Most years, my husband Greg and I talk through our goals for the new year. These have included larger dreams with longer timelines as well as short-term practical applications, especially during the years we were raising our sons. I don’t define goals as resolutions. A resolution, or a firm decision to change, tends to be broken more often than not. Inc. Magazine reports that 91% of us won’t achieve our New Year’s resolutions. But a good goal is measurable and achievable with the identification of tiny steps to the completion of that goal.
There were many years when we weren’t so organized, laying out our goals in categories. We would identify a few main goals, usually including financial, travel and projects for the kids. Our work goals were usually kept separate, communicated with the organizations we were affiliated. In this article we will cover six areas: financial, relationships, network, fitness and recreation, spiritual and family. Get the free worksheet download here.
This year on Black Friday, buy now - pay later options jumped 78% compared to the previous week according to Adobe Analytics data. This means more debt. With rising inflation and the holiday season upon us, credit card debt stands to be on the rise. That type of debt can trap you to where you end up paying off mostly fees and not the actual purchase. There have been times when we carried some type of credit card debt, but our goal was always to get it paid off. We did it with a plan, paying a little at a time.
The end of the year a good time to review your default budget (see free Goal Worksheet Downloads) to see where your money is going. You may be surprised with the number of small purchases that add up to large amounts. We have several articles to help you with this listed at the end of this post. For those running businesses, look hard at all your subscription costs. Make sure you are using them. They add up!
We have watched the journey of our parents and their friends. There used to be lots of get-togethers then either some families would move away or spouses and friends would die. This created a void for recreational activities. Looking at them, we never thought we’d run out of friends. After all, we’ve been involved in church groups and other organizations. But times change.
We have purposefully looked for and added new friends to our social circle. Ideally, they will be couples and people that both Greg and I get along with. But there are still plenty of individual relationships, both personal and professional, that we keep. Joining a local pickleball group has provided some new active friends, which is inspiring and fun. (see article below)
How many organizations are you a part of? The end of a year is a good time to evaluate all your organizations. Are they worth your time and effort and involvement? If you’re part of an organization’s leadership, are you clear on their mission and message and is it aligned with your core values? Your time is actually the most valuable resource you have. It’s worth more than just money. Evaluate carefully.
Also, your influence is worth something. How valuable is your input for these organizations? Are there other places where you can have greater impact and influence? Those are good questions to ask. There are so many things we could do, but few things we should do.
Four: Fitness and Recreation
Health and fitness continue to escalate in importance as we age. (see article below) A combination of cardio and weight-bearing exercises is important for all ages. Most can keep this routine up even through their 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s. The worst thing you can do is to not move.
Our goals include bike riding most days, mostly on a stationary bike. I then schedule in outdoor rides with a friend, which is a total respite from my work behind a computer. I have also booked active vacations that include hiking and biking, up to 50 miles a week. It gives us good goals. Most tours will also provide training routines appropriate for different destinations. See VBT tours and Backroads tours. Exercise also provides opportunities to develop new friendships with those with similar goals.
Weight management is also a part of fitness. Keeping weight down with healthy eating is part of your fitness. (see article below) We have friends in their 70’s, both black belts. They regularly work out and train. It’s extremely inspiring. Spend time with those who inspire you.
Any time you visit a gravesite, you realize we will all end up labeled with a tombstone at some point. It makes you think more about the meaning of life and what the future really holds. For years I have taken the time to have a morning devotional using a Bible, which is still the most-read book in the world. In the past 50 years, the Bible has sold over 3.9 billion copies. I personally love the Psalms and Proverbs.
Whether you spend time in prayer or meditation, find some way to associate yourself with a higher power. Most mornings, Greg and I spend time over coffee praying for our country, our family and our business. It keeps me centered. I also joined a Bible Study Fellowship group this year, which is specifically covering biblical history of the Old Testament history which is fascinating.
At this point in our life we have adult kids and our relationship with them looks different than years ago. We also have two sons getting married this next year, adding family members. Part of our yearly travel is scheduling in extra times to visit as that is important to us, and we feel encouraging to them. Our role is more to watch their journey at this point instead of parenting. But we are always available for advice! (see article below)
I feel fortunate to still have a good relationship with my two sisters. We have had our moments, but have made the decision to get along, especially when we dealt with the passing of our parents. Since we all live in Southern California, schedule in times to meet over a meal every few months. Greg regularly speaks with his brother who lives a couple hours from us. We realize not everyone has similar family relationships, so we regularly reflect on how thankful we are.
I hope you spend some time not only identifying your goals, whether individually or with your spouse or significant other. Create small stepping stones to experience steps along the way. Next year, you’ll be glad you did!
Articles and Books of Interest
FREE Goal Setting Worksheets: Goal Setting
- How to Encourage Each Other as Friends, Colleagues and Spouses
- Importance of Exercise
- Authentic High Energy
- Do Adult Children Need Parenting or Do They Need a Partner?
- Tiny Habits as a Way of Life with Linda Fogg Phillips
- Book: Atomic Habits
- Book: Tiny Habits
- FREE Goal Setting Worksheets: Goal Setting
There are so many things we could do, but few things we should do.
Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author
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