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New Year Goals, Not Resolutions

On December 30, 2010, in News From Gayle, by Gayle Brantuk

Resolutions seem more temporary and flippant, where goals sound more serious like something you might actually do. The past few years I’ve made it a habit to set some goals for the new year each December. There was a time when I wouldn’t do that because I tend to be hard on myself and found it difficult to deal with if I didn’t meet my goals. I guess now I just don’t stress about it.

If you don’t reach a goal, it’s not the end of the world but if you never even set goals, then you have no plan. How does the saying go? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

This past year, I set goals in several areas: business/monetary, health, relationships, spiritual and self-improvement. I’ve read quite a bit about goal setting over the years and even have a course on the subject. But, sometimes I think it’s best to keep it simple.

This year I plan on focusing on just a few things. Once I make a list of what I want to do, the next step is to detail what needs to be done to accomplish those goals. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds, you need to list the steps you’ll take to reach that goal.

As an aside, I’ve never had a weight problem but my observation is that there are two steps to losing weight: eat less and excercise more.  I’ve talked to people who have lost a lot of weight just by doing that. It doesn’t have to be complicated and involve denying yourself foods that you love, just eat less of them and move!

So, make a plan on how many pounds a month you need to lose to reach your goal and then decide what you’ll do to get there. Perhaps you’ll stick to 3 meals, no snacks in between; no eating after 6 pm; decreasing your portions, etc. And then, what type of exercise you’ll do. I know most of you are men and possibly aren’t gym-goers so here’s an idea–get a pedometer and just move more.

You’ll find it interesting to  see how many “steps” you actually take each day anyway. So, if you normally walk about 3,000 steps, double it. This is an uncomplicated way to get some exercise into each day.

Keep in mind that these are suggestions from a skinny chick, so feel free to take them with a grain of salt :) However, I’ve made a habit of exercising for the past 15 years and I’ve observed many people who come and go from the gym and most go… and never come back. You really have to work at creating a habit like exercise. They say it takes 30 days of repitition to create a new habit.

It feels good to get that off my chest ;) now back to setting goals…

mahogany runabout

David Lott’s “Midnight Cry”–the Glen-L Riviera

Dave Lott’s “Midnight Cry”

Many of you have the goal of building a boat. Perhaps this is the year you hope to achieve that. Or if you’ll be building a large boat, maybe you’ll start this year. Let’s take that as an example and here are a few tips:

1. Write it down – Just thinking about it isn’t nearly as powerful as writing it down someplace that you’ll see it on a daily basis. This makes it more real. I happen to think our Calendars are a great motivator because you can see a boat each month built by someone like you.

2. Be specific and set a deadline – Pick a date that you’ll accomplish your goal. Maybe the date could be your birthday and completing your boat would be your gift to yourself. Of course, if you’re birthday’s in January you better get busy!

3.  Keep it to yourself – Not everyone may agree with this one but for me, if I talk about something I want to do sometimes I don’t actually do it. It’s as if by talking about it, in my mind I’ve already done it. Plus, if your goal is building a boat, there may be people around you who don’t think you can do it or may not be as excited as you. The last thing you need is people telling you that you can’t do it… Please don’t blame me though if your wife doesn’t appreciate this one :)

4. Take action – Nothing happens unless you do something. This is the hard part. You can plan and set goals, but if you don’t take the steps to achieve them, it’s a waste of time. Maybe the first step to building a boat is to read Boatbuilding with Plywood. Again, set a deadline to accomplish that. Get the plans you want, then the materials, any tools you may need, etc. Just DO something…

Those are just a few guidelines. Some people advocate visualizing yourself having achieved your goals and to actually picture yourself in your boat, driving on the lake, imagine the comments from onlookers, etc. Napolean Hill in his famous book, “Think and Grow Rich” found that very successful people did this. It makes the goal more a part of your being.

Some people repeat to themselves statements to fool their subconscience into believing they have already accomplished their goal. Such as, “I’m so proud of the beautiful boat I built with my own two hands”. Another guru teaches “afformations” which is more of asking a question. Like, “How did I build this beautiful boat with my own two hands”. He says that your subconscious doesn’t believe a statement about something that isn’t actually true, but if you put it in question form, then your mind starts trying to work out the answer.

I don’t know what will work for you. The bottom line is just do something. Make a change this year in your life to make it better or to make yourself a better person. Decide to make 2011 your best year ever. At least then when the challenges come, you can look at them as opportunities and decide to make the best of them.

My hope for you is that you find joy this year and peace. And of course, that you build a boat :)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


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