The tradition started 25 years ago, on our first New Year’s day as a married couple, when my husband presented me with nicely calligraphed sheets to list our goals for the year and beyond. He had the typical categories all set: relationships, family, health, career, finances, and spiritual.
I did not realize at the time that it would become an annual tradition and a great way for us to start off each year as a family. We fill in our goals individually and then share them with each other, sharing our hopes, dreams, and plans for the year. Our son started participating before he could write, when he was old enough to draw his goals.
Last year we added a new category to the top of our typical goal list: what we were thankful for in the previous year.
One Page Miracle
This year, we decided to do something a little different and improve upon the tradition. I am in the process of reading Dr. Daniel Amen’s new book, Brain Warrior’s Way, and he encourages people to create a “One Page Miracle” or OPM.
What a great title for goal setting. His system is also really good for setting health related goals, since it an organic list that is meant to be updated and improved upon over time.
The OPM is actually very similar to my family’s annual goal setting ritual with two differences: you summarize your goals on one page AND you read this one page every morning upon waking. Reading it every day is the key.
In the past, we set our goals and then filed them with last year’s goals. I would pull them out a few times during the year, but that was not enough. Inevitably, some goals would make it to the next year’s list because they had been forgotten or put on the back burner.
So, now all three of us have our own OPM – my husband, my almost 10-year-old, and myself. Each OPM covers the following categories:
- friends and family
- work and school
- money and giving
- food and physical health
- emotional and spiritual health
- fun and travel
Each OPM is different based on what we as individuals want to accomplish. However, since we are also a family unit, we make sure some of the line items are the same, like the same family vacation(s), similar financial goals, and even certain health goals.
The key is to specify exactly what you want, not what you don’t want, so that as you read it daily you create intention and vision. You want it to be the first thing you do each morning.
According to Dr. Amen, this will help you focus your thoughts and actions on your goals throughout the day. You are telling your brain what you want so that your unconscious mind can help you make it happen.
As you look at your OPM, ask yourself, “Is my behavior getting me what I want?” The “my” in this sentence will keep you accountable to yourself, not blame others when things don’t turn out. It is up to you to make the decisions that serve your health and success. Know you can do it. Own it.
Vision Board Option
It is very important to be able to visualize the goals on you OPM, to see yourself in the process of accomplishing the goal and picture the end result. If you are more of a visual learner you may want to create a vision board.
Find pictures in magazines or on the internet that represent the bullet points you wrote on your OPM. Cut them out and paste them on a poster board, arranging them in a way that makes sense to you.
Instead of reading your list every morning, you can look at your vision board. Or, keep your vision board in a location where you will see it often during the day.
Over time I would encourage you to also add a moment of gratitude each morning. Say out loud the things in your life for which you are thankful or, better yet, write them down in a journal. This practice combined with your daily OPM reading can really set a positive tone for the day.
Don’t hesitate to change your OPM or vision board throughout the year as things shift in your life. You may meet a certain goal earlier than expected or want to shift gears as the year unfolds.
This is especially important when you are working on health-related goals. As you move forward and start feeling better you most likely will have the energy to accomplish more than you expected.
You don’t have to wait for the new year to create your first OPM. Create your “One Page Miracle” now and use it daily!