Happy 2016! Have you made your plan for the new year yet? I’ve dubbed this year “Operation 2016: The year of the productive, ambitious and only a little bit lackadaisical Thriftygal!” Here are some habits I hope to cultivate in Operation 2016 along with my plan of attack using specific and measurable goals.
1.Be a writer. (Write 2 hours a day, 6 days a week.)
I implemented this goal back in September so this project is not new for Operation 2016. I feel like it’s working though and this website is a measurable testament of my progress. I went from posting 15 times in 19 months to posting 18 times in 4 months. I call that improvement.
The quick and dirty specifics: I turn my phone on silent. I exit out of my personal email. I ask Google to set a timer for a specific period of time (sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes two hours) and I write words here. I then add, delete and rearrange words until their placement pleases me or until the timer interrupts me. I spend a mere 3% of my weekly allotted hours per week on this goal and it’s made all of my life better.
How I measure this goal: If I do indeed manage to write the timed two hours on any particular day, I give myself a smiley face on my resolutions chart.
The timer reminds me that I’m in work mode. Crucially, I don’t give myself the benefit of the doubt if I haven’t timed it. This specific inflexibility is to curb the times when I decide to start writing…after I finish reading celebrity gossip.
Which brings me to another resolution.
2. Avoid Time Wasters.*
If I want to be productive, I should avoid wasting my time. Duh, right? Sadly, a lot of the obvious truths I stumble upon aren’t obvious until I articulate it for myself. My time-waster activities all elicit a certain feeling of drift that I find uncomfortable. Drifty activities are ones that I engage in that no longer enhance my life. I comply purely out of habit and walk away feeling listless and annoyed with myself. Of course, your time-wasters will differ from my time-wasters. The key is to figure out your time-wasters and be as precise as possible.
The quick and dirty specifics: Avoid the websites that do not give me enough happiness bang for the time I spend on them. Here are three websites that give me that troublesome drifty feeling and which I plan to avoid.
How to measure: If I don’t visit any of these three specific websites for 24 hours straight, I give myself a smile for the day on my resolutions chart.
*As an aside, recognizing that everyone wastes time on the Internet is basically my entire plea for people to visit my website. Thepowerofthrift’s official pitch:
I know you read crap on the Internet all day.
If you want read the crap I write, I post it here.
In my defense, I would only consider this website a time-waster for you if you don’t feel like you’re learning anything anymore from it. If you’re just reading this to pass the time and do indeed feel drifty….I’m still probably okay with it.
3. Grade my resolutions chart.
This is actually my only true, pure Operation 2016 goal. I change most of my resolutions monthly to accommodate my life and I already list the first two on my chart. Although, I must confess, I’ve gotten an F on the second resolution every single time I’ve ever tackled it. Damn your lure, Freecell!
I’m a sucker for the gold stars and in school I was a fairly good student because I craved those A’s. The days I receive a lot of smiley faces on my resolutions chart are always the best days. I’m hoping this new “grade” system will further motivate me to stick to my goals.
The grade below corresponds to the numbers of days I have to follow my specific resolutions
- A – 90-100%
- 28-31 days in months containing 31 days
- 27-30 days in months containing 30 days
- 26-28 days in February
- B – 80-89%
- 25-26 days in months containing 31 days
- 24-26 days in months containing 30 days
- 23-25 days in February
- C – 70-79%
- 22-24 days in months containing 31 days
- 21-23 days in months containing 30 days
- 20-22 days in February
- D – 60-69%
- 19-21 days in months containing 31 days
- 18-22 days in months containing 30 days
- 17-19 days in February
- F – Below 60%
- 18 or fewer days in months containing 31 days
- 17 or fewer days in months containing 30 days
- 16 or fewer days in February
And yes, I know I didn’t do the math for leap year February. I don’t care. I suspect that you don’t either.