Making New Year’s Resolutions has never been a habit of mine. Nevertheless, I do have goals.
I schedule time to re-visit my values, asking myself whether the actions I’m taking in my life align with what matters to me the most. The most natural time for me to do this is at the beginning of the secular (January) and the Jewish (Nisan)† year.
Here’s a redacted version* of some things I will do—on purpose, and with intent—in 2021.
Since I’m not a finance blogger, I’ll keep the details of my personal economic goals to myself redacted with green lines. The pink strikethrough covers a commitment to enhancing a particular relationship.
Really, what I’m trying to share here is an approach that I have found helpful for working toward what some might call my Life Plan. I aim to write down specific, achievable, list-tickable items that I know are within reach, but which will move me, inexorably, toward loftier ambitions.
I consider what I want from my life in a few key areas:
- personal relationships,
- and career/vocation.
The bigger goals might be described as:
- I will continue to exercise my mind until I’ve lost it.
- I want financial security for myself and my family.
- I will nurture my physical body.
- Human relationships are fundamental to my enjoyment of life.
- Though I’ve opted to stay at home, raising my children, I still have a role in the wider world which I’m expressing via this blog.
Resources abound with other, far more specific approaches to success. I’ve read books that will tell you how many “core values” you can/should have and how to cultivate them. I’ve seen Warren Buffet’s advice on narrowing your focus to just a couple of aims in an article about being a better leader.
I’m not a guru, and I can’t change your life. Only you can do that!
I am, however, a person who finds something to be grateful for every day. I believe that paying attention to what you want—and why—is key to happiness.
I could be happier; I could be more successful. I’m satisfied with who, what, and where I am, though, so I’m sharing my simple process in hopes of spreading some empowerment toward self-acceptance.
For me, a short list of targets I know I can meet provides fuel for my willpower engine. If you feel you’ve “failed” at New Year’s Resolutions in the past, consider trying this method for yourself. Little victories may also prove to be your catalyst for bigger wins.
† The head of the Jewish year also happens to align with the start of the academic calendar and all of its associated beginnings. As an inveterate nerd, I doubt that even the graduation of my children from school will break me of the habit of seeing autumn as the time to begin new projects.
* …just in case anyone is wondering just how much detail I, in particular, choose to include in this kind of longish term thinking. Because, sometimes, it is easier to try something new with a blueprint from a person who went there before you did.