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Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Morning Check In: You Are Here

Written by Paula E. Bird ©2013

There are 52 Mondays in a year. We are on the fourth Monday so far of 2013. There are 48 more Mondays left, but do not count on the 48th one (December 30) to get much done that week, as it has only one day following it.

Find 52 pennies and put them in a tiny jar or small container and place the container somewhere where you will be able to see it often.

On each Monday that follows today, I want you to take one of those pennies out of your container and put it in your pocket or give it away. Actually, giving it away to someone else would be the most appropriate symbolism for this exercise, in that the penny represents the Monday that you have now given away your time to someone or something else. As the year progresses, I want you to be mindful of how many less pennies, . . . er . . .  Mondays, that you have left in this year.

What were your goals again for 2013? I hope that you have crystallized your annual planning by this point. I know that I have. I am using the Best Year Yet online program, and I find it to be a useful way to keep track of my top 10 goals for the year. The program also provides ways to break down those goals into quarterly milestones, monthly goals, and even weekly goals if I find that I need weekly reminders. I can also score my progress in a quantifiable way through the program to keep myself aware of where I am doing well and where I need to devote a bit more time and attention. I find this to be a lovely program that will work at any point of the year, not just January. If you would like more information, [click here].

Goal setting is the first major step to achieve one's purpose in life and to accomplish one's dreams. The next step after setting goals is to actually go out in the world and do something about those goals and dreams. Break those mountains into smaller, more manageable parts of a longer journey, and then plan out smaller legs of that journey.

A good question to ask is: What are my quarterly milestones? Look ahead at the following dates and consider where you expect or desire to be on those dates:

  • March 31/April 1
  • June 30/July 1
  • September 30/October 1
  • December 31, January 1

For example, if your plan is to lose 20 pounds by the end of the year, then your quarterly milestones might reflect a lost of 5 pounds on each of the above dates. Or if your plan is to write a book or run a marathon, you might plan to have so many pages written or miles of training runs completed by each date.

Take a look within the quarterly milestones that you have identified. Break those goals into monthly steps. Then break those monthly steps into action steps to complete each week. Post these action steps someplace that you will see them frequently. Consider placing your annual goals and your current monthly and weekly steps in a place near your container of Monday pennies.

As you take out a penny each Monday, think about what that penny represents. The penny represents a week's time. How will you spend your "penny" this week? Will you sit on the couch and watch TV, play computer games, or party with friends? Will you go to the gym, clean your house, or read a book? Will you spend time with your family, learn a new language, or write a few pages of a book?

What is your Monday penny worth to you?

Take out four pennies today, because you spent three of those Monday pennies in the past three weeks. The fourth penny you take out today is for this week. You will now have 48 pennies for the rest of 2013. It looks like a lot of pennies are left in your jar, but that will change quickly as time passes. If you take a lot of baby steps for each penny that you picked out of your container, you will make a lot of progress in your year.

Enjoy your fourth penny this week. You will not see this one again until next year. Make it count!


  1. Love this idea! I based my goals this year off your suggested reading of "My Best Year Yet" and loved the process. I already feel like I have much more of a plan for my goals rather than just a "pie in the sky" dream of meeting them. Thanks for the great blog!

    1. Thanks, Christine. I like the penny idea too. I wrote about something like this before but using marbles. It helps to have a visual idea of how our time passes. I love my BYY program! You can find Jinny Ditzler on Facebook.