January is a hopeful time of year. It’s about new beginnings. Most of us are still going strong on our New Year’s resolutions, the weather in Florida is about as good as it’s going to get, and the kids are finally heading back to school. Along with all this good news, now is the perfect time to plane for your best year yet!

We’re talking about pulling out the calendar, looking over the seasons, making plans, and setting goals. Sadly, resolutions, and a lack of motivation to keep them up, have become more of an inspiration for humor than success. So we’re suggesting a different approach in 2019.

Instead of giving yourself a loose goal, like simply trying to read more this year or learn a new talent, it’s time that you set M.A.D goals instead.

Measurable

It’s time to leave loose and abstract goals in 2018. Ideas like doing more of this, or having a better attitude about that aren’t going to bear fruit unless you wrap it in language that can easily be put to action. Instead, be specific. How many books do you want to read this year? What specific room or dresser are you going to clean out?

Attainable

Once you’ve nailed down precisely WHAT you want to do, it’s time to decide if you CAN do it. Is it within reason? And is it in line with your starting point. This isn’t about lowering your expectation. It’s simply about being honest with yourself. Your highest aspirations are certainly within reach, but sometimes it’s good to approach things less like a sprint and more like a marathon.

Deadline-Oriented

What’s your timetable? When is this happening? And how are you breaking things down? Chances are, if your goal encompasses a period of two months, you might be underestimating that mid-year drag when the summer hits. Instead, try breaking up your biggest life projects into monthly tasks. If you want to garden more, try putting in 1-2 new plants a month, until you have a selection of produce to make a big green giant jealous.

And as you look over your 2019 plans, it’s always good to keep self-care in mind, including your flossing and brushing habits and planning your dental appointments according as needed. When was the last time you stopped by for a visit? Every six months is recommended. Better to mark that in your calendar earlier than later!

From everyone at River Oak, enjoy a happy and healthy new year!