As we embark on a new year we're all keeping our fingers crossed for an improvement on the last 12 months, and looking forward to a better future.  With big plans afoot from the COP26 summit, we’re now looking at our personal goals for 2022 and how we can stay on track with our New Year's resolutions.  This got us thinking about innovative ways we can organise and track our progress, so naturally we've devised a way we can use a ladder to log our achievements and keep us motivated.


This system can be adapted for your household, so whether you live alone or with a multi-generational family the ladder resolution system will work for you.  You can use an old extension ladder or create one on a wall with masking tape.  If you're short on wall space you could create a digital document instead using the concept of the ladder as your guide.  Ideally you'll have 12 rungs, one for each month, which is easy to create on a wall-based or virtual ladder.


Because you're using a system that tracks progress each month – therefore setting a natural end date for each goal (or each sub-goal) – the ladder system keeps you motivated to achieve what you need to every month.  The visual representation of the year divided into months on a ladder means you can see at a glance how well you're doing.


Each member of the household picks a colour for their personal goals, and writes their goal on a piece of paper or card of that colour.  Stick the paper to the rung corresponding to the month you want to have achieved that goal by, then as you achieve each goal, or each stage of a large goal you tick off the goal on the paper.  You can leave completed goals on the ladder as a record of your progress, or if it's a goal you want to achieve every month (such as swimming or running a certain amount) you can move the goal to the rung for the next month.


If you live alone, or you're a couple with similar goals, then you could use the colour coding system to denote different types of goals.  For instance, you might want to start wild swimming but you want to wait until the weather is warmer, so you'll attach that colour coded goal to the rung for May or June.  In the meantime you might want to do Dry January (another health based goal) and make changes like eating less meat, recycling more or spending time volunteering in your community.  Use different colours for each category of goal, (health, social, community, money saving etc.) this way you can manage several different plans at once with an overview of everything on your ladder.


If you want to add a level, why not get star stickers for each colour and stick a coloured star on the rung when you've made some progress?  This gives you another layer of visual prompting and rewards you for hitting your targets.  If you're using a digital ladder have fun with symbols and colours to make your goal ladder really personal to you and your dreams.


We think this is a creative way of using an old ladder and turning it into something positive (if you don't want to scrap or recycle your old ladder) and a great way of using the ladder rung progress analogy to help you reach your goals in a practical way.  Good luck for your 2022 resolutions, whatever they may be.