December 2016: Focus

December 2016 MotM
December 2016 MotM

Download the December 2016 Mandala of the Month

This month’s mandala asks us to pay close attention to where we place our attention, especially as we approach the new year.

In our multi-tasking, sound-bite world, with information coming at us from all directions 24/7, we wind up being pushed and pulled in all directions but the one direction we truly want to go.

Creating a plan of action for our projects helps us to stay focused and on track for achieving our 2017 goals. How cool would it be to hit the ground running with action plans for our goals already in place by January 1!

Plan of Action

  1. Create a list of projects Treat this more like a brainstorming session where we write down every project idea without judgement or assessing its viability. Be sure that the project is measurable so we can know when we actually achieve it. (ie: drop 15 pounds, paint three new paintings a month, write one chapter a month, learn five new skills, adopt one new habit a month, publish one new blog post a week, plant an herb garden, etc.)
  2. For each project ask “why” we want to do it–this gives us our motivation (ie: feel better in my clothes, it expands my portfolio, this book will give more credibility as an author, it will make me more marketable, it will give me more confidence, help establish me as a viable blogger, I love to garden, etc.)
  3. For each project determine if the idea of it brings joy–basically to determine if 1) we really want to do this project or 2) we are being “should-ed” into doing it. (ie: pressure from family, would rather teach, friends tell me I should do it, it’s not what I really want to do, significant other wants me to change, other people think it’s a great idea, I should do something with the yard, etc.) If it’s a “should” project, re-think the project: either eliminate it or modify it in some way so that it becomes truly OUR project and brings joy—like wear a party hat while de-cluttering the garage.
  4. Pick a project that calls out to be done the most. Keep a list of all projects someplace where it can be easily accessed and all within our view. In determining which one to do next, projects that have a deadline approaching would be given a higher priority than others without one.  We could also use an intuitive approach where we peruse the list, allowing the project that wants to be done next to “jump out” at us.
  5. Convert project into a list of mini tasks. Create a list of easy, doable tasks that can be accomplished in under 30 minutes. (ie: do 15 minutes of resistance training, determine a subject for a new painting, describe a new character for the book, research a class to take at the local community college, determine the next new habit, write outline for next blog post, buy seeds, etc.)
  6. Each day, refer to the project’s task list for what to do next. When we complete the task, put a check mark next to it as well as the date it was done.
  7. Upon completion of each project, CELEBRATE! Commemorate the project in some way and do something special for ourselves as a reward for a job well done.
  8. Repeat steps 4-7 for the next project. 

This process is one way that can help us stay focused on our goals, doing them baby steps at a time. In very short order, we’ll be amazed by how much we accomplish at this “slow and steady” pace.

Plan of Action Variation

A variation on this process would be to do Steps 1-3, then do Steps 4 and 5 for all (or most) of the projects. Then starting on January 1, and each day afterwards, do Step 6 for whatever project(s) need to be done and/or ones we feel like working on for that day. When we complete a project do Step 7!

Whatever approach we decide to take to help us stay focused, ponder our 2017 projects and why we want to do them as we color this month’s mandala.

Happy Coloring!

joyfully, Maureen,
The Mandala Lady

Be sure to check out Section 12 of the 2016 Mandala of the Year.


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  1. Morning Maureen, Hope all are well & prosperous!

    The crystal in your labyrinth came in again this morning, so am wondering if you know what’s going on?

    Happy Holidays. Love, Wendy

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Hey Wendy! Great to hear from you. Let me check it out tomorrow and I’ll get back to you. I know the labyrinth is wanting to be upgraded and I started it about 2 months ago; then other things and LOTS of rain have hindered my progress. It may be that it wants to be moved. Like I said, I’ll go visit with it tomorrow to find out what’s happening.
    love, Maureen ❤


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