Ever heard anyone say, “Aim for nothing, and you’ll hit your mark every time!”
Some people naturally and instinctively set goals, make plans, and prepare well, but not all human beings are created this way. How do you want to transition into 2018? Are you one to make New Year’s resolutions? If so, you might find the ideas below worth your time.
1. Reflect on what you accomplished in 2017.
If you will write down all of the most important things that you accomplished in 2017, you will probably be amazed over the responsibilities, goals and passions which captivated most of your time. Perhaps you didn’t keep all your 2017 resolutions, but do not downplay your other accomplishments. Was any of your time in 2017 devoted to doing hard or unexpected things? Give yourself credit where credit is due! But also take note of the goals you tended to ignore; these may need to be addressed in a slightly different manner in 2018.
2. Reconsider your methods for doing the hard things in life.
Why are there so many resolutions made and not kept? Because they are our pitfalls, our bad habits, the things which really, really need to change. For us, they are goals which require much more than a vague attempt at change.
Instead of resorting to the status quo, try these fresh ideas:
a) Consider ideas from sources other than yourself. Brainstorm solutions to your problems with family, friends and co-workers. You may find someone with similar goals and issues to partner with during the year.
b) Be consistent: Every week, write down a singular challenge for yourself related to the resolution with which you struggle the most. Everyday, check it off as a met goal. If you fail to meet the challenge a few times during the week, at least you will know that you excelled on the other days. Focus on your progress! Make any aspect of perceived “failure” a part of the following week’s goal, but do not set impossible goals, only do-able ones.
c) Be mindful: As inferred above, remember to always look forward to the future, not behind at the past. Forgive yourself and your shortcomings but keep moving forward and setting weekly goals. However, do make note of any dangerous pitfalls as you want to avoid these as often as possible.
Potential pitfalls may include certain people’s words or actions, weariness, fear, personal loss, busyness, overspending, negative thoughts or attitudes, the rehearsing of past events, even food or a song. Whatever yours is, be mindful of it. Adopt an appropriate philosophy to ward off the despair and negativity that can stem as a result. It may be an adage, a scripture verse, or something you’ve recently heard or read.
Here are two I like & use often:
- When I feel that I can’t go on . . . “Don’t quit. Don’t give in. You’re an overcomer.” (lyrics from a Mandisa song)
- When something I don’t want gets handed to me . . . Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it. (Lou Holtz)
3. Renew Your Passion for Living Life to the Max
- If it has been a while since you looked at your bucket list . . .
- If your dreams died years ago . . .
- If your list hasn’t been updated in years . . .
- If you have not yet checked even one item off of your list . . .
- If you have never even bothered to create a bucket list . . .
Then get busy. Make one. Dig it out. Reread your list and smile. Edit it as desired. Begin planning. Dream again. Reflect on the possibilities. And hope. Why hope?
“Hope” is the thing with feathers – That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words – And never stops – at all –
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –
I’ve heard it in the chillest land – And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity, It asked a crumb – of me.
Hope has a restorative effect upon our soul (our mind, will, and emotions). We need hope, and it enables us to move forward.
Karen Greenstreet suggests in one of her blogs on The Success Alliance website that we should create a Vision Board for ourselves and keep it in front of us year-round. Using old magazines and your choice of craft supplies, words and pictures, Ms. Greenstreet suggests including the following on your board:
- Feelings that you want to experience
- People you want to attract into your circle
- Places you would love to travel
- Financial goals
- Professional goals
- Lifestyle goals
So, as you plan for a new year, focus on your past accomplishments, fresh methods for accomplishing the hard things and breaking the ugly habits of past years, and fulfilling your passions at home, in your work, and during your down time. Be hopeful for a bright 2018. Plan for it!