Posted: Jan 14, 2013 11:00 AM
We have a whole new year in front of us and an entire 365 days to make our own! Get inspired by the new year and make a 2013 to-do list. Start with making one for yourself of all the things you'd like to do this year (from finally cleaning out your bathroom closet to going to that new restaurant you've been dying to try) and then make a list as a family as well.

Achieve a doable to-do list

There's nothing like the blissful feeling of having a clean slate. When you look forward and know that there's a whole year ahead for you to accomplish your hopes, dreams and even menial (but still important) tasks. So why not tackle the next 365 days all at once? Pull out your calendar and plan what you'd like to achieve and when. But before you get overwhelmed at the thought of laying out the next 12 months, read this article all the way through! It's chock-full of tips to help you plan the perfect doable to-do list.

Do you really want to do it?

Your internal motivation makes all the difference.

Before you put a goal or task on your list, ask yourself if you're really up for trying to accomplish it. From a New Year's resolution to a project you plan to tackle, your heart needs to be in it for you to be successful. "If you're quitting smoking to please your mother/spouse/children/boss, you won't be nearly as successful as if you're doing it because you want to. Your internal motivation makes all the difference," says life coach and author Leah Carey.

Keep it simple

Make a list and check it twice, three times, and then once again for good measure. When you read over your proposed goals for 2013, you're probably going to have to make some cuts so you end up with a realistic amount of things you can accomplish this year. "The more complicated and in-depth, the less chance you'll be able to stick to it," says life coach Shari Goldsmith.

Be realistic

Ask yourself: What's really possible this year? How many goals will you try to tackle without sending yourself over the edge? Are you going to run three marathons, buy a new house and try to get pregnant ? Because each plan should have steps, you should focus on one thing at a time. "You're not going to change your whole life just because it's Jan. 1," adds Goldsmith.

Set a deadline

With your list of goals laid out before you, you should ask yourself, by when do you want to accomplish each task? "Whatever you set out to do, set a deadline, no matter what it is. What do you want to accomplish by the end of January? Or the end of the first quarter (typically Mar. 31)? By mid 2013? Think ahead," suggests Shannon Cassidy, the CEO and founder of bridge between, a firm specializing in executive coaching. "You may be thinking about a goal that's big — really big. Dial it back and ask: What can I reasonably accomplish in a month to move closer to my goal?" adds Cassidy.

Call in the reinforcements

Amy Kossoff Smith, mother of three and founder of The MomTini Lounge suggests bringing a friend into the mix to help you stay on track. "Exchange your list with a friend, in self-addressed, sealed envelopes, and agree to mail the lists to each other in 3 months to see where you are and to remind you of how inspired you were at the start of the year."

Creatively post your goals

Author Aprille Franks-Hunt has this idea: "Take 12 index cards and write 1-12 on them (each signifying the month). On the front of each card write down your goals and objectives you want to accomplish that month." You can also create a vision board or think of your own idea for how you'd like to post your goals in your home. No matter what you do, keeping your goals in sight is important. "Seeing your resolutions regularly helps your brain filter incoming stimuli in a way that heightens your awareness of progress opportunities," says Kevon Saber, co-founder of Fig, a mobile wellness guide for body and soul.

Make it a family affair

You can apply all the same advice to the goals you want to accomplish as a family in 2013. Just remember that your family goals will also be added to the same calendar so after evaluating the entire list, you may have to make some cuts yet again.

You can also ask the kids what they'd like to cross off their own to-do lists this year, then devise a plan for how they can realistically achieve those goals. They'll feel inspired by you and enjoy being part of the process. Not to mention, you may be more motivating knowing they're expecting you to succeed!

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