Welcome to 2016! This isn’t going to be a blog post about resolutions. The truth is, I don’t like resolutions. Most people make resolutions that are too big to achieve. Then they get discouraged and quit all together.

Instead of setting huge goals for the year, I like to set small goals or themes for each month. So for example, I might decide the theme for January is “health”. To me, this feels a bit friendlier than something like “go to the gym 4 times a week” – that feels stressful and it focuses on the act of going to the gym. I like themes because they focus on changing a mindset rather than marching through tasks.

Then when February rolls around, hopefully that theme of health becomes more of presence and habit, and then I introduce a new theme.

Try it out for yourself. Right now, just write down one theme that you can have for January. Mine is “productivity”.

Another thing I like about making monthly themes is that it gives me 12 chances to check in and reset with myself.

When I was training for the marathon, one of our coaches had a really great tip. On a GPS watch the default setting is for it to beep or vibrate every mile and show you your pace for that mile. In a marathon, that only gives you 26 chances to check in with yourself. One coach (thanks Simon) said to switch the setting so that it beeped every half-mile. This doubles your chances to check in with yourself and adjust course if necessary. It was really helpful!

How can you incorporate more check-ins with yourself or your team? Can you implement a quick 10-minute check-in at the beginning or end of the day or week?

Try it out and see if after a few weeks you’ve been able to be more fluid and productive because you’ve been able to course correct as you go rather than run into a big issue and have to make major adjustments down the road.