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On resolutions, goals & habits

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It’s day 3 into the new year and it still has the fresh, new feeling about it.  There is expectancy, hope for change and renewed commitment to do or not to do. In my 20’s I spent more time figuring out the best New Year’s Eve plans instead of considering the Best Year Plan. I didn’t slow down or reflect long enough on the highlights of my year.  I put so much emphasis on the big event of ringing in the new year and before I knew it, I was back at work in my normal routine with maybe a resolution but no plan.

One year a friend and I spent time new year’s eve afternoon quietly reflecting on the past year. I took to paper and penned my hopes and goals for the year.  At the end of the year, I reflected back on that list and was amazed that many of the things I had hoped to do, not do, or change had become new habits. I expanded each year since in how I approach this and now look forward to the time.

It’s a time for me to quiet my heart, forget about my daily to do list, to pray and give God the new year.  I think back on highlights, sweet memories, and hardships. Reflecting on God’s grace, his provision and faithfulness always makes me grateful. I also use the time to set goals. I’m definitely a list maker and goal setter. If I write it down, I am more likely to do it. Here are the categories I use:

Spiritual

Marriage

Family

Health/Physical

Role as Mom

Financial

Business

Time & Talent

Myself

Books to Read

Something New to Try

I can honestly say that since I started doing this over 10 years ago, there are many things that have become lifelong habits even something as simple as drinking more water .  There are many more that I’m still working on and  that will probably make my list next year.  However, each year as I become more specific with how I will accomplish and measure success I’m finding I can be more intentional about my year. One of our family goals was to take our son camping for his first birthday. If we hadn’t written it down, we might have been more likely to say we’re too busy or too crazy  to try to take a one year old camping.  We did it and had so much fun, made great memories and started a family tradition.

Books to read is new on my list this year.  I’m an avid reader so I never thought to put that on my list.  If you’re a reader like me though, you have about 3 books on your night stand you plan to read, a few more on your desk and you always seem to pick up a few when you go to the library and then all the great books you hear about on your favorite blogs and websites.  This year I want to be more intentional about some books that I definitely want to get read so I made a list.

I know that lists don’t work for everyone’s personality. I also know that I may make plans and God has other things in store for our family and we are good with that.  It’s just a good way for me to keep myself accountable as I look over the list monthly and another way for me to grow.

Have you made any resolutions? Made a list of goals?  Started any new habits? I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you plan for 2012.

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