Every year thousands of people make New Years resolutions which they ultimately give up on within the first month or so. The act of making the list is rather rhetorical, as the majority know that they will never accomplish those resolutions. The list is made out of tradition, not with the intent to succeed.
A resolution is an action taken to resolve a problem. Who wants to start the new year thinking about a list of problems they must tackle? A New Year’s resolution is a cumbersome burden no one wants to bear. Just the sound of it is overwhelming.
Throw those resolutions out. You are not going to accomplish them anyway. Instead list your goals for the new year. Think positive, dream big. These are things you want to accomplish over the course of the next twelve months.
Ahhh you say, isn’t that the same thing as a resolution? Well, sort of, but it is a mind game for motivation. Which do you want to do? Which makes you feel that success is possible? You can only pick one of the following:
* List your resolutions for the new year — those problems you intend to resolve.
* List your goals for the new year — those things you want to achieve.
Which phrase encourages you to take action? Which phrase makes you go uggghhh? Do whatever provides you with the most motivation. If taking a slew of problems you have resolved to correct inspires you, then by all means go for it. If setting forth a list of goals to complete inspires you, then take that route.
The desired outcome, whether you choose to set resolutions or goals, is to cross those items off your list one-by-one as you complete them. Every item you cross off the list provides you with a feeling of accomplishment. The more things you cross off your list, the more encouraged you will be to keep working on that list.
What are my plans for 2017? I have made a resolution to resolve problems by setting forth a list of goals to accomplish within the next year.
Happy New Year!
We rang in 2016 about 48 hours ago. As goes with this time of year, many out there have posted their New Year’s Resolutions, and most will falter on completing them. Why make resolutions when you can commit to Good Things and Goals?
In January 2015 I decided to do a “Good Things” Jar. This is a jar that whenever something nice happens, it can be something as simple as a beautiful sunset to something much more complicated, but whatever it is it is something good that happened to you. Jot it down on a piece of paper, date it, and drop it into the jar.
The official instructions tell you to open the jar on New Year’s Even and read all the notes that you have in it, then put them back into the jar and save it so you can always pull those notes back out in the future if you choose. I did a modified version of those instructions.
I filled my jar with lots of good things, which was a double bonus because it was also the last year my husband was alive. What I did is on New Year’s Day I opened up my jar and took out and re-read all those notes and attached them to scrapbook pages with a few photos to add points of interest. I am now re-using my empty jar for 2016.
I also decided that rather than have New Year’s Resolutions I am going to have monthly goals. I will re-set my goals each month, and they can be repeating goals or things that are new. What this does is provides short-term focus, mini accomplishments and the ability to re-evaluate the goals on a monthly basis to assist with motivation.
My start-up goals for the month of January are to follow my diet beginning on Monday, January 4th, work on organizing my house at least three times a week with a minimum of two hours each session. Clear the area around my exercise machine so I can use it, read at least three books per month and work on photographs (processing, uploading, etc.) at least once a week, and work on the preparations for the Celebration of Life in honor of my husband at least two times a week.
I’ve seen photos of these around New Years in previous years, thought they looked like a neat idea but never attempted it myself. This year I changed my mind. 2014 was a rough year, as I wrote about in Kicking 2014 Goodbye. We also had a lot of good things that happened throughout the year, including a vacation to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and a weekend spent with my sister and two cousins we traveled with often growing up. A granddaughter was born in December. Those are the big things. We all remember the big things, but I know there were a lot of small, minor tidbits of happiness that have long been forgotten.
Good Things Jar. Photo by Grace Grogan 2015
That is why this year I decided to start a Good Things Jar. I purchased a large canning jar, typed up a label for it and placed it on our kitchen counter. I then inserted several notes from the days that had already gone by since January 1st. I started this when my husband, Ron, was in the hospital for his surgery. I didn’t mention it to him, and now that he is home he hasn’t asked about it. He can put things into it too. I should mention it, because his good things may be quite different from mine based on the fact that he is quite often out shooting photographs all day while I am at work.
It will be interesting to see how full the jar is by the end of the year. I have read about people starting these but then not keeping them up. When you begin to jot down the miscellaneous good things that happen it is amazing how many things happen on a day-to-day basis that we don’t put emphasis on. For example in my jar already I have the celebration of my grandson, Corbin’s birthday, which was done late so his brother could be there. My daughter, Caroline and her boyfriend, Rob, came over and ran the snow-blower and cleared the front porch and sidewalk of snow while Ron was in the hospital. I included the day of Ron’s surgery that the procedure was successful, and of course a note the day he came home from the hospital.
Some of these things I will remember at the end of the year, some would be forgotten. It will be interesting on December 31st to dump out my jar of notes and enjoy the memories. I have read where people frequently keep the jars so they can re-open and read the notes in later years if they choose. I will take my notes at the end of the year and put them onto a scrapbook page and they will be permanently saved in a scrapbook.
The year is still new. Maybe you should consider making a Good Things Jar. If you have done this in the past I would love to hear your comments about it. If you haven’t are you now considering starting one? We should all focus on the Good Things in our lives.