I do NOT make New Year’s Resolutions. I do, however, write goals every year. EVERY YEAR. I have a record of them for the last twenty three years! Some people might think this is absolute craziness that I have done this with such consistency. Some others might simply be astonished that I can find all twenty three years of them. For me, it’s been a dependable ritual that I complete each year.
At the end of each year, I assess how well I met the year’s goals (I do award myself partial credit and sometimes delete a goal when it is unaccomplishable due to circumstances beyond my control) and give myself a completion grade. On average, I seem to make it into the sixties as my percentage completed. I do not consider this on the standard “school” percentages, it’s not a D. In my eyes, every time I meet over 50% of the goals I set for my year, that’s a winning year. If my completion percentage is too high, I probably didn’t set my sights high enough for the year. In the week before and after January 1st, I get busy crafting my goals for the coming year. I usually use the same categories year after year, changing them only when a category really isn’t suiting my needs anymore. Sometimes I transfer an unmet goal to the next year if I think it is still important. Other times I realize that since I didn’t get to it after a full year, it’s really not all that critical to my success or happiness.
In 2016, I added the category “Creativity” because art has become a more significant element in my life than in years past. I also decided to break Personal into two categories “Self Care/Personal Development” and “Personal Interests” since doing things for myself weren’t necessarily the same thing as interests I have. As an example, in the former category I had “try guided meditation” and “learn something new” for this year. But the Personal Interests section included “throw two parties” and “go the the Balloon Fiesta in NM”. In my mind those things are different and needed different headings. The other categories I am using are “Kids/School”, “House/Material Possessions”, “Health & Fitness”, “Finances”, and “Personal Relationships” for a total of eight. 2017’s goals will be using the same categories and I am crafting them now. I always show one person when I consider it done (it makes sure I actually finish it) and I may or may not post it here. Depends on how I feel after I write them.
Resolutions are destined to fail so no one ever feels good about them. Goals are almost always a positive way to structure your life. And if you do as I do and consider greater than 50% to be a victory, success is easily assured. I cannot tell you the satisfaction it gives me to be able to look over my successes for more than 20 years. I can see patterns and know where I went wrong (and right!) I love seeing how hard I tried in some areas. I love seeing how I let go of others. I had no idea I would still be doing this so many years later when I started, but I am very glad I am.