Guest Post! Time to Dust Off Your 2012 Goals

Good morning, folks!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Today I am very lucky to have guest posting here.  Lots of words of wisdom to kick-start your week.  Enjoy!!

Hi everyone!  Erin here from and I am so excited to write a guest post for Athena.

So it’s only been a few weeks since I rang in the new year and already I feel like I’ve neglected my goals for 2012.

Between being so busy at work and trying to get back into the swing of things I haven’t really been focusing on the big picture. Rather I’ve been trying to get through everyday, which is fine itself. I mean commuting 45 minute each way to work, working for 8 – 9 hours a day, making a healthy dinner every night and preparing for the next day at work is a lot to do in one day.

First thing to do: give yourself some leeway. Know that it’s okay to focus on the day in front of you and try to make the best of it. There is nothing wrong with that. We’re all busy people and have a lot going on so just getting through each day with a smile on your face is a success on it’s own. However, we all wish for more than that.

We all have hopes and dreams that go beyond our 9-5 job and normal routine.

We all have ideas and passions that we’d like to dive into and discover a bit more.

Which is why it’s important to hold on to your 2012 goals and resolutions with both hands.

How to Stick to Your 2012 Goals

Rule #1 – Write down your goals.

The most important thing you can do to help you stick to your goals is to write them down. I find sitting down with a pen and paper and really thinking about what I want to do over the next 12 months to be a great exercise.

It helps me better understand what I truly hope to accomplish and what’s most important to me.

It can also help you realize which goals your heart really isn’t into and how much you’ll have time for.

Personally, I tend to take on too much so this year I tried to be very conscious of what I wanted to accomplish and why. This helped me cut some goals off the list that I wasn’t 100% committed to.

Also, as you can see I split my goals up into seasons because in my mind, it’s natural to flow with the seasons rather than against them. I also leave tons of room for more goals for the summer and fall since last year I learned that you can never tell what is going to change in a week let alone 6 months.

Finally, I’ve chosen two words to represent 2012: Continue to Flourish, read more about that .

Rule #2 – Keep your goals where you can see them everyday.

Now, even though I may have let my 2012 goals sit on the back burner for the last few weeks I didn’t forget about them. I just wasn’t actively going after them. They were still on my mind and in my focus because I put them up where I can see them everyday.

As you can see I like to keep mine above my laptop. They are there to remind me that I have goals and dreams that I want to accomplish. They’re there to keep me focused on the bigger picture. They’re there because the phrase is true, “out of sight out of mind.”

Rule #3 – Make time for yourself and for your goals.

#1 and #2 are pretty easy to do. It took me about 5 minutes to jot down all of my goals and tape it up above my work station but here comes the hard part….

Putting those goals into action can only happen if you give yourself time.

Yea, I know we’re all busy but it’s not impossible and it’s definitely important to set aside time for yourself and your goals or else they will never happen. And then next year you’ll have the same goals as the year before and so on and so on. Now, I don’t have a magic wand that can slow down time or give you more than 24 hours in a day BUT here’s a few ways I make sure to keep myself moving closer and closer to my goals:

Literally make meetings with yourself where you can check in every week and see how you’re doing. I like to do this on Sundays so I can evaluate the last week and plan for the one coming up.

Choose 1 thing to work on every week. This way you’re not trying to do everything on your list in one week. Give yourself time and remember to be mindful and give it your undivided attention.

Set aside time everyday,even if it’s only 30 minutes, to do something for YOU and your goals. I like to do this right after getting home from work. I come home clean up a bit, change into comfy clothing and then choose one of my goals to work on. Maybe I write a chapter for my novel or sketch out a painting. Either way setting aside a little time everyday adds up!

Use the weekend! There is a lot of time between Saturday and Sunday and I bet you can find an hour or two for your goals. Maybe use that time to tackle one of your goals: try a new class at the gym, reconnect with an old friend or create healthy lunches for the week.

Rule #4 – Be flexible and re-evaluate when necessary.

Finally, if you find yourself constantly putting off your goals and getting frustrated over them and not empowered or inspired maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your goals. Don’t feel like you absolutely have to take ballet lessons because on January 1st you said you would. Maybe by February you realize that doesn’t interest you anymore.

Remember to be flexible and listen to your heart and your body. They’re usually smarter than your brain.

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They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

– Andy Warhol

What about you guys?  How are you doing with your 2012 goals?  What advice can you offer for how to make sure you stick with them?