Sunday, December 26, 2004

Curious about Planning for 2005 - A Change of Commitments?

During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I follow my tradition of evaluating the year past and planning my resolutions (actually goals) for the upcoming year. This generally means adding new goals and habits to my plan(s).

This year, however, I am approaching the process in a completely different way. I have always concentrated on what I am going to do. The problem is exactly what Brian Tracy says on one of his tapes, “We can never do all that we have to do. And, we will never be able to read all that we have to read.”

So, instead, during my planning process, I am concentrating on what I am not going to do - thus freeing up some of my time for new projects and goals. I started last week, and am already feeling much more confident, excited and “on target.”

Following is a list of what I am not going to do - that I have been doing:

  • A portion of my volunteer work: I am the original volunteer. In a meeting, when someone asks if there is a person in the room willing to take on a certain job, my hand automatically goes up. This isn’t a bad thing. A good portion of my clients have come as a result of my volunteer activities. On the other hand, I now realize that many of my duties have lasted for years and do take me away from career projects. So, I have found replacements for several of my volunteer positions. It is a win for me, for the organizations, and for those who are taking over. All are delighted!
  • Habits that are disguised as important work: For me, these include reading the plethora of e-mails and e-newsletters that land in my e-mail mailbox daily (even though I start by deleting any questionable and/or junk mail in a webmail before I ever receive them in my e-mail programs). I am a part of several lists, groups and forums, and feel guilty if I don’t read everything. I am finally starting to skim and skip. It is the same with e-newsletters. Being curious and a lifetime learner, I am so afraid that I will miss something. I have learned, however, that a lot of the information is the same-old-stuff, and what I don’t read, doesn’t seem to hurt me (and I don’t know what I missed either).

Other time-thieves:

  • Teleseminars: I love the many, many free teleseminars that take place several times a week. Again, I have learned a huge amount this way. But, there are teleseminars that present the same-old-stuff and are obviously disguised sale presentations - there is usually a “great deal” and “bonus” for those of us on the call. We are all working on selling our products, but if this is the main focus of a teleseminar, it is easy to hang up without being obvious.
  • Computer challenges: Anyone who works on a computer regularly knows that every program doesn’t always work the way we expect it to. Even when we do the best we can following directions, computers don’t always react smoothly and as predicted. I can’t begin to add up the hours I have spent un-installing and re-installing, creating work-arounds, rebooting, etc. Sometimes, for the sake of time and sanity, it makes more sense to give up (I have just done this with a new program that won’t download properly - I put in an order at a different company).
  • Computer games: Yes, I love games, and having someone to play with (my computer) any time of day or night offers a huge temptation. It is easy to rationalize that I am keeping my mind sharp - baloney! I will give them up for now and use that extra hour at the end of the day to catch up on reading all of the books I ordered and paid for in 2004.

So, there you have it! What are you doing to plan for a successful and rewarding 2005? Is there anything you are going to stop doing? I would love to read your comments.