Every year I hear ambitious resolutions from many people around me. Usually these resolutions are to quit something, start something, or change something. Pretty basic, right?

I personally haven’t made a New Year’s resolution in years because they have never seemed to work out for me. The life expectancy of one of my resolutions spanned anywhere from a couple hours to a few weeks, but I can’t remember a time that I actually maintained a resolution long-term.

Instead, I choose to create goals at the beginning of every year. Each year I pull out my sheet that I wrote the previous year and look at how I did. This sheet doesn’t lay dormant all year though, I work on it daily, weekly, monthly, and every quarter I check in and see if they need to be revised or modified since, of course, I am always changing.

I started doing this after I first got sober and found that I literally struggled with simple, everyday tasks. Things like making my bed, brushing my teeth morning AND night, connecting with a higher power daily, and other habits that seemed like they were inherently natural to everyone else were on it. The next year, things like connecting with women on a regular basis and working out regularly were areas I felt I needed to put my focus. Over the years it has become something that has helped immensely in accountability and maintaining growth.

When I look at the areas of my life I would most like to see growth or change in, I pinpoint what exactly I want it to look like. Then, I take it a step further. Goals are great, but determining an end point isn’t enough. At least not for me. I am a paint-by-numbers type of gal and I need direction. I break the goals down in smaller, less overwhelming tasks.

I have found people function in many different ways. Some people look at huge obstacles and dive right in with little to no direction. I envy those people. There was once a time I would look at a huge obstacle, get overwhelmed and riddled with anxiety and walk (okay, maybe run) the other direction. Now, it looks a little different. I break things down into series of goals to get the “checkpoints” on the way to the bigger goal. I keep my focus on what my next task is, not on the top of the mountain I am trying to climb. This makes it so much easier to handle. This is also why one of my favorite quotes ever is “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. A step is easy. I can take one step. I will worry about the following ones when I get there.

I also find that each year carries some sort of theme. It is usually in retrospect that I see it, but it is always there. Last year it was all about adaptation. Adapting to being able to manage my illness, adapting to starting a life with my husband, adapting to working from home, LOTS of adaptation. Other themes I have seen in past years are balance, social growth, spiritual growth, and responsibility to name a few.

I look forward to the new year with hope, excitement, and wonderment. I don’t know what is in store for me or my family, but I am excited to find out. It is a feeling that has over the past years replaced the feelings of pressure and fear of what the year would hold, and man does it feel good! I know it won’t be all rainbows and butterflies, but I do know, whatever may be ahead of me, everything will be okay. As long as my feet are moving and I am legitimately trying, I am making progress.

This year my biggies are buying a home, strengthening my meditation practice, being more active, balancing a social life with a family life (this one still baffles me), and growing in my essential oils business and holistic practice. Just looking at some of the big goals are overwhelming, but it is all about doing a bit at a time and being consistent. I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to not give up. That I can totally do.

Do you have goals for 2015?   What are they?   What actions are you taking to make them a reality?

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