Monday, January 3, 2011


Brian Tracy says, "All successful people, men and women, are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose."

Brian and I had listened to Brian Tracy's Time Management stuff about a year ago.   He said that the first step to successful time management was writing down your goals:  everything you want to Have, Do or Be in the next 5 years.  After you've written all that down then you have to assign a letter to each thing - A, B or C.  The things that you feel you absolutely MUST accomplish get an 'A'.  Things that you would really like to do but aren't as important get a 'B'.   Things that you think would be nice if they happened but you can live without it get a 'C'.  After you've assigned the letters you look at all the 'A' things and give each of those things a number based on priority with #1 being most important.  Then with your A1 thing you write down "action steps" to take to make that thing happen.

I finally did all this the other day.

I broke my goals down by category because I felt like some categories were more important than others and I felt it would be easier to look at them that way:   Keep in mind this is a list for the next 5 years; these are not things I think will all happen this year.  And this list can be added to or detracted from any time in those 5 years.

A) Bible reading/devotional time every day
A) Spend 30 minutes with each of my 4 children daily
C) Write a letter a week
A) Family vacation 1x a year
B) Weekend with Brian 2x a year
B) Trip back to South Asia
A) Date with Brian 2x a month
B) Weekend alone or with friends 2x a year

A) Run 5x a week
A) Lose 15 pounds
A) Run a 5k
B) Run a 10k - Peachtree Road Race
C) Run a 1/2 marathon
A) Get new running shoes

A) Start photography business
A) Schedule 1 to 2 sittings each month (during the first year)
B) Schedule 2 to 3 sittings each month (during second year)
B) Get a logo made for business
A) Become debt free
A) $1,000 in savings
B) 3 to 6 months expenses in savings
B) Get a 2TB external hard drive
B) Buy a Nikon D7000 or D700 camera body

A) Paint new kitchen chairs
A) Paint old kitchen table and chairs and then sell
B) Paint Landon's room
A) House cleaning for 1 to 2 hours daily
C) Get new, smaller bedroom furniture
B) Read 6 books a year
A) Learn to speak Spanish
A) Finish Holden's quilt
A) Make a quilt for Howard baby #4!!!
C) Get curtains for dining room, master bedroom and living room
C) Get a rug for dining and breakfast rooms
C) Learn to play guitar
C) Get a buffet/sideboard for dining room
A) Have a family portrait made every other year
A) Organize pictures/picture files and scrapbook stuff

My A1 goal is to read my Bible and pray and have a time of devotion every day.  At first, my action steps to make this happen included waking up earlier so I could do this before the kids had to be up and ready for school.  But I know, from past experience, that this was doomed to failure.  So, instead, I made a realistic schedule for myself for the week making sure to put my priority goals in each day.  Each day looks different: sometimes Landon goes to school and others he doesn't, on Thursday Anna has dance practice, some Mondays I help in Anna's class at school, etc, etc. and so I had to make a schedule for each day.  I couldn't realistically make one schedule that would fit all the days and I think this is going to work much better.

I have been kind of cynical about "resolutions" and things a few times and then there are years where I have  made unrealistic expectations for myself.  Here's hoping that this year I have  learned to be a little more balanced.