For more of the last few years than I would like to admit, I've had a goal of cleaning out my garage. Every year, I put it on my list of New Year's resolutions and dream of actually being able to park in my garage. Unfortunately, I've never finished the job and, the reason, I like to say, is because I'm too busy. However, in reality, the job is too overwhelming (and also, if I don't go in my garage a lot, I don't have to look at the boxes of stuff).
To me, having a clean garage is a lofty goal. Lofty goals are impressive – something to be admired. Unfortunately, goals are nothing more than a wish list of things you'd like to do someday if you don't have a plan to accomplish those goals.
You probably have lots of goals for the New Year. It can be overwhelming if you don't have a plan.
Here are some tips for developing a plan to accomplish your goals:
- Break the goal down into small action steps. If you have a big project, what smaller steps or action can you take that will lead to you accomplishing the bigger goal? For me, steps to cleaning up my garage may include disposing of anything that is obviously meant for the trash (empty boxes, broken items, etc.) I may also want to find out where the nearest donation center is for items that are usable.
- Establish smaller goals on a weekly or monthly basis. Maybe you can have a smaller goal of creating a basic outline for your project. For my garage, one of my weekly goals will be to go through a couple of boxes in the garage and either throw away or donate what's in the box.
- Keep track of and build on your successes. It's easy to backslide on any large project. Believe me, I have started cleaning that garage too many times to count over the last few years. With any overwhelming project, it's easy to get discouraged if you don't feel or can't see that you are making progress. If you are a visual person, create a wall chart that helps you see your progress (much like the thermometers used to show progress on a fundraising goal). Maybe keep a spreadsheet of what you've done. For my garage, I will be able to see my progress, but I will also put it on a weekly to-do list. That way I can have the pleasure of crossing it off once I've done something to clean the garage.
Probably one of the other reasons I haven't cleaned out my garage in past years – even though it was on my list of resolutions – is it really wasn't a priority. Most of us have more goals than we really have time to accomplish. If the goal is important to your overall life goals, then it should be a priority.