New Year: New Beginnings

New Year's always begs new resolutions, which in turn is quickly followed with eye-rolling, sighs, and insecure laughter as people create excuses for why they don't write goals.

Well, as many a good man has advised, "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time."

I return to you, dear readers, refreshed from the long break, inspired to work with a greater fervor than before, and insistent upon challenging you to write down some goals for this year.

Just the other day I attended a meeting where the speaker confessed that at one point in her writing career, she looked back on the previous year and realized that an entire year had gone by and she had not accomplished anything. I refuse to let you come to the end of 2010 and share the same sentiment. It is time to write some goals, post them in your home, and find an accountability partner to keep you on track.

Before you get bogged down and overwhelmed by the prospects of having to write goals, please heed my simple advice:

1. Limit yourself to 3-5 goals max. Type-A's like myself scoff at this idea for there is so much that we are determined to acomplish in this one year, but I know, from experience, that writing 10 or 20 goals (or more--guilty!) is counterproductive. It does not mean that you will not accomplish the myriad of other challenges set before you; rather it will force you to prioritize, simplify, and make your list of goals a thing to be proud of, rather than, like my list from 2009, a paper I have conveniently lost and hope never to find.

2. Think of your goals like a set of directions off of mapquest. Do not just write down the final destination; write down the steps you are going to take to reach that destination. For example, if your goal is an overal healthier lifestyle, then your resolution should entail a handful of practical steps to achieving such a life (i.e., Goal one: a healthier lifestyle of refusing seconds, drinking 64 ounces of water per day, and enrolling in a fitness class that I attend a minimum of two days per week.)

3. Be realistic. You don't need to lasso the moon any time soon; just write a goal that gets you one or two steps closer to doing so--perhaps a goal to buy some rope and learn how to throw a lasso. The rope and physics needed to get to the moon can be dealt with a different year.

Again, let me emphasize: Write down your goals, post them, and find someone to be accountable to. You CAN do this. What are you aiming for this year? Begin by sharing your goals in the comments section. Allow us to be a form of accountability to get you started in the right direction.

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