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Set 12 New Year’s Goals This Year (not resolutions)

One small attainable per month will help you finish 2018 strong!

The start of a new year gives us all the opportunity to look back on our achievements over the previous 12 months and ahead to what we hope to accomplish in the future.


 For as many as 40 percent of Americans, goals for the year come in the form of New Year’s resolutions. But while resolutions are ingrained in the New Year celebration, it’s not because they are an effective means of setting priorities.  In fact, research has shown that the vast majority (over 90 percent) of the people who have New Year’s resolutions fail to achieve them.


 Why? Most people are simply too ambitious, often shooting for the moon with lofty goals that are doomed to failure because of the many competing priorities in their life.


 Experts recommend setting smaller, more attainable goals throughout the year rather that one or two daunting large ones you’ll likely never achieve.

Steve Walker, pastor of Roseburg’s Redeemer’s church, says larger, longer-term goals are important because those are the goals that mean the most to you. “But if you only focus on the big goals,” Walker says, “you don’t really know how to reach them.”


He uses his own experience with goal setting to illustrate his point. Walker remembers telling a friend in the 1990s about one of his goals that he hadn’t yet achieved. “I told him that I would really be disappointed if I went through life and never learned to ride a motorcycle,” Walker says.


The friend told Walker it would never happen, but he was undeterred.  He laid out his plan, which included doing one thing new each month to push himself closer to his goal. The first step was to take the state’s motorcycle training course, and new goals followed each month.


In the years since, Walker says he has owned more than 10 motorcycles and ridden them thousands of miles. The key to his success, his says, was setting those smaller short-term goals to achieve his larger long-term mission. He recommends one new goal a month, because “If you can’t see the end of your journey you’re not going to get there.”


So rather than set a goal of losing 30 pounds this year, ask yourself what you can accomplish each month to push you toward your goal of losing weight. Maybe the first month your goal is to purchase a Fit Bit. Maybe the second you’re striving to lose a pound a week over the course of the month, and so on.


Walker says he plans out each year in advance (he’s actually planned 12 years ahead), then reviews his goals at the end of the year to measure his progress. The key, he says, is taking stock in your life, asking yourself what kind of person you want to be or what you want to accomplish, then steadily laying the groundwork to make that happen.


 “It’s important to be intentional in planning the life ahead of you,” Walker says. “We were given this life, but none of us knows how many years we have. If you just let life happen to you, it will probably take you to a place you don’t want to go.”


 Consider making 2018 the year you set your course for the future, if you haven’t already, then plan the steps you are going to take to reach your destination.


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