Setting Goals: Creating Your Resolutions Retreat

As we move into the promise of a new year, I hope you will embrace all the wonderful possibilities that goal-setting presents to you for your business or nonprofit organization.

Space to Think, Space to Dream

Goal setting involves a lot of thinking!  As you assemble your thoughts and tools, the one thing you need — in addition to time — is space.  Space, in two senses.  You need space in your mind — uninterrupted, uncluttered time to focus on a plan for a new year.  Time away from your children and your commitments, even if only for an hour or two.  You need a mini-retreat, or maybe several, if you tackle this in stages.

Finding Your Space

What kind of space do you need to think?  When you really need to focus, does it help you to be in a quiet environment?  Or do you prefer a little noise?

How about a big, quiet space where you can work for an hour — or a few hours — with some table or desk space, a chair, plenty of wall space to tack your notes up, and room to walk around?

  • A borrowed conference room at work
  • A community center room
  • A study room at the library
  • Even a hotel room!

If you can’t work well in a quiet environment, and need a little hub-bub to work your best, why not take your laptop or notebook to Starbuck’s or another coffee place?

Bringing Your Tools to Your Thinking Space

Here are some tools to take with you to your “retreat.”

  • A 2012 calendar to plan and write in dates. I use the spiral bound monthly calendars from Staples.
  • Something to drink, like coffee or water.
  • An iPod and earbuds, if music helps you concentrate
  • Gum or mints, or hand-fidgets, if they help you concentrate
  • Easel paper pads and post-its
  • Tape and scissors (you might cut up your goals and move them around)
  • Highlighters and markers
  • Pens and notebooks, a laptop
  • Post-it notes in various colors
  • A favorite magazine or other reading materials
  • Maybe a camera, if you want to document your efforts
  • These notes (and previous blog posts this week)
  • Copies of the action-plan1 and action-plan-example
  • Something to carry it all in, like a big tote bag

Should you work alone, with a relative, or with a friend?

That really depends on you.  I do recommend sharing your thoughts and work with a friend or relative you trust at a stage where you feel you have organized your thoughts and prioritized your goals.  Let them help you refine and shape your plan, and make suggestions.  And let them support and advise you through the year.

But perhaps in the beginning, while you are in the dream stage, you might want to work alone, with calls or visits with friends to touch base and to get support.

It’s up to you.  Work how you work best!

Finishing the Plan

When you have come up with your goals and resolutions, get them on paper.  I keep mine in my purse, in a little notebook.

Good luck with your resolutions!  Happy New Year, everybody!


About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a mom, teacher, and blogger. She is also the creator of "Living Well With Autism," an online resource for caregivers of children, teens, and adults with autism and related special needs.

Posted on December 28, 2011, in Fletcher Prince News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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