The beginning of November marks the beginning of shopping, parties, and family get-togethers. I also recommend we mark the beginning of November as the kick-off of next year’s goals. That’s right: outline your 2011 resolutions and start working on them in November. This is not to add more pressure, responsibility, or expectation to what can already be a stressful season. Rather, beginning your goals now will contribute hope, empowerment, and anticipation to what should be a joyful time of year.
By outlining your 2011 goals in November 2010 you can piggyback off of holiday inspiration. During Thanksgiving, we are reminded to be grateful. During the winter holidays, we are reminded to be giving. We are surrounded by family and friends, and the giving and the gratitude remind us of the true meaning of our lives. Even at our jobs, we are working on year-end summaries and reminded of what contributions have impact. This time of reflection is a great time for reflecting on what we’d like our next year to be.
By starting your 2011 goals in November 2010 you have two extra months to start new habits. In January, you’ll be too exhausted by the festivities that just passed to start something new. Instead, use the adrenaline kicked up from holiday shopping to kick off now. Start that exercise routine with extra laps around the mall. Start that balanced budget with a sensible gift-buying strategy. By January, you’ll already be established in a routine.
In this season of giving, we also have to give to ourselves. Making time for our goals now is one way to carve out that personal time. Making time for our goals now (rather than the revered January start) also reminds us that our goals are within our grasp today. Change can start right now.