I don’t set New Year’s resolutions. I set goals. In my mind the difference is in how specific they are. Resolutions are vague things like “eat better,” or even more vague “be healthier” whereas goals are specific things like “eat two fresh vegetables a day.” I haven’t met all my goals every year, but I’ve made progress, and that’s the important thing. And the goals I haven’t met were generally because I either failed to make a plan or I had surgery or my pelvis fell apart making the exercise goals a bit hard. Moral of the story – make a plan. And then don’t get upset if your pelvis falls apart.
My plan often involves my grown-up sticker chart in the form of a spread sheet. I set it up so I can check it off every time I do one of my goals. When I wanted to start taking a daily vitamin I put it next to the cereal so I grabbed it at breakfast, and then gave myself a “1” on the spread sheet every day I did it.
My spread sheet looks a bit like this with the goal column increasing each week:
Every day I pull up my spread sheet and make sure I’ve marked off all my goals by the end of the day.
Scientific American has had a few good articles about setting goals and successfully accomplishing them this past week: “Set SMART Resolutions in 2014!” “Should you tell Facebook about your resolutions?” and “Practical Tips for your 2014 Goals.”
While we generally tend to think about goals at the beginning of a new year, either the calendar year or a year in our lives at our birthdays, that doesn’t have to be the case. We can set goals at any time. I add rows to my spreadsheet as the need arises. As President Uchtdorf has said, “You don’t need to wait for permission to become the person you were designed to be” (“The Best Time to Plant a Tree,” Ensign, January 2014).
How do you measure your progress on your goals?