Forget Resolutions, I’m Making Goals

by Christopher Paul on January 2, 2012

I forgot where I saw this and I can’t say the thought was mine originally. But as the title suggests, I’m not making new year’s resolutions. I’m going to make goals.

I want to be able to look back at 2012 and say I accomplished something. 2011 was pretty eventful, if you ask me, and I can look back and say I remember what happened. A few things weren’t so good and I hope to use the typical and somehow obligatory fresh start that a new calendar allows to make for that. For me to have something to look back on, I need to know where I’m going. That’s where the goals come in.

I do have some resolutions, however, which I’ll quickly get out of the way so I can focus on the important parts.

I resolve to:

  1. Send more thank you cards – handwritten or generated by apps. It’s the thought that counts, right?
  2. Read more books and less RSS feeds.
  3. Take better care and control of my health more.
  4. Write more opinionated pieces on my blog; I still enjoy curating and seem to have found a small stride in reposting other people’s observations – that continues.
  5. Be better organized.
  6. And some other stuff…

But here’s the important list. To make sure I feel some sense of accomplishment, I’m specifying what I want to achieve.

  1. Send at least one thank you card a month. If a special occasion warrants it, send as many as needed.
  2. Complete one book each month. Subject isn’t important neither is length but short stories, long form articles, and blog posts don’t count.
  3. Take my vitamins every day at the same time.
  4. Get to the gym at least twice a week for (a minimum) a 45 minute walk; work towards getting weight lifting back into the routine in month two. Lose 10 lbs.
  5. Write an essay or long form opinion piece four times a year, more if possible. By sticking to one a quarter, I can spend some quality time on it without too much pressure.
  6. Clean my “junk” drawer every week and my closet once a month.
  7. Meditate every other day for 20 minutes.

Each one of those goals has a specific achievement and a set frequency. I can time my life to it. Some are harder than others; some are less specific – like meditate… On what? Where? Etc.

I never had that kind of schedule – even for resolutions I had been successful in the past with. Like quitting smoking, eating better, losing weight (in three different but sequential years). But with work – both the paying and home kind, a nearly two year old, and the fact I’m starting to age at an exponential rate (or at least it feels like that), I need some structure.

The resolutions are just guidance for the goals. There isn’t a harm in having them but without something specific to achieve, they’ll be forgotten about within a month. I’m not sure that some of the goals I set are achievable, either (like taking my vitamins every day), but I have to try and I think I set some reasonable ones. I’m also looking in a social aspect of achieving these goals – especially on the fitness side of things. Any help I can get will be needed.

Let’s see how I do in a year.

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