Thursday, December 30, 2010

Another New Year

A Fresh Start

The resolution. A promise to yourself that you will give up or do something better than you did last year. Everyone does it--every year. But, how many of us break most of our resolutions by the end of January?

I found that once I break that resolution, I give it up--until next year, when I start the process all over again. Therefore, I don’t make resolutions.

 The Trick

Instead of resolutions, I trick myself by making goals instead. You see, if I make a goal, I give myself until the end of the year to complete, or come close to completing it. It has worked for me for the past ten years or so. I write them down in my planner under “goals,” and every few months I check on my progress. That gives me extra chances to give myself a kick in the butt.

For instance, if I make a goal to get or keep my weight under a certain number, and I find myself slipping, I can get myself back on track. But, if I make a “resolution” to stop eating chocolate, by February I am throwing in the towel—for good. I know I will never give up chocolate anyway, so that’s just ridiculous. I need that chocolate to get over my rejection letters!

Keeping it Real

Don’t make a goal that you know you can’t possibly reach, Keep it real. Then break it down into smaller goals.

Like the weight thing. Virtually everyone makes a goal to lose weight, yet we are the same weight or fatter at the end of the year. To keep it real, you can make the goal to get your weight under a certain mark, but beneath that goal, you need smaller goals to help you stay on track. For instance:

#1. I will walk 20 minutes every day.

#2. I will eat chocolate only after I have completed a week of goal #1.
By completing the smaller goals, you will find the larger goal takes care of itself.

Know Your Values

Your goals should be in sync with your values. For instance, if you value family, one of your goals could be to set aside more time to spend with them. You can make it a point to schedule vacations with family, or take the grandchildren to a movie once a month. If you have creative values, don’t put them aside to take care of everyone else’s needs.

Include a goal that sets aside time for things that make you smile. Then your other goals will become easier.


Every year, I make about five main goals, and usually complete at least four of them by the end of the year. And that’s a whole lot better than when I used to make resolutions.

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