Did you reach your dating (or any!) goals in 2013?

If you didn’t, you’re in good company.  I certainly failed to reach my own goals.  Perhaps they were unrealistic, lacked a solid plan or we procrastinated.  Maybe the unexpected happened and derailed us.

So what can we do to make 2014 a better year?

For starters, you need to see where you’re going and the best way to do that is to make a plan.  To help you out, I’ve made a spreadsheet (tailored from a writing template that I found here at http://www.aliventures.com) outlining what I would do each month if I were single and looking for someone special.  Take a look (Need it bigger? Click on the image):

ADNY 2014 Dating Plan

At the bottom of the spreadsheet, I’ve calculated how many people you would have to date to reach at least 100 by the end of the year.  Why 100?  Because no one has the right to complain about not finding someone unless they’ve actually met 100 eligible people (blog post forthcoming).  I encourage meeting more than two people per week to stay ahead of your goal in case life’s unexpected surprises pop up.

As you can see, dating is a multi-step process and my plan engages a few rounds of the methods.  It allows room to go through the process at least three times – a true effort and commitment to the goal!  It also prioritizes the date-3-men (or women!)-at-a-time philosophy that is essential to finding the best match for us and not settling.

Of course, my hope is that you’ll succeed on your first go at it.  But many people do not so it’s important not to give up.  We all have to try and not succeed repeatedly before we get the results that we want.

The key is to work at it just a little bit every day or every week and to give yourself rewards.  For each week that I work at it, maybe I’ll treat myself to a manicure.  For each month, perhaps a facial or brunch out with my girlfriends.  For each round, I might treat myself to a shopping day.  Feel free to write those into your plan to keep yourself motivated.

Your plan does not need to have every single detail outlined in advance.  Don’t feel as if you must commit to the time frame I’ve given, either.  There’s room to expand each round, if necessary. In Round 3, you see I make room to assess your efforts and re-strategize.  Feel free to do that after every round or whenever you see fit.

If you’d like to create your own plan or tailor the numbers for something more ambitious, you can download the spreadsheet here:

ADNY Yearly Dating Plan Template

Online Dating Tools

I found eHarmony to be one of the best affordable dating websites out there.  But I understand that matches can become infrequent, hindering progress towards 100 dates by the year’s end.  So I encourage you to consider using 2-3 dating sites simultaneously.  It increases your odds of finding someone without becoming overwhelming or too time-consuming to maintain.

As always, online dating should be only one of many resources in your dating arsenal.  I encourage joining sites like HowAboutWe.com or MeetUp.com, websites that emphasize engaging in activities you love while also meeting new people.  Combined with online dating, they are services you can take advantage of immediately to reach your dating goals while developing yourself as an individual.

Here’s the link again for the template: ADNY Yearly Dating Plan Template

How do you plan to stay motivated this year?

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