2011 – Towards Perfection

By this time next year I’ll be perfect. I’ll have achieved my perfect weight and be 100% fit. I will have attained a perfect work/family balance. All my thoughts and actions will flow from absolutely pure motives. I will have absolutely no faults. In short, I’ll be an all round great guy.

Why do I get the feeling you don’t believe me?

Do any of us really think we’re going to achieve perfection in the coming year? I guess not.

The strange thing is that some of us act as if that’s the goal and nothing less will satisfy. We create New Year’s Resolutions that tend to fall apart within weeks and then beat ourselves up, considering ourselves as failures. We set the bar way too high and then end up crushed that we didn’t go the distance.

Our failure to achieve the goals and resolutions we set results in us becoming discouraged, before walking down the same path the following year, or giving up on setting goals completely.

I wonder if there’s another way to look at our goals.

If I want some New Year’s Resolutions for 2011 I could always adopt last year’s. After all, most of them are still in brand new condition. They haven’t been used at all. But I’m not too discouraged.

I set myself a goal to read a whole lot more. I didn’t read as much as I would have liked but I did read more than I had the previous year.

Even if I stayed on my bike for the next couple of days I can’t reach my goal to cycle 12 000 kilometres in 2010 but I have passed last year’s total and won’t miss the mark by too much.

I’ve battled with being overweight most of my life and in 2010 I failed to drop the kilograms I wanted but I am ending the year fitter than I started it.

I could go on but I think you get the idea. I created some goals and then set about achieving them. I’ve fallen short in many of those goals but I’m not completely discouraged. I made progress in many areas that I wouldn’t have if I didn’t have those goals. That doesn’t mean that I go into a new year with no intention of reaching my goals. What it does mean is that I know I’m not perfect but I am moving forward.

Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars. – Les Brown

Will you be making some New Year’s Resolutions for 2011? Can you look back on 2010 and see progress in some areas of your life?

I hope that you’ll set yourself some goals that will stretch and grow you and that you’ll be able to celebrate the wins along the journey even if you don’t quite make it to the destination.

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Wondering about a new year

new_years_calendar.jpgIn all the busyness of this time of year have you managed to set time aside to draft out a few New Year’s resolutions?

Maybe you’ll get some time over the next couple of days. I’m hoping to get something together before the end of Thursday so that I’m ready for Friday and a brand new year. I’ve got started with a few categories or areas of life where I want to see change or growth and I have most of the ideas of what they’ll look like in in my head. I simply need to commit them to paper … er … computer.

While many people don’t believe in such things I reckon that any time we can sit down and take stock of our lives and make plans for the time ahead is time well spent.

As with every year I’m sure that many will set all the usual resolutions about losing weight, getting fitter, quitting smoking, reducing debt and all the rest but I wonder what 2010 would look like if we made resolutions and goals about improving relationships with those close to us and then asked those people, or others, for help in staying accountable to those goals.

I wonder how things would be if we made resolutions about helping those we may not even know but who need a hand up.

How would 2010 shape up if we determined that family was more important than the demands of work and then structured our schedules accordingly?

What would it be like if we decided that 2010 was the year that we would look beyond the physical and material things of this world to discover deeper spiritual meaning?

I wonder.

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Ten Thousand Kilometres

cadent_1.jpgI made it … and just over a month early.

By the time I finished cycling today I’d nudged my total for the year to just over 10 000 kilometres. Last year I managed to notch up 5 192 kilometres and I was hoping to get to 10 000 by the end of December. Looks like I’ve now got a bonus month.

As long as nothing major happens between now and the end of the year I should make it past 10 384 to double last year’s total.

Now I need to set myself a target for 2010. I suppose I’ve got a few weeks to think about it but maybe 12 000 would be a good target. That would mean that I need to achieve 1 000 a month.

There are certainly other goals for this year that I won’t or can’t reach but I’m more than pleased to have this one in the bag.

Have you reached any goals or targets this year? Have you started thinking about goals or resolutions for 2010?

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How to make resolutions that work

2009.jpgYou might think you’re making New Year’s Resolutions but are you really just compiling a wish list?

Did you make a well intentioned list of resolutions at the start of 2008 which have failed to bear fruit? Could you take last year’s list and simply change the 2008 on the top of the list to 2009?

How do you make resolutions that work? What’s the difference between New Year’s Resolutions and a wish list?

I’ve had an Amazon Wish List for quite some time. It’s a list of things I’d like, but simply listing those things doesn’t mean anything unless I, or someone else, decides to take action and buy someting from the list. The stuff on the list now is the same as the stuff that was there when I created it. Wishing doesn’t make it happen.

If I say that I want to lose weight in 2009 that’s a wish. If I set out a sensible weight loss strategy with achievable short and long term goals though the year it’s a resolution.

If I say I’d like to make family time more of a priority this year, it’s a wish. If I book time in my diary and plan to give up activities that would otherwise get in the way of that happening, that’s a resolution.

If I say I’d like to read more over the next twelve months, that’s a wish. If I select some books, create a reading plan and then move other activities out of the way to give me the time to read, that’s a resolution.

Resolutions need a concrete action plan with achievable, measurable goals. It can also be helpful to find someone who will keep you accountable to your goals. Maybe there’s someone with a similar goal or resolution who will work with you so that you can both achieve your plans. It might be someone who is already doing well in an area in which you’d like to improve. Ask them to help keep you moving towards your goal and to give you any advice you need to get there.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if we’re making lifestyle changes we’ll probably fail now and then. The aim is to keep going rather than just throwing in the towel the first time you trip up. Even if you don’t reach your goals at the set time, you’ll still be further down the track if you get up after a setback, dust yourself off, and start moving in the right direction again.

If you are going to see 2009 as an opportunity for change you might like to break down your resolutions into various categories such as Health and Fitness, Spirituality, Family and Relationships, Finance, Career and other areas that touch your life.

Who do you want to be on the first of January 2010? What will you do during 2009 to make that a reality?

As 2008 draws to a close, are you going to make resolutions or a wish list for 2009?

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