At the beginning of each new year, we usually take some time to evaluate where we've been and where we want to go. We make resolutions in hopes that we can change our personal situation or ourselves for the better. We write down or verbalize our goals for the future and often find that things rarely go as planned. We may get discouraged and decide to stop applying the attitude and skills necessary to stay on task.
This year, resolve to stay committed! Instead of making broad statements like "I have to save more," or "I want to lose some weight," make specific goals that you can achieve in a reasonable amount of time. Instead of several goals that may be too much to tackle in one year, focus on two or three that you can give your attention to and over time see the results of your effort.
Not sure where to start? It is likely that your goals fall into one of the following categories. The more specific you can be with your goals, the easier it will be to determine what your priorities should be in 2011.
Financial Goals: Do you want to deposit an extra 10 percent of your paycheck into a retirement fund? Do you want to buy a house or refinance your mortgage and use the savings for home improvements? Do you want to reduce your student loan debt?
Career Goals: Do you want more autonomy in your role at work? Are you interested in earning thousands more in income than last year? Want to make time to research degree programs that will help you obtain a better job?
Health Goals: Do you want to lose 20 pounds within 7 months? Would you like to stick to a workout routine at least three days a week? Do you want to commit to eating out only once a week?
Family-Related Goals: What can you do to ensure you are truly present in your role as spouse and parent? Would you like to have more family time by rearranging your schedule? Would a family vacation or monthly date night strengthen your relationships?
Personal Fulfillment Goals: Is your attitude or approach to a problem setting you back further than the problem itself? Would you like to do something fun that you enjoy at least once a month? Do you want to volunteer a few times this year at a local shelter, food bank or hospital?
Hopefully these topics have helped you think of ways you can specifically improve and the goals you want to make a priority in the year ahead. Don't let another year go by without a noticeable dent in your goals. Life happens, and sometimes unexpected events can derail your resolutions. But by making specific, attainable tweaks or changes to your routine, you will be able to enjoy the lifestyle you resolve to have.