The One-A-Month Program (with 3 examples)

One of the biggest mistakes in goal setting is setting too many goals at once. It’s actually #2 on Michael Hyatt’s list of the Top 10 Biggest MIstakes People Make in Setting Goals. So you can do what everyone else does this time of year and set a bunch of New Years Resolutions just to fail all of them… Or you can try a different approach: the one-a-month program. Achieving your goals requires focus. Try setting one goal or habit or theme for January, and a different one in February, and March, and so on. Here are some examples of this:
1. Earlier this year I read and wrote about The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen had a theme for each month of the year that would contribute to her being happier. For January, her theme was vitality, and the chapter was about boosting energy. March had a work theme, and was called aim higher. The theme of October was mindfulness, and was about paying attention. Because she only focused on one main theme per month, she didn’t get bored or lose steam, like what happens with most New Year’s resolutions.

2. A Simple Year course – this is a year long course about simplifying your life in order to focus on what really matters. Each month, a different author will teach you about simplifying a certain area of your life.

A Simple Year Course

3. 12 Changes for 2014 by ZenHabits – Leo from ZenHabits recommends 12 changes to focus on for 2014. One change a month equals 12 positive changes for the year. Here is an excerpt from Leo’s article:

You can take the usual approach and make a bunch of New Year’s resolutions, and fail at pretty much all of them. Or you can focus on one habit a month, and use proven techniques to make them stick.

At the end of a year, you’ll have 12 new habits. Even if only half of those habits managed to stick, your life would be greatly changed.

May I make a few suggestions?

  • Aim for long-term changes that will have compound interest over the years.
  • Make one change at a time for maximum effectiveness.
  • Find accountability to help yourself stick to the changes.
  • One per month means 12 changes for the year.

Here are the 12 changes I suggest for 2014:

  1. All-Day Mindfulness – in January we’re having a Month of Mindfulness in the Sea Change Program, focusing on
  2. Unprocrastination
  3. Exercise
  4. Meditation
  5. Self-compassion
  6. Wake early
  7. Declutter
  8. Let go of expectations
  9. Simple living
  10. Productivity
  11. Improve relationships
  12. Contentment

Hopefully this approach leads you to much more success and positive change than just another New Year’s resolution that you fail again.

What is your focus or theme for January? And February? I’d love to know!


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