Every late December, I sit down and plan my goals for the coming year. It is my way of handling the New Year’s resolution issue. I’ve been doing it for most of my adult life.
I found over the years that New Year’s resolutions lasted only a few days or weeks at best, but GOALS were always there in front of me. I would write down each goal, a list of around ten in all, on a small piece of paper that I would carry with me in my wallet.
As I traveled with my job, bored in a hotel room, I would often open my wallet to look at the pictures of my wife and young children, and there it would be, the list!
As I opened the paper and began to read, I was amazed that I had actually accomplished a few of the goals on my list! But, there were always a few things that still eluded me. I would be a bit embarrassed, because the list meant accountability, but I was also re-energized to work on the remaining ones.
I divided the list into three sections. First, my health goals! Lose weight, control my blood pressure, work-out more frequently, thing like that.
Then, I would look at personal goals, being a better husband, father, friend, and what specific things I was going to do to accomplish these. It’s not as simple as, I’m going to be a better father. It means, I am going to do these specific things on this time table to be a better father.
Then professional goals. Things I wanted to accomplish. Start a new business, become a blogger, change jobs, get a promotion, and many others.
And finally, my spiritual goals like attend mass more often, read the bible daily, pray the Liturgy of the Hours, recite a rosary or chaplet every day, and then hold myself accountable to these goals.
If it made it to the list, then, the goal was in stone!
This past month, I realized that it was that time of the year again. It prompted me to open up my wallet and take out last years list. As I read down the items, I was really pleased at what I had accomplished, but challenged by the few I hadn’t done or even begun. A small reminder of what I had promised myself, my family, my work and my God.
Now it’s back to work! I’ve got a new list and God willing another 12 months to complete it. And with God’s help, I will.
Happy New Year!
*Note: The original story, “The List” was published August 18, 2013. I felt that it really should be an early January story, so I did a brief rewrite and presented it today as “The List-2015.”*
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