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Don’t make New Year’s resolutions

By Toni Dowrey

It is that time of the year again — time to sit down and write your New Year’s resolutions. Most of us write down two or three. And most of us write down the same ones we did last year, and the year before that. Most of us do not stick to our resolutions.

I don’t believe it is necessarily not having the “will power,” but with a resolution, once you break it, it is over. If you make a resolution, you are making a firm decision to do or not to do something. When you write these down, you are making a firm decision that on Jan. 1, you will do whatever it is you wrote down. Then, something comes up where you break that resolution, and you just cancel the whole thing. If you miss it once, you broke the cycle and it is over. That is why most gyms around the country have a packed January, but by March they are fading out with customers. If you realize you can’t make it as many days as you planned, this just isn’t going to work. You break that resolution and stop.

I am telling you not to stop! I am also saying not to make resolutions. Make goals. A goal is an ambition or effort, a desired result. When you set a goal, you are wanting to achieve something in the end. You can’t break a goal, you just stop working towards it. Goals are something we strive for. If we can’t do it today, then we try again tomorrow, not wait until next year.

It is important to have goals in our lives. We should always want to improve or reach for something better. We don’t want to be stagnant. We also don’t want to be New Year’s Resolution failures on a yearly basis. So, instead of resolutions, write down a couple (or however many you want) goals that you want to achieve this year. Then write down a minimum of five things you can do to reach that goal. Your goal can take a few days, a few months, or the year.

If you have a setback, it is OK. Your goal is still there waiting for you. Keep it in your mind and continue to see how you can achieve that. There may be detours, or you may be led to an even better goal that you hadn’t originally planned. Just keep striving to reach it, don’t quit, and keep your determination. Some goals may have to be continued until the next year. That is OK, too. You can look back at the success you have made during the year and list what you need for the next year to get you to achievement.

Resolutions can be fun, but always make goals and work toward them daily. Reach for the stars and don’t let anyone take your dreams away from what you want to achieve. I wish you all a wonderful New Year and all the success in reaching your goals in life.

Toni Dowrey is a local motivational author and speaker. Email her at toni.dowrey@yahoo.com.