I love New Year's Day / weekend. It's one of the only times of year that absolutely everyone sets goals. What a great time to reflect on last year and reset goals for this year. My wife and I will pick a day in the next week or so to do our annual goal setting date night. Trust me, it's more romantic than it sounds. And we do have more than one date night per year. However, this is where we take last year's goals and see how we did, then create new goals. We set goals for our businesses all the time, but setting goals for ourselves and for our family is really important. We get to spend some quality time talking about each other's goals for health and fitness, financial goals (pay off debt, save ___ amount of money for retirement), family goals, personal goals for our hobbies and interests (learn a new recipe, write a book, take up crocheting, etc), and of course career goals. I love seeing our children follow our lead and write down their own goals for the year (note: do not bring them on date night).
I understand New Year's Resolutions can end almost as quickly as they begin. Some break their's the first morning. It's difficult to stop a bad habit cold turkey. When we find ourselves off track, we simply readjust. Perhaps instead of 'I'll only eat healthy' the goal could be to make one healthy choice with every meal. It's also easier to replace a bad habit with a good habit. The idea is to change your routine. For example, replace that evening pre-bedtime ice cream sandwich (my personal favorite) with either a healthy snack or, even better yet with some other activity. For example, taking a walk, playing / learning an instrument, or reading a book. You can read more about habits in 3 Ways to Cure Your Snooze Alarm Blues.
Some of my favorite goals for this year are to drink more water, work out twice per week, take more walks, create and stick to a monthly budget, look at my finances weekly, visit a friend I haven't seen in a while, get lunch with my grand-pop once per week, have more date nights, and take the kids skiing. Ok, that last one is my wife's goal. I don't even ski, but I can take a lesson...I suppose. Now, you may notice some of these goals, like 'take more walks', are not very specific. And I do think that setting specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals is a smart idea. However, it's a date night and I'm trying to have a good time, not obsess over specifics. Of course some of the specifics will materialize during our evening together, as I'm sure she'll want to hear more about the 'have more date nights' goal.
My Favorite Goal Setting Topics Include (in no specific order):
1) Family and Friends
2) Personal Growth
3) Health and Fitness
4) House Projects to Complete
7) Hobbies and Interests
8) Travel and Vacation Time
9) Business / Career
10) Team Development
12) Philanthropy / Charitable Giving
Ok, this is where I ask for your help. The great goal setting date night is coming soon and I really want to be on my game. You know, impress her with some new material. So please share your favorite goal setting topics; or simply share what you are excited to accomplish this year?
Taking a break and want to read more? Check out BECOMING AN EXPERT AT REMEMBERING NAMES OR CREATE A NEW FINANCIAL PARADIGM.
Also, check out John's book, No Shorts, Flip Flops, or Sunglasses. Proceeds benefit Children's Dyslexia Centers.
by John Wasserman
Proceeds benefit Children's Dyslexia Centers