New Year’s Resolutions, Goals, or Both?

Happy New Year to all of my readers!

How do you feel about a new year? How do you feel about making New Year’s Resolutions? If you made any last year, did you keep them? Do you set New Year’s Goals as well?

To quickly answer these questions: I find new years and new beginnings to be generally exciting and hopeful. I’m okay with making some New Year’s Resolutions and managed to keep most of mine from 2016. As for New Year’s Goals, I think they’re as important as resolutions. When I asked my family if they thought there was a difference, we all agreed that resolutions are more like daily habits we want to work on while goals are longer term items we work towards that can be measured and tracked. (If you want to read more about setting goals, you can check out this link to the Mind Tools website.)

As I look back on 2016, I would say that I had a great year, for which I feel lucky given the many terrorist attacks and tragedies we saw. I traveled more than ever, which is a big deal for me as I overcame a lot of anxiety over traveling by plane. I caught up with more family and friends than ever, and I’m so happy about being in touch with them more regularly, thanks to social media and long distance conversations over the phone or WhatsApp. And, I got to spend time blogging, connecting with new people, and learning a lot about freelance writing.

I wrote about the resolutions I made for 2016 in a post you can read here. The 5 New Year’s Resolutions I set were:

  • Get more sleep
  • Be more forgiving
  • Be more positive
  • Waste less food
  • Eat more fruits

Each one of these resolutions was a habit I wanted to work on daily. I’m proud of how much calmer I am and I’m pretty sure that was from forgiving faster, knowing that this would make me happier and more positive. I also approached more ‘problems’ by telling myself that most issues I had in the past were resolved at the end and that it would be helpful to stay focused throughout and expect good results. I need a lot more work on this resolution, but a few people close to me commented on how I was approaching and looking at things more calmly –unsolicited. Yay!

In terms of wasting less food, that worked out okay as I shopped less frequently for perishable foods and accepted that I would pay more for last minute items I needed. I could do better here. Frozen fruit smoothies (blog post here) and fruit salads prepared in advance helped me meet the ‘eat more fruits’ resolution.

My first resolution on sleep, however, was the hardest. There’s only one way for me to get more sleep, and that’s to go to bed earlier. My body clock wakes me up at 5:30. Period. So, that resolution is back on the list for 2017. The only way to get more sleep is for me to take time for myself earlier in the day. One of the main reasons I go to bed late is that I need some down time at the end of the evening. I’m thinking of finding most of this time in the early mornings or late afternoon, before dinner.

In terms of goals, 2-3 goals seem to be what most people can handle effectively. One of my main goals for 2017 is to find my niche as a freelance writer. I’ve already found two role models and writers that have been so encouraging and full of great advice. I’m excited about what they’ve taught me already. Another goal is to keep my house less cluttered so that I can have company over at a moment’s notice. I know I’ll feel better and that my family will feel better when I’ve reached that goal.

So, I leave you on this New Year’s Day with the wish that you meet any resolutions or goals you set. One of my readers recommended sharing these goals or New Year’s resolutions with a friend so you can tweak or make changes as necessary with objective input. Also, remember that you don’t need a new year to start doing something differently. You can always start doing whatever it is you want at any time. The point is not to give up.

I’d love to hear about any New Year’s goals or resolutions you have made or tips on how to keep track of your progress. Wishing you all a happy, healthy 2017 full of good things!

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