Earning Your Gold Stars

New Year, New Hopes

Maybe you have given some thought to what you want to do in 2013. If you are like most, you are hoping this coming year will be much better than the past year – for many, it was not a great year, So, what’s your plan and what actions will you take?

Are your ideas still rambling around in your head? Well, you are in good company! Lots of people haven’t yet figured out what they want to have accomplished by the end of 2013. Some people never make a plan at all, so anything is better than nothing.

Juli Shulem

Perhaps you’ve decided that you are going to eat better and you have already made an effort to cut out a few bad foods from your diet. Or maybe you’ve decided to work out one extra time a week. These are good, but did you write anything down? How will you measure the things you decided to change and know when you get your “gold star” at the end of the year? If you don’t write anything down, how will you see progress?

So here’s what you need to do:

Write out a list that you can put in a prominent place in your home/office with the “New Intentions” for this year - make them measurable! For example…

1. I will stretch 15 minutes every morning when I get up

2. I will not purchase or consume anything with high-fructose corn syrup in it

3. I will call my family every Saturday morning (before they call me)

4. I will make two business calls a week to increase my client base

5. I will blog every week about something useful

You get the idea: measurable and doable items. Not something such as, “I will write a novel this year.” Really? And when you don’t get it done, then what do you have to show for it? Instead, commit to writing, say, a chapter a month, and see what you have at the end of the year. That is more doable and more measurable and you get “credit” for the steps along the way!

The key step is to WRITE IT DOWN. Schedule these things! Put the workout and phone- calls blocks of time into your daily schedule. Write down when you will write and post your blog. For something like avoiding or including a food into your diet, make a sign and post it on the refrigerator or pantry door as a visual reminder. Ideas are all well and good, but put the pencil to the paper (or the fingers to the keyboard) if you want to actually have a result.

Keep things simple. And keep going! Happy January and happy new year!

Ask a question for the column and I will address it at the appropriate time. Email questions to Coach Juli at and put “question for column” in the subject line and they will be answered right here.

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