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Ah, the end of December. Here we are again. Time to reflect on the past year. What have I accomplished? What have I forsaken?

Many people I’ve chatted with avoid making New Year’s resolutions.

“I’ll only break them.”

“It just sets you up for disappointment.”

“It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks!”

And, my personal favorite – “It’s hard to improve upon perfection!” Granted, said tongue in cheek, but likely a smattering of truth lies within the flippancy.

I enjoy making resolutions; I enjoy looking at my past year’s goals to see how the year stacked up.

The main reason I enjoy setting goals is I think it’s important to make deals with yourself. Writing down a goal does something to solidify it. The act of making a list commits you to facing up to the mindset you were in when you made the list. For me, it’s the first step on the journey to achievement.

Goal-writing always needs to be measurable, achievable and realistic. No point in saying you intend to be worth a million in a year when you are checking groceries at Safeway.  Of course we all want to be thinner, smarter, richer – but what are you prepared to do to achieve it?

King’s College, Cambridge, UK

Goal-setting needs to have a time frame.  A year is a reasonable period of time to accomplish or at least, improve, a lot of things.

I also enjoy checking up on my goals at regular intervals throughout the year – usually every 3-4 months.  For me, this is a reset button. “Oh dear, I have slacked off in that arena, time to get back on track.”

For me, most of my goal setting revolves around improving skills and acquiring knowledge. 

It’s also fun to look back and realize how far you’ve come in a year.

I have recently read a suggestion that you should just make a “pros” and “cons” checklist – then go back over the year and put people and things into these two categories. Then resolve to rid yourself of all the toxicity and spend time pursuing the positive. 

I am more apt to try to be a positive influence on the negative people in my life than to rid myself of them. Learning to deal with the less positive things and people in your life can be strengthening – as long as it doesn’t consume the majority of your time.

So this year’s goals?  Lots of different things – get my Spanish to a conversational level; polish my French; read 24 books; exercise regularly; improve my sax skills; find some new recipes; do regular blogging; knock several places off my travel bucket-list etc. etc.

I love starting anew. 

How about you?

January 1st 2019? – bring it on!