From Judith’s Desk

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by Judith Tremblay 1 Comment

How are you doing with those New Year Resolutions that you made? Maybe you make them every year and expect that you will keep them. Maybe you are among the eighty percent of people who do not keep their resolutions.

I stopped making New Year Resolutions the first time someone suggested I replace them with setting goals on my birthday. Originally, on my birthday, I would write down anything I had regrets about or wished I had done differently, and had my own ceremony to put that to rest. Then, I would write down everything I hoped to achieve over the next year and put it away until the next year. I was always amazed at how many of those goals I achieved when I pulled that list out on my next birthday.

Since that time I’ve heard of many different ways to eliminate those resolutions that I had so much difficulty keeping. My own process has evolved to one that gives me little stress, is fun to do, and includes all those wonderful things I want to achieve.  I still make my birthday lists, but now the goals are in the form of vision boards. I always have magazines around and when I am drawn to pictures, words or phrases, I put them in a file to include (or not!) in the next vision board.

At the end of each year, I review the last year’s goals to see where I succeeded and to decide if those things I did not achieve are still important. I also reflect on what I could have done differently and what lessons I learned about myself and my goals during the year.  New Year’s Eve is truly a celebration of successes and a “burial” of all things negative from the past year with an eye to the possibilities for the future.

Then I check my long term goals to see which have been achieved, and cross them off my list. Then I add any new long term goals that I may want on the list. Short term goals are the steps I need to take during the next year to get me to those long term goals.

A very important part of setting goals is to review them every quarter. Some of them will be completed early or may no longer be important and I’ll want to take them off the list right away. I might add some or change some. The important thing is that reviewing them keeps them relevant and in the forefront of my mind, so even unconsciously, I am working towards my goals.

So, if you are stressed or feeling pressured about your New Year’s Resolutions and whether or not you can keep them, find a few minutes this week to take an honest look at them. If you know they are destined to fail, change them.

If you were told this is your last year on earth, what would you want to accomplish? What physical and spiritual needs would you want to meet? What relationships would you want to nurture? Write all that down, and set your goals to reach those needs and desires that are most important to you. If you don’t like making New Year Resolutions, change the time of year to another that is more significant to you.

This is the “Strategic Plan” for your life.

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