Out With the Old and In With the New

The older I become the more I appreciate new beginnings. Each day is a chance to learn more, do more, and be more than the day before. It is an amazing gift. In addition to the opportunity for the daily renewal of self, there are certain times such as birthdays, anniversaries, and of course, the New Year, that magnify our desire to reflect on who we are and what we hope to become.

Over the past several years I have come to look forward to settling down with a cup of tea and a journal to write down my observations about my life over the past year, reflect on what went well in the past 365 days, and what I would like to accomplish in the next 365.

It wasn’t always this way. For many years I celebrated the New Year with remembrances of a few good times and vague resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, and save money. I began to take notice of people who said they didn’t do New Year’s resolutions because resolutions were ineffective and a waste of time. For a few years I allowed myself to fall into the same mindset but it never set well with me. Humans are made to always be evolving into something more.

About six years ago it dawned on me that while resolutions may be a waste of time, goal setting is not. I realized that I should make specific goals for the New Year in late December or early January, follow up on them throughout the year, and then in December do a final reflection and use my old goals as a springboard to set new goals for the year ahead. This shift in how I approach the New Year and goal setting has changed my life for the better. I have lost weight, improved my fitness, made great strides in paying off debt, and finished graduate school by setting specific goals each year.

Here are some of my tips for setting and obtaining specific goals:

  • Be specific in what you want to achieve
  • Be realistic
  • Determine how you are going to measure your success
  • Set a time-table throughout the year to follow-up on your progress
  • Be determined to see you goal through to the end
  • See the vision of what you are hoping to achieve daily
  • Accept that setbacks happen and adjust accordingly
  • Be willing to allow your goals to evolve as time progresses
  • Reflect each year on your successes and areas that are still a work in progress
  • Don’t quit! Re-evaluate, re-adjust, but don’t quit!

I makes me laugh to find the things are great revelations to me are topics other bloggers have been talking about for a while (great minds, and all of that I guess, smile). So in that light, here are two great blogs that may further inspire your New Year goal setting.

http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/12/31/12-powerful-resolutions-you-should-make-every-year/

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3×5/how-to-conduct-your-own-annual-review/

Until next time, enjoy creating the New Year you want for yourself!

Laura

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