingly, push back things to another folder if they aren’t urgetnand then put your folder in the back and bringing tomorrow’s folder to the front. At the end of each month, you open the folder for the new month and deal with its contents—like putting items in the correct day folders. Make sense? If not, this is a helpful video overview.
So — that’s what we are dress rehearsing that in December. We’ll might screw up, but who doesn’t screw things up during the holidays, right? ;) We’ll get an idea of what we like, what we don’t, what will work better, etc — and then come January, we’ll go at it LIKE WE MEAN IT. I love a good dress rehearsal to work out the kinks. Have you started thinking about your goals for 2014? Are you dress rehearsing any new habits right now or just cheering yourself on for maintaining?