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GOAL SETTING FOR THE NEW WHATEVER
(YEAR, DECADE, CENTURY, MILLENNIUM)

DEAR READER:
PLEASE EXCUSE REFERENCES TO THE NEW MILLENIUM, THIS ARTICLE IS A BIT OLD, BUT THE FACTS STILL APPLY)
-Dr. Helen
 

The start of a new year is usually a time when we make resolutions.  This year we may be even more compelled to do.  After all it's not just  a new year, but a new decade a new century and a new millennium (I know, I know it doesn't officially start till 2001)!  How would you like to not have to make the same resolutions next January as you are making this one?  There's no magic formula or special trick.  The only way to do it is to set some goals for yourself and take the time to check up on yourself every once in a while.

Goal setting can have many advantages besides helping you to get what you want out of life.  Goal setting can help you to clarify what it is that you want versus what you don't.  It can help you to figure out what's important to you and what your values are.  It can help you to set priorities in your life.  Goals can help you to feel better about yourself as you achieve them or as you learn about yourself.

Ok.  So you want to get started.  So, how do you set goals?
 

  • Do a little brainstorming and write down all of the things that you want to change or achieve or earn.
      • Prioritize them.  Perhaps cross off things that aren't that important to you, or that are somewhat unrealistic right now.  You may want to forget about things that are incompatible. Make sure to do this all in writing.
      • Break your goals down in to smaller goals or steps.  This can help to make a goal seem more attainable.  It often takes several steps to reach a goal.  This will help you to further discover whether your goal is realistic and if it is something you are committed to doing.


      Here are a couple of tips to help you spell out your goals:
       

      • Don't say "I don't want to eat hot dogs anymore" that's a negative statement.  Say something like "I will eat a tofu product 1 time per day."  or whatever... perhaps you want to say "I will eat ice cream 3 times per week."  The  idea is for the statement to be positive (what you will do) and measurable (having a number or an amount and a time frame).  So, you want to say what you are going to do, specifically, precisely and in some way that is measurable and has a time frame.
      • Remember that if you mess up a little it's ok.  It's ok to fail if you learn something from it.  Get back on track.  You don't  have to wait for next January to get back on track, or even next Monday.  Start today.  Start now!
      • Keep your goals flexible.  They are yours.  You're allowed to change them.  While I'm thinking of it, are your goals yours?  Think about it.  Maybe, if you're not doing them they're not yours.  Are your goals yours  or are they your friends', family's or boss' goals for you?  It's your life.  Set your own goals.