Do Not Do

I'm trying as hard as possible to not write about New Years resolutions - there are already a ton of posts covering this (this one is my favorite).    Unfortunately, I really wanted to share the concept I use for New Years and so you will have to put up with another post....

I already know what I'm going to be doing next year - I haven't setup a business plan based on a yearly structure, it just keeps on going.  The same can be said for my personal goals.  I develop these goals constantly throughout the year, setting up projects to be completed within a month or so.    So I don't feel the need to suddenly come up with a list of goals or objectives I want to complete in the New Year.

I will however take the coming year as a time to refocus on the things I don't want to do.   So I will be creating a "do not do" list for myself.   The aim of the list is to provide a constant reminder of the little things that have bugged me this past year that I want to eliminate from my daily routine.

I'm sure everybody could create a list like this  - it may seem kinda harsh to create a list of faults, but how else do expect to fix them.

There's no use in a "do not do" list, if you don't see it

Sorry, I'm going to have to give my own app another plug - i shouldn't apologise as its perfect for this kind of thing.   With, its dead simple to setup a monthly reminder that can either be delivered by sms, email, twitter or phone call.  Its also free, so no excuses.  For those interested in how to setup a monthly reminder; understands human, so just enter the following into the input box:

remind me not to do that thing every month

You can setup similar reminders with RememberTheMilk or Google Calendar if you use those applications.

Be Sticky and Keep a Tally

Although I'm not a huge fan of sticky notes, I currently have two displayed visibly on my desk giving me a gentle reminder.  They do tend to blend into the surroundings after a while.  One trick I use, is to change the sticky note each month to a different colour. But often, the habit I'm trying to form has already happened so I get to throw it away - a rather nice feeling.

If you're trying to form a habit here's an easy trick:

  • Each day you stick to your habit, put down a mark.  Keep a running tally of each day you are successful.
  • If you fail for just one day, throw out the list and start again.
  • Set yourself a target of 30, 60, 100 days.  Do what works for you.

The trick with this is to be hard on yourself.  Don't be lenient, as soon as you skip a day throw away the tally and start again.  If you don't, your habit won't stick.

Do you have goals for the coming year?  How will you be sticking to them?

Photo by - Stephen Poff

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