"Yay! I am finally moving forward on my goals for the year!”

“Good for you! So, what are these great plans you have?”

“Well, I always make resolutions and then I give up. So, I did some research and I found out that experts say if you’re really serious, you have to write them down. So I got organized. I got all these ‘to-do’ lists, each broken down by priority, category, and deadline. And because we’re more likely to change when we focus on the rewards instead of the work, I’ve listed them in this column, ranking them from one to ten. See?”

“Wow! Those are sure a lot of ‘to-do’ lists. You’re going to get a lot done, huh?”

“Sure am! Let’s look at my ‘health’ list. I want to lose 30 pounds, so I devised a strategy. It’s right here. Step one, clean the kitchen of temptation; you know, get rid of the junk food. Then, go to the store and stock up on range-free, organic, all-natural, non-processed, low fat, low-sodium, high-fiber foods. I’m also buying some of those inert non-reactive, toxin-free pots and pans that let you cook healthier. To keep track of my food, I write down everything I eat in this journal over here, including recording the calorie count, as well as fat, fiber, and protein grams. But, I’m not done! Every Sunday, the family meets to plan out the entire week’s meals in advance, which we goes on this list. That way we have a proper healthy dinner every night. What do you think so far?”

“You sure did think of everything. But at the risk of being practical, how are you going to afford all that?”

“No problem! See, on this register are our financial goals. I meet with an accountant, bookkeeper, and planner every week so we can track each penny we spend, which we record over here. Then I categorize and sub-categorize them — with 64 tags and sub-tags — so I can produce up to 32 daily budget reports. Pretty cool, huh?”

“Oh my! Won’t that take away from time with your family?”

“We thought of that too; we’ve scheduled nightly, very efficient, family meetings. Each person is allotted 15 minutes to say what her or she did that day, what their plans are for tomorrow, ask for help — and of course, discuss our feelings. Then we each make our lists, have a group hug, and away we go. You know, experts agree that family time brings you closer. See, it’s all on this agenda.”

“Yeah, nothing says closeness like family time via stopwatch. Um, do you really think the baby needs a full 15 minutes?”

“Oh, yeah, I’ll make a note to change that.”

“I’m very impressed by all this planning. However, I do have one question.”

“Sure, what is it?”

“Where are you going to find the time to do all this? I mean — just saying — it seems like a pretty full itinerary, and you already run such a busy life. Something has to give to add in all these activities.”

“You know, you might be right. I hadn’t thought of that. What do you think I should do?”

“Maybe you need to take a look at some of the things you’re doing right now that you first need to stop; you know, so you’ll have some time to do all these new things.”

“Hmmmm. That makes sense. I’ll start a new list right away.”

Author's Bio: 

Scott “Q” Marcus is a professional speaker and the CRP of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com, a website for people and organizations who are frustrated with making promises and are ready to make a change. Sign up for his free newsletter at the site or friend him at facebook.com/thistimeimeanit. He is also available for coaching and speaking engagements at 707.442.6243 or scottq@scottqmarcus.com. Help celebrate the 2nd annual “This Time I Mean It Day” on February 15. Find out more at www.ThisTimeIMeanItDay.com