Keeping a New Year's Resolution - Personal Practical Inspiration Board

It's that time of year again - time to come up with a new (or same old) New Year's Resolution. The question is, will this be the year I actually achieve these unattainable goals I set for myself year in and out? To be honest I don't think I've even tried making a New Year's Resolution since High School because I got tired of setting myself up for inevitable failure. But I combined a few how-tos and ideas I saw on Hometalk and I think this year I finally have a good, concrete (well, chalk really) plan for how to maintain the resolution throughout the year.
I read this post on Forbes by Dan Diamond that if you stick to really simple, practical goals and you keep them in the forefront of your life, then you'll be more likely to keep them up. (It's a great post - check it out: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/2/) In the past, I've announced my resolutions or written them down, but there was really no accountability, especially since the paper they were written on was probably crumbled in the trash by February. There a few key pieces to the puzzle:
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE - Don't take on too many things. If it's overwhelming or too much to process, it'll be easier to forget about it.
2. KEEP IT PRACTICAL - Start small. If you've never raced before and want to try it, sign up for a 5K not a marathon.
3. KEEP IT VISUAL - Use pictures of yourself/family etc. as inspiration and reminders.
4. KEEP IT REWARDING - Set goals and rewards from the beginning so you'll be further driven to get it done.
5. KEEP CALM & HOMETALK - Have fun with it! Create a project you can display in your home and office. If you post it on your wall and online for everyone to see, then you just gotta come through.
Here's the finished project:
Here's what you'll need:
- Corkboard / whiteboard / any other piece of scrap wood (I found this unused corkboard in the Hometalk office)
- Some index cards or construction paper
- Markers
- Pictures
- Thumbtacks or adhesives
Those are the basics, but depending on your time, crafting abilities and desire, you can do this in many different ways. Here are other materials I used:
- Magnetic Paint
- Chalkboard Paint
- Magnets
- Chalk
- Strong Glue (I used E6000)
- Decorative Buttons
STEP 1: Paint the entire corkboard with magnetic paint. Make sure you do at least 3 coats in order for the magnets to stick.
(NOTE: You can also skip to step 2 if you don't have magnet paint, or not paint at all and use your board as is)
STEP 2: Paint over the magnetic paint with chalkboard paint. This is also best when a few coats are used.
STEP 3: Decorate as you wish. I painted the border of the board with a blue chalkboard paint and glued on colorful wooden buttons. Then I put a title at the top "Lulu's New Year's Resolutions".
STEP 4: Choose a few places you'd like to improve and write them down, one on each index card. I had a lot of ideas floating around in my head so I decided to write them all down and then thought to categorize them by different topics that I think just about everybody will relate to:
Family, Work, Diet, Exercise
STEP 5: Write out 1 or 2 goals in each category. Remember to keep them specific and simple!
STEP 6: I printed out some pictures that related to each of the goals. I cut out the background noise and glued magnets on the back of them and stuck them on the board by the respective categories. I also painted some text in between the photos as extra inspiration but you don't have to do that.
NOTE: You could instead use thumb tacks to attach the photos but I didn't want to poke holes in mine.
Step 7: Make finishing touches and stick the goals on. I again used thumb tacks. I also used colored index cards to color code the categories but you don't have to do that.
Choose some fun pics of yourself so other people will enjoy looking at it too! :)
The right side of the board is going to be designated to check off and tally the goals I reach each week/month.
STEP 8: I took a piece of chalk and wrote at the top left January '15. I glued a small magnet onto the piece of chalk as an easy way to stick the chalk on the board and keep it there so I can use it every day/week to check off my progress.
So there you have it!
I'm putting this up on the wall behind my desk at the Hometalk office. I hope to keep all my resolutions. I purposely chose ones that I think will be simple enough and I will be tallying with my chalk when I complete each task.

Lulu Dubin
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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