New Year — New You
The Ball has dropped and with a flip of the calendar page a new year is upon us. With the new year comes new hopes, dreams, goals and frame of mind. Only one day has passed yet most of us feel as if a reset button has been pushed and we are beginning a new game.
From my writing vantage point I’m looking out upon a frozen white world. The sun is peeking over the horizon and the beautiful blue skies don’t tell the story of what it’s really like outside my windows. It is 11 degrees below zero on this brand-new day in this brand-new year. A temperature far too cold for this native desert girl. (I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada.) Unfortunately, the reset button had no effect on the weather.
As 2018 rolled in, many felt the desire, or was it the obligation, to set resolutions. Those who know resolutions rarely last, went to work on goals instead. I know how to set goals. Once upon a time I was a record-setting swimmer. My years in high school and college were water-logged ones. I attended college, Texas Tech University, by means of a swimming scholarship and I spent those years setting goals almost daily.
I believe in goal setting. My father, who is known as Mr. Fantastic for his positive reply when asked how he is, knows how to set goals, develop a plan of action for each goal and achieves his goals. He is a motivational speaker and has taught me well. He believes a goal is not a goal unless it is written down.
I’ve been thinking about what I want this new year to look like. I’ve been looking at the goals I had for 2017 and I’ve been pleased with the progress I’ve made. As I was thinking about goal setting in light of the purpose of this blog, I saw an area of goal setting that many of us may have neglected.
I created The Breezy Porch as a place to come and be refreshed. On The Porch I want to offer my guests a simple refreshing drink. It’s a place where we can slow down and enjoy a chat about the simple joys of life. So, with that in mind, I have been thinking about goals we should consider.
When most of us think about goals, we think about things we want to accomplish. Health and business are most likely the top two areas that people set goals for. I agree that those are two areas worth your attention. However, I believe there are areas of our lives that are being forgotten when we set goals for the new year.
Let’s set a goal to be more kind. Like I said before, a goal is not a goal unless written down. Once written, we need to determine a plan of action to accomplish that goal. Being kind may seem subjective, an emotion that can’t be planned, but I believe we can take concrete steps to being more kind.
Consider where you desire to be more kind. Is it to your family, to co-workers, to a community that you belong to or to society as a whole? Break it down into tangible steps. What are actual actions that you can do to be kind.
Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. To be kind, you will need to evaluate your current actions toward your family, co-workers and society. Where have you been lacking and what physical steps can you take to be more friendly, generous and considerate.
Kindness comes when we consider others more than ourselves. Kindness comes when we lay selfishness down. Kindness comes when we think about what will bless another and take the steps to do that. When setting your goals for 2018, create a new category of goals — Kindness.
Many goals are never reached because of fear. Many journeys are never taken because of fear. Many lives are not enjoyed because of fear.
This year I faced and overcame some fears in my life. I purposely took steps to learn things I was afraid that I was unable to learn. I took journeys I was afraid to take and the rewards were far beyond what I could have imagined. The success and the rewards have given me the desire to push past more fears.
Set the goal this year to have more courage. To do this you will have to identify some fears in your life that are keeping you from moving forward. You will need to set steps to address your fear and work past it. The greatest enemy to many of our goals is fear, so it is important that you face them and get past them.
This past fall my husband and I went to Oregon. It was a big deal for me because we flew and I wasn’t just fearful of flying, I once pushed my way off a plane as an anxiety attack made me lose control. Choosing to fly was my first step.
My husband had meetings to attend so I had a day and a half all to myself. I planned on relaxing and gorging myself on HGTV, but then the view from the hotel called to me. A mere 30 minutes from my hotel was a snow capped volcanic mountain. At the risk of being embarrassed, here is the list of fears I overcame to have an amazing adventure.
First, I drove a rental car in an unknown area. I headed up a road with no map and no particular destination. I went up the side of a mountain unsure if I would find snowy roads. I turned down a deeply rutted gravel road because the sign said there was a lake. I hiked down a trail to find the lake and I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF! All the time thoughts of bears and serial killers roamed through my head.
I can’t convey here how significant this was in my life. The incredible mountain lake that I discovered was only a small part of my reward. The pleasing, complete and utter silence that penetrated to my soul was only a portion of my prize. The gold medal that was placed around my neck was freedom from fear.
What fears will you conquer this year? Set some goals and receive your own gold medal of freedom.
Change Your Pace
Although goals tend to be about doing more and accomplishing more, I encourage you to set a goal to do less. Set some goals to slow down and change the pace at which you live.
We are all rushing through life. Every moment of our day is spoken for. Our schedules are maxed out and we’ve forgotten to enjoy life. Don’t create a list of goals that doesn’t allow time for yourself, time for others and time for God.
Alone time, quiet time and unstructured time with family are worthy goals to make. Let’s make 2018 the year of increased leisure, lingering and lollygagging.
Happy New Year Dear Friends! May this be a wonderful and blessed year for you and your family. May your dreams become goals, your goals become plans and your plans become a reality.