New Year’s Resolutions – I don’t make them

Happy New Year
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Every year people flock to social media to list their New Year’s Resolutions. I won’t be one of them. At least not in the traditional way.

Don’t get me wrong. The idea of wanting to better yourself is wonderful. I like the idea of looking over the past year and pointing out successes and areas of learning (which is what failures truly are-learning opportunities, and we all need them). I even like the idea of making plans and goals. Plus, I love shopping for planners and calendars.

So, why don’t I make New Year’s Resolutions?

Because a resolution doesn’t feel permanent. It’s like, yep, I ate too much over the holidays so now I’m going to eat healthy. And how many of these last longer than a day or two?

One of the synonyms for resolution is intention. New Year’s Intentions doesn’t sound quite as good, but it’s probably more accurate. We make intentions to do better, but we miss the mark on making it happen.

Real change needs more than good intentions

There are lots of professional advice-givers that can give you real direction on making changes that last like Marie Forleo, Arianna Huffington, and Michael Hyatt. I suggest you research some of their methods. Their advice will be more comprehensive than what I list.

Below are some of my thoughts are making real change.

  • New Year’s is a great time to get started, but at any point during the year, you can change course or start again.
  • In order to make real change, you have to know your weaknesses. For instance; you want to eat healthy. The first step is to buy healthy food, but every time you go to the grocery store you splurge. Find the why, and fix it. Maybe, if you’re like me it’s a no-no to go to the store hungry.
  • Make goals that are reasonable and attainable. Most people give up once they realize they won’t achieve what they planned.
  • Make goals and outline steps to get to that goal.
  • Allow wiggle room.
  • Forgive yourself if you mess up.
  • Every so often, look back at what you’ve accomplished. Give yourself credit for good work and readjust going forward if necessary.
  • Most importantly, be dependable. Treat yourself and your goals like a good friend, and show up.

What are my goals?

My overall goal is to continue my journey to becoming a published writer. I will achieve this by making it a priority to write. I love Laura Vanderkam’s TedTalk How to gain control of your free time. She advises to fill your time first with what matters and the rest will fall into place.

How do I break this down into something achievable? After all, I’m not going to give up sleep or a clean house or time with my family.

My goal breakdown:

  • Complete one writing goal a month – TBD at the beginning of the month. For example, in January I will revise the two short stories I’m working on. For February, I’m going to finish writing Red, White & Blue, a short story I started several years ago.
  • In order to do this, I’ll devote at least 3 hours a week to writing.
  • By taking these steps, I will finish at least four short stories this year and submit them to magazines.

I also have personal goals:

  • Read 20 or more books starting with the 12 book club books. Audiobooks will come in handy for this goal. I’m going to cut back on podcasts and fill the time with books to make sure I reach my goal.
  • Finish the afghan I started for my daughter by the end of September. I won’t start any other crochet projects until it’s done and will work on this during TV time and road trips.
  • After finishing sewing a dragon for my daughter, I’m not going to start any new craft project until later in the year to give me time to work on other goals.
  • Make time for family by incorporating more game nights. At least one a month.

I tried to make all of my goals meaningful, attainable and trackable. I have an overarching goal, but also little steps that will take me there. I’ll rework as the year goes by.

What are your goals? How will you achieve them?

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