Heart Choices: New Year's Resolutions -->

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New Year's Resolutions

Happy 2009! Do you make New Year's resolutions? Or are you one of those people who doesn't like to set goals? After all, it's so hard to keep them.

I remember hearing Zig Ziglar say that if you don't set any goals to work towards, you're a ...wandering generality.

I never used to set goals until I got married 24 years ago. You see, my husband is a goal setter. On our first New Year's Day together, he asked me about my goals for the year. I looked at him and said something like "Honey, I don't know. I guess I'll just have to see what happens." No wonder things weren't quite happening. I really didn't know where I was going besides getting married.

Setting goals is one thing ...but achieving your goals is another.

Taking the time to write down your goals, along with a plan of action will increase your likelihood of success. I think people get discouraged because they don't seem to stick with their goals beyond a few weeks. So, why bother setting yourself up for failure?

I pulled out a performance planner I purchased years ago through the Zig Ziglar Organization. Glancing through the pages, I realized how much time, effort and thought I had given to this process.

The sections for creating and achieving my goals included the following:

  • Create a wild idea sheet. This is fun! All you do is take a sheet of paper and let your imagination go wild. You print everything you want to be, do and have. Don't think it through; just write it down quickly. They say that printing it frees your creative right brain to use your imagination. I don't know how scientific that is but my page was filled.

  • Wait at least 24-48 hours and then go back to your wild idea sheet. Ask yourself "why?" beside each item that you wrote down. This helps to eliminate the frivolous items on your list.

  • Take your wittled down list of goals and list the benefits you will obtain from reaching that goal. I ended up with six goals that I worked on that year.

  • List the obstacles you need to overcome.

  • List the skills or knowledge you may need to acquire to reach them.

  • List any people, groups or organizations that might help you.

  • List steps for a plan of action to reach your goals.

I was amazed to read through my lists and realized that I actually achieved five out of the six goals I had set for that year. And the areas of my life I covered were physical, finances, relationships, spiritual and career growth.


My friend Lori of Lori's Reflections posted her New Year's Meditations in place of resolutions. I hope you'll check her site where you can find links to other blogs who also participated.

This year my list includes three areas, just like the focus of Heart Choices; body, mind and spirit.

Body: My goal is to work on my flexibility and strength. I work out aerobically but as you get older you lose muscle mass and flexibility. I also want to add more fiber and vegetables to my diet and to eat smaller portion sizes.

Mind: My goal is to focus on my writing. Blogging has been such a creative outlet for me. I rediscovered my love for writing.

Spirit: My goal is to grow in my relationship with the Lord. I am currently studying the book of Hebrews. Learning to enter the rest of God has been a struggle for me. My flesh gets in the way.

How about you? How do you want to grow in 2009? As you reflect back on 2008, are there some areas of your life that you'd like to change going forward? Do you write down your goals? I'd love to hear from you.

Debbie Petras
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  1. Debbie I greatly enjoyed reading this list!! I love the idea that it gives "form" to wild dreams and ideas and allows you to pair them down. Also it allows you the freedom to dream big.

    Love it!

  2. Debbie,

    Some years I have set goals and some years I have not. I would say the last 10-12 years I have picked a scripture verse that the Lord has laid upon my heart that is my life verse for the year and that has something that has been consistent.

    Other than pressing in closer and closer to the Lord, and trying to please Him in my life and as a wife and mother...I do think I tend to be general.

    This has me thinking about being specific about some things.

    Blessings to you, my friend. I enjoyed reading this!!

  3. Great post! I love setting goals and then working to achieve them. Last year at this time, we were in Guatemala adopting our 4th child...so my goals for the year were simply to stay on top of the laundry and make sure the kids were fed every day. I don't think I kept up on the laundry :)

    It felt good to really think through where God was taking me this year and being specific about what I felt He was leading me to.

    I, too, feel blogging is a huge part of my 2009. I also have a book manuscript that I'm going to try to get in front of some publishers this year. I think this may be the year I start to book some speaking engagements?? Not sure about that.

    Physically, I'm continuing with Body for Life.

    Spiritually, (as you already read on my blog) this is my "year of yes." I'm saying "yes" to God no matter what He asks of me.

    It's going to be a great year!
    Blessings dear friend!

  4. Hi Debbie,
    I found it helpful last year to revisit my goal list on my blog throughout the year. It kept it in my memory all year long doing it that way. I plan to do the same this year and maybe update as I go with my progress (like with the book list, organization projects, and recylcing stuff).

  5. Love your goals. Thanks for sharing.

  6. If we don't have goals, we can go enywhere!!!

  7. What a creative idea to set a wild goal list and dream! Thank you so much! I started making lists for my day and it is helping me stay focused. Last year, I resolved to take every woman in my book club out to lunch on her birthday. The one to one was so special! I could pray more effectively for each one and I thank the Lord for helping me with that one. Goals work. Keep sharing; you're an inspiration.

  8. I love the "wild dream" idea also. Thanks for the post. I'm going to have to think about that.

  9. Your goals are great as they focus on personal development: 'Mind, Body and Spirit'.

    One thing we also do is set family goals. Working together on a common goal helps us through the rough times - remembering the commitment we have to each other centres us and enables us to overcome any challenges.

    Godt nytt år!


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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