Wishes are for birthdays. Resolutions are for new years. Progress is my plan for 2010.
How about you?
I was late this morning. But I rolled out of bed and went to step aerobics anyway.
I can understand.
Unbeknownst to her, I had decided to join the “just let it happen” camp this year and was actually feeling pretty good about it. I had even read a story in my local newspaper encouraging readers to make un-resolutions – writing out the opposite of what you want to do – as a twist of fun.
The only problem? I really don’t want to get to Dec. 31, 2010 and wonder how another year could have come and gone so quickly without realizing it or moving forward in my life. We all know that aiming for nothing guarantees we’ll hit it every time.
For years, my friend Janice told me I should start a blog for my professional writing. Another friend – Rachel Hayes Hauck – an award-winning author – recommended I begin reading several blogs – one from a literary agent and the other of Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson publishing.
I found myself intrigued, entertained and encouraged.
So how does this relate to the “should I or shouldn’t I make New Year’s Resolutions” discussion? It relates because one day I had to decide to take action.
One day I came home from an exhausting but exhilarating day of teaching creative writing to middle schoolers. I was done thinking about blogging, reading about blogging and trying to understand the technology of blogging. Before bed that night, I had written my first post, determined a writing focus [family, faith, friends] and a frequency [twice weekly].
HOLD THE BUS!
That’s great, you might be thinking. You actually thought about something and did it. But you don’t know me.
You’re right. I don’t know the details of your life, but if you’re still reading, you’re probably thinking about moving back to the “I think I’ll try this resolution thing once more” side.
After my satisfyingly sweaty workout I checked my email to find another blog post by Mr. Hyatt – this one on making resolutions that are realistic. Try looking at them as “annual goals,” he said.
So I did and now I have five SMART annual goals for the year.
But before I “go public,” with mine, let me encourage you to remember that it is God who grants life. When you [and I] are living for and loving him we can have goals that even have an external, spiritual nature to them. I encourage you to visit Mr. Hyatt’s blog [listed under resources at the end of this blog post]. He does such an incredible job of breaking down the SMART acronym. I certainly don’t need “systems or procedures” to worship, but I think his explanations are simple, easy and to the point – something I truly appreciate!
Lose weight. Read more. Drive more safely. These sound valiant but they’re vague and lack determination. Shake it up this year and try a new approach to resolutions – you’ll be more apt to achieve them.
Mr. Hyatt recommends a four-step strategy to making resolutions:
1. Fewer are better. It increases your ability to focus on them. Don’t bog yourself down with “micro-points” beneath each. They’re distracting and eat at your energy.
2. Make them SMART: specific, measurable, “actionable,” realistic and time-bound. [See www.michaelhyatt.com for more details.]
3. Don’t just think about them – write them down!
4. Go “public” and let others know your intentions. Who knows? Your “public” could very well be the cheerleaders lining your road of life this year. Who knows? They may help you as you make steps toward success!
MY “SMART GOALS” for 2010:
1. Participate in a women’s accountability group beginning Jan. 5, 2010.
2. Participate in the 5K Charity Run and Walk event held in conjunction with the annual River Run on March 13, 2010. [See link below to register! I think we should get a team together! I’ll be mostly walking… Who will join me?]
3. Read through the entire Bible by Dec. 31, 2010.
4. Write 108 blog posts (two per week) by Dec. 31, 2010.
5. Finalize my children’s picture book manuscript and submit it to at least one publisher by Dec. 31, 2010.
Just wondering: Are you considering whether or not to make a few resolutions? Tell me about them so I can encourage you!