New Month Resolution Tactics

As promised, here are your tactics for creating your
New Month Resolutions for 2012.  

If you haven’t had a chance to read the background to these tactics,
please feel free to read it here when you get the chance.

When it comes to crafting your resolutions, we’re going to follow the SMART model.

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Reward
T – Timely

For these tactics, let’s go ahead and steer away from weight loss since that example has been done so many times you could probably recite it in the comments without blinking an eye.  So I’m going to go ahead and use a skill acquisition goal that I’ve been procrastinating and hopefully you modify these techniques to your own goals.

New Year Resolution: To learn and become well-versed in calligraphy.

So this is a pretty simple and straight forward goal.  I want to learn calligraphy.  I want to be good at it.  And I want to do it in a year.  This is certainly an achievable goal (unless for whatever reason I broke hands or something).  This skill is a little harder to measure, but since we want to make sure that it’s a measurable goal, let’s go ahead and say that becoming well-versed in calligraphy means that I can write in at least 10 different font styles without referencing anything.  

  • REWARD: The reward is the new skill of calligraphy, but like I said before, this overarching goal will probably fail unless we set up monthly checkpoints.  So onto the next step.

First Month Resolution: To read “Calligraphy: A Course in Hand Lettering” and learn the fundamentals techniques of calligraphy.

Again, this goal is very simple and straight forward.  It calls for completion of a single book (the specific and measurable aspect), and to learn the fundamental techniques of calligraphy taught in the book.  This is certainly attainable since the book is not that long and as long as I put aside the proper time, it’s perfectly achievable.  The timeline is a month to do actually a pretty simple task.  By keeping it simple and easy to achieve, the likelihood that I’ll actually do it is increased that much more.  If I had made this month’s goal overly ambitious, I may not even want to get started on the goal, much less complete it.  

  • REWARD: A brand new calligraphy set.  Nothing too fancy.  This reward works particularly well because instead of spending a whole bunch of money to try and accomplish a goal you think is achievable at first, you will invest a little bit of money, and then prove to yourself that you’ve invested a whole month of time into actually doing something.  And as a result, you deserve to invest some more money into accomplishing the goal.

Month (2-10) Resolution: Learn one new font per month.

From this point on, it’s a matter of breaking down the goal into simple actionable steps that are easily achievable.  Based on my understanding of my own abilities and calligraphy, one font a month shouldn’t be terribly difficult for me to do.  

  • REWARD: Dinner of My Choice!  Now this may seem like a small thing to you, but I LOVEEE food.  So a chance to go wherever I want guilt free would be GREAT!  Plus, in light of the fact that I’ve learned a new font, I will write invitations to people I want to celebrate with me in the new font I’ve learned!  Talk about a great way to show off my new skill while celebrating in style!
Final Month Resolution: Practice alternating between fonts and recalling them at a moments notice.
This is more a wrapping the loose ends type of goal.  It allows for a little breathing room in case some of the fonts from the other months are a little harder to master than others.  By doing so, you ensure that the goal will be properly completed by the year’s end.
  • REWARD: I know I said the reward was the skill of calligraphy.  But screw that, my reward is going to be a brand new tech gadget for my awesome arsenal.  No idea what it will be as of right now, but if I manage to complete this big goal, a shiny new toy is waiting for me.  Muahahaha.
So there you have it.  An actionable plan that will ensure that your goal is actually accomplished.  And in case you are feeling super ambitious, go ahead and break the monthly goals into Weekly Resolutions that have mini-rewards as well.
One piece of advice though, don’t break your goals all the way down to Daily Resolutions.  Too much planning and micromanaging of your goals can actually end up killing the process since life is unpredictable and having your process interrupted constantly will end up being very discouraging.
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read this.  2011 has been a rough year for many, but let’s go ahead and seize 2012 for our own shall we?  And for those who want to tell me the world is ending, well, I guess we better be extra productive with the time we have left then!  Happy New Years!


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7 responses to “New Month Resolution Tactics”

  1. butterflyxwings says :

    aww, those invitations to dinner are going to look sweet! hmm, maybe you can log your progress by posting pics of what you’ve accomplished on here? will keep you on track month by month, hehe. plus, i’m sure your readers would love to see the calligraphy you’ve created!

    • BreakingNorms says :

      that is a fantastic idea!! i will totally do that. it will definitely keep me accountable. haha. do you have any fun new year goals for 2012?

      • butterflyxwings says :

        great! looking forward to it! 😀 naw, not really, but come to think of it, i should prolly try at least one new meat dish from my mom’s recipes. it’s not that hard usually for me to cook chinese vegetable dishes, but meat dishes are another story. my mom’s a good resource though and i’ve always been meaning to try some of hers, just never did it. maybe 2012 will be a good time to try. plus, i’m taking your advice and just making it the one dish, haha. i figure that won’t be as hard as trying to save $20,000 down for a house, lol.

    • BreakingNorms says :

      weird. it won’t let me reply to your last comment. but new recipes are awesome!!! you should definitely try meat dishes. if you want to be super simple, try cooking shrimp. it’s really easy to tell when it’s done. but if you want to do a red meat, i think beef is the way to go since it’s also one of the easier ones to work with. be sure to keep me posted when you try something out!

  2. Jo-z Schwartz says :

    I like your system. Just like Ms. Butterflyxwings, I too will hold you accountable to your plans. I feel that the social pressure is a great auxiliary motivation, and, as your friend, I will make sure to provide that for you. Your welcome 🙂

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