It’s the start of a new year, which means that it’s a time to make some resolutions. Making a written list of your goals and plans is a nice practice. It gives you a better chance of actually accomplishing them. Sharing them with others provides some accountability, which is even better.
Still, even if you’re doing those, there’s one more thing that you can do to give yourself the best chance for success with your resolutions. Sit down and write them out in October. Really. If you review them every week until the New Year, adding to them and modifying them as needed, you will be able to make the necessary decisions and begin planning so you can hit the ground running on January 1. Waiting until January puts you behind on your desired goals.
Here are my resolutions for 2011:
- Pray daily with my family. This is the one thing that in my life that I will see implemented over all the rest. I’ve been too lax with my role as the spiritual head of my home in this area. We pray together at dinner, but that’s not the kind of leadership that being a husband and father requires. It’s my responsibility to bring my family to God. Making time specifically to pray with each of them, individually and as a whole, is what is really needed.
- Become a Financial Peace University Coordinator. Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover plan was pretty key in our family going from broke and frustrated to more financially secure than we have ever been. That influence has led me to read and learn more about career planning and personal finances in the last year than I ever thought was important to know about, and that’s made me want to reach out and help others grow in the same way.
- Read 20 books. That’s a pretty conservative number, actually. You could say that I have a stretch goal of 25 books, but I’m realistic. I’m one of those people who takes it one book at a time and reads every last word, but that might be changing. Getting the new Kindle for Christmas means that I can always have two or three books on hand easily. I’m going to try to polish off two (or more) books at a time, now.
- Lose 20 pounds. I’m very hesitant to make this commitment. Here’s the deal: I’m pretty comfortable with my weight and my body. I’ve never had the drive to count calories and stop eating food I enjoy. Still, I know that I need to get more intentional about exercising regularly. If I do that (and say no to some of the between meal snacks) I should be able to shed some unnecessary weight.
- Write 100 blog posts. I’m officially committing to continuing this experiment. Last year, I wound up writing just over one post a week from the date of inception on. (Yes, I realize it required a hard push at the end, what’s your point?) I don’t see any reason why I can’t double that this coming year.
I have a few others, but they’re more private and not appropriate for the entire Interweb to read. Also, I’m going to continue to maintain a lot of the good habits developed in 2010, but I don’t see a need to list, for example, “Write a budget every month.” or “Date my wife.” because I want my resolutions to be about new developments and improvements.
As always, feel free to ask me how I’m doing on these goals. I’m always open to being held accountable. Feel free to share your thoughts, or what your plans are for the new year in the comments below. Have a happy New Year!
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