Happy New Year! Resolutions or Goals?

We’ve rung in the New Year and a resolution or two, right? Some of the more common resolutions might be quit smoking/drinking, eat healthy, exercise, or just be nicer, etc.

2012 allows us to shake off the trials and tribulations of 2011 and begin again. Somehow resolutions are meant to be broken. I know very few people who actually live the whole year keeping their resolutions. Goals however are attainable and when we falter there’s a plan to get back in gear.

I’m a goal planner and yes, I write them down. The problem I’ve always had is I make goals for every area of my life, family, finances, writing, personal, spiritual and at this time of year all those new goals look daunting. I end up failing in most areas. Though at the end of the year, I’m still surprised at how many I actually accomplish just because their written down.

This year I’m trying something new. I took a look at what I accomplished in 2011 and found that I did best by not concentrating on all my roles, but narrowed it down to three. We’ve already talked here about the Power of Three as it relates to tasks. I’m here to tell you I’ve found prioritizing even my roles to concentrate on one goal at a time has made a huge impact on success.

This blog and web site was a priority of mine for 2011. I found concentrating on it for 90 days helped make it a habit. Once a habit, I could add a new goal and turn that into a 90 day habit. Habits become routine and don’t need as much attention we would give any goal as a whole. The habit continues and we have space and time to enrich our lives with new ideas and actions.

Everything in our lives is a compromise. Priorities change and shift. We have to be conscious and willing to shift. It’s important for me to have a statement of who I am, in every area of my life so when situations occur, I can shift and still stay in the parameters I’ve already set.

First I start with a statement in each area of my life. Who am I? This is stated in the positive and as if I’ve already accomplished the goal.

Then I list three things I want to accomplish. This could be something that’s already a habit, or something I want to add or subtract from my life. Notice, for me, this is only three things.

Finally, those goals that are new I must pay particular attention to action steps. These are measurable and quantifiable actions.

Okay, now you say, that’s easy. But, it’s not. If you take each area of your life and break it down like this, you end up with some really great stuff, but an overwhelming urge to crawl into a dark hole and not come out. It’s too much.

That’s where I look at my entire list, especially those things that are new and pick one. Just one, with maybe a back-up of two and three. The last two are when life happens, or a road blocks puts the first goal on hold. Set 90 days to move through the first set of action steps and make it yours. You may only work on one action step at a time in a 90 day period for bigger goals, but because you’ve taken the time to break the larger into smaller doses you can assure success.

Subconsciously you may be working on other goals, but don’t make a fuss. Let nature take its course.

So, what’s all this about? Success. Make 2012 a really good year and put the resolutions away and look to the goals in your life. There are 366 days this year, leaving us 365 days to go. Make this a great year of success with goals that are meaningful to you and can be accomplished with less stress.

What tricks do you have to turn life goals into reality? Are you a goal planner or resolution setter?

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About Nancy J Nicholson

Nancy J. Nicholson is a wife, mother, writer, and full-time sailor, writing of her adventures and creating contemporary mysteries along the shores of the eastern United States and Caribbean. She fills her time with new friends, exploration, food, knitting and reading.
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12 Responses to Happy New Year! Resolutions or Goals?

  1. Carol Roe says:

    I usually do not set resolutions. ( Hate to fail!) Your 90 day one at a time method sounds like a great idea! So…. O.K. I’m thinking…. Hmmmm. (Does it help to share with someone to keep you acountable?) Still pondering the possibilities.
    Have Fabulous and Fullfilling 2012…
    Big Hugs….

  2. Sounds like a good process, Nancy. And the 90 day habit is a really good point. When I went gluten free back in August, I set a goal of three months for myself, but once I reached three months, it had become a habit, and I didn’t feel the same desire to break it that I had when I first started.

    Now I’m wishing I can make the same happen with exercise. Writing it down would help.

  3. Love your process. I think it’s a great way to attain success and I’m alllll for planning!!!
    For me this year, I have three sweeping goals that I’m breaking into smaller chunks via ROW80. I think breaking them into chunks with scheduling and a little bit of an action plan for each will help. The accountability and because I will check in on my goals quarterly, will help me stay motivated…at least I am hoping! LOL!
    My goals are essentially to write a novel, continue with my social media/blogging, and implement a healthier lifestyle.
    Here’s to us kicking BUTT! :-)

  4. Dannie Hill says:

    I make very few long term goals but don’t know why I don’t. My short term goals usually build to something more profound.

    I wish you the best of luck and great success in your 2012 goals, Nancy!

    BTW it’s the year 2555 in Thailand so I have a big head start on most people, LOL.

  5. I love how you begin with a positive statement as if you had already achieved the goal. That’s so smart! I, too, am a goal-gal. I find it easier to achieve my goals because I am constantly referring to them as I make my monthly, weekly, and daily plans. That keeps them fresh and I can see which ones I’m achieving and which ones aren’t working out. (Then, I can make the decision to drop it without the guilt.)

    Looking forward to hearing more of your success in 2012!

  6. Tameri says:

    Great advice! After reading so many posts on how to set goals, I feel empowered to set up some great goals for myself, which I’ve always done, but the blogs are super specific, like yours. I love the begin with the positive ~ that alone is magic for me. I think too often we just jot down wishes and dreams and hope someday they might come true, but to actively work on them in small chunks of time, well, that’s going to be the key, isn’t it? Like Angela said, if you break it down, then it becomes a habit. Thanks so much, Nancy!

    • Tameri, I agree all the blog posts recently have been fantastic. I may have a system, but something someone else said may just be what I need at the time. I love breaking projects into chunks. More success stories, more often.

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