Strategies for the New Year
by Chuck Stilwell, Director of Stilwell’s Learning Center
Every year at this time, most of us set goals or write hopes and dreams for the New Year. New Year’s Resolutions! Zig Zigler used to quip that he would always wait until March to start again with the gym workouts, because by then the parking lots would not be as full. Unfortunately, that is about the amount of time resolutions last.
Amazingly, when I sit down and carefully think through my hopes and dreams and quests for the New Year, I find that most of the past year’s goals have been accomplished, even when I don’t always look at them again after first taking time to write them down. Here are my personal strategies concerning my 2017 New Year’s goals or resolutions:
Strategy #1: I make a distinction between a vow and a resolve. A vow is often a negative form of a resolution. For instance, I can make a vow never to be upset ever again. Well, the first time I might get upset, it backfires by accusing me of being a failure. If, on the other hand, I resolve to be more patient with myself, the first time I become upset with myself, I look at it as part of my learning curve. After all, Babe Ruth struck out more than he hit the mark, yet it was the batting average that placed him in the hall of fame.
Strategy #2: I carve out several hours at the end of December to think about the past year and be thankful for what has actually been accomplished in my life. Usually, it is a humbling experience, because I find that more often than not the accomplishments were not only of my own doing. I think God initiates the ideas and at the same time gives an order as to how they might take place. I realize how much I depend upon partnering with people who are there to help me with the dreams and goals.
Strategy #3: I admit to and take responsibility for the failures of the past and let them go. They were mine, even though often caused by outside influences. It will not do any good to take them with me into the future, though I can learn to avoid similar failings in the coming year.
Strategy #4: I begin to write each goal or resolution or desire just as they come to me. I can always polish them up later. The object is to first have a vision and WRITE IT DOWN. Later I can make it plain and give it feet. If I don’t write it down it gets lost with all the myriad thoughts that go through my brain.
Strategy #5: Place my goals or resolutions into categories. (next week)