I hope my readers had a wonderful Christmas Day. Now that Christmas is behind me, I'm mentally wrapping up this year and looking towards the next. Unlike a lot of people, I don't make New Year's Resolutions; I feel that it just sets me up for failure. Most resolutions are unrealistic and unattainable; we overburden ourselves by expecting immediate transformation of our lives.
Rather than resolutions, I try to set quarterly goals with step-by-step directions for myself. Say, if I have ten things I want to do or change, I don't set them as resolutions to start on January 1st. Instead, I look at the list and pick out about three items that I think are the most important and that I think are realistic to accomplish in three months. Then I look at my schedule and see how I can work towards the goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. I set deadlines and rewards to keep me motivated. At the end of the quarter, I look at what I've accomplished and then pick new goals for the next quarter. Sometimes the past quarter's goals are actually habits I've acquired rather than a goal with an end (i.e., exercise daily versus lose 10 pounds). So, once the habit is established, I continue on without giving it much more thought.
This week I'll be setting aside some time to think about what goals to set for myself. I actually look forward to the process, seeing it as a time of renewal and improvement. It's a very positive way to begin a new year.