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I only make one resolution every year: not to make any resolutions!

I’ve decided “resolutions” carry a connotation of inflexibility – either you achieve them or you don’t – whereas “goals” are inherently flexible, allowing one to adjust content, timelines, etc. as required/desired, so for me, resolutions are out, new goals are in! 🙂

I like setting personal goals in 4 different categories: spiritual, physical, emotional, and intellectual; business/professional goals get a category all to themselves – helps me keep from feeling like I “am” my businesses…

writing my goals down is the catalyst that converts them from “nice ideas” or “wishes” into actual goals – I hand-write them (a BIG deal for me, since I rarely hand-write anything), leaving plenty of space for revisions (and I’ll usu include the date when I make changes), b/c sometimes as the year progresses I’ll realize that my goal wasn’t specific enough and needs some clarification, or I’ll reach it too quickly and need to raise the bar a bit, etc…

keeping my goals simple and measurable – making sure they’re achievable but not w/o a bit of personal stretching – helps me feel like that invigorating sense of accomplishment is within my reach, w/a little extra effort… for example, one of my physical goals for this year is to avoid indulging in one of my favourite snacks (Triscuits w/cream cheese) after dinner – simple, measurable, and absolutely achievable IF I make the necessary changes in my thinking and habits…

sharing my goals w/people who have a vested interest in my success in that area – like sharing emotional goals w/DH and/or kids, other family, friends, etc. – not only makes me accountable for progress towards those goals, but it sets up cheering sections who support and encourage me as I work on improving myself… sometimes sharing responsibility for a goal makes it easier to achieve – my DH and I have set a family goal to reserve $50/mo toward stocking up our family storage (which includes things like basic staple foods, toilet paper, toothpaste, etc.)…

identifying little rewards for myself for achieving my goals helps keep me motivated when the satisfaction of achieving a goal just isn’t quite enough to keep me working toward it… ;\ I love going to the spa, so knowing that I can treat myself to a massage when I can count 30 consecutive days on the calendar where I’ve not snacked on Triscuits w/cream cheese after dinner is often a lot more motivating than knowing that I’ll probably drop ~5 lbs just by changing that little habit…

I’m also trying to teach my kids how essentially easy it is to set goals that are just out of reach and then do the necessary work to achieve them – we’re starting w/little things like saving part of their allowances and setting little goals to change habits/behaviours… for example, my DD has a real problem w/”I don’t want to do this anymore” if she can’t do a new activity perfectly the first time (funny, I don’t know anyone who does things perfectly the very first time) or if an instructor tries to correct her, etc., so I’m coordinating w/her teachers at school and church to evaluate her behaviour, and when DD can try something new, make mistakes, and keep trying until she gets it right, and when she can listen to and follow instructions for how to do something correctly w/o falling apart and running away, THEN we’ll look at putting her into dance classes, which she really wants to do…

whether you make resolutions or set goals, I hope you enjoy a very happy, peaceful, joyous, and prosperous New Year! 🙂

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