Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Year Brings New...What?

Before I forget:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

2008 has been a year for the books, filled with amazing highs and devastating lows, for the world and for me, personally. But you can probably say that about most years, given that during the course of 365 days a lot is going to happen, both good and bad. Sure, this past year has seemed to have more than its share of misery, but I prefer to dwell on the positive, on the good, not only for what occurred during 2008, but moving forward into 2009. Bad things will, unfortunately, happen this new year, but with them plenty of good. What about for you and me? What is in store for us on a personal level?

While we are unable to control many situations or events or catastrophes or wondrous occurrences that befall or enlighten us over the course of our lives, we can do a few things. Like set goals.

A new year brings with it resolutions. This time of year you see countless posts and articles discussing resolutions and goals that you WILL FINALLY DO this year. Changes in your lifestyle, health choices, careers, relationships, finances, what-have-you, that are so important that you put off attempting to achieve them for months, just so you can set them as RESOLUTIONS to ignore throughout the coming year. To that I say:

DON'T SET NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS, SET GOALS THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE YEAR!

The following is a post I wrote about goals back in July of this past year. I talk about the importance of not only setting short-range, mid-range, and long-range goals, but also the necessity of reworking and constantly tweaking your goals throughout the weeks/months/years. After reading the post you may notice that I have reworked and tweaked some of my own goals in only a few months, which underscores the importance of setting goals, or resolutions, throughout the year, and not just at the end of it.

I hope all of you have a healthy, prosperous, happy, and wonderful 2009! I know I'm going to. Why? Because it's one of my goals.

peace,

Mike

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A LIFE WITHOUT GOALS IS A LIFE UNFULFILLED.

I didn’t want to write this post. Not because I don’t have a passion for the subject matter—I live for goals! I just didn’t feel like sitting here, pen in hand (yes, I write the old fashioned way, with pen and paper; I then transfer those scratched out words to a word document, and then I post it to my blog—it works for me) vexing my brain into coming up with today’s post. But here I am, writing about the necessity of goals in our lives, despite desiring to be elsewhere. Why? Because I have to—it’s one of my goals.
Recently, I decided that I would write three blog posts a week—on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I visit dozens of blogs each day, taking note of content, style, and frequency of posts, and based on that figured that three was just about right. That number also fit in with my wanting to write about the three main themes of livelife365.com--Health, Personal Development, and Entertainment—each week. After making this decision, I then made it a goal. Being serious about my goals, and today being Friday, I felt compelled, bound by self-promise, to keep my word to myself. Ah, goals!

I am a firm believer that to be successful in life one needs to have a plan. Now, I also understand the need for spontaneity and that I am unable to “control” a lot of situations, realize that life often tosses us curveballs of fate, both ominous and serendipitous, that my plans or goals make little dent in. For that I like to say, “Worry about the things you can control and not about what you cannot.” What I am getting at is the gist of this post, and that is: Take charge of your life by setting goals!

SHORT-RANGE GOALS

Let’s say you’re trying to lose weight—I strongly suggest setting a weekly goal to strive for. For me, when I lost 40 pounds in six months, I set a goal of losing two pounds a week as something to shoot for. My short-range goals also included weighing myself daily, keeping a diet journal of everything I put in my mouth, and counting calories consumed and burned. A lot of effort, but well worth it—it worked!

Set clearly defined goals, but make sure they are not too easy or too difficult to attain. If they are too easy, then raise the bar; find yourself something worthwhile to shoot for. But don’t raise that bar too high—if a goal appears unattainable, then you begin to lose faith, get frustrated, regress, and sometimes give up. It is a challenging balancing act, but if you put some thought and effort into it, you’d be surprised at how effective your results will be.

Speaking of effort—setting, maintaining, and reaching goals is all about effort. Hard work. You will get out of it only what you put into it. If you are serious about changing your life for the better—physically, intellectually, financially, spiritually, relationship-wise—and bringing more purpose and fulfillment into your days, it takes some work. Work well worth the effort. But you need a plan. You need goals.

MID-RANGE GOALS

Have you ever sat in a job interview, or maybe just a performance review with your boss, and heard this query: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Big groan, right?

Most of us are just trying to survive today, or at least this week, month, maybe year. Think about five years for a moment—it seems like a long time, but, for me, at least, these last five years have flown by! If you are not where you want to be now, chances are you did not give enough attention to your goals five years ago—make sense? Put another way: If you see yourself five years from now in a better career, nicer home, married with children (or divorced, free, and consuming fruity beverages on a beach in the Caribbean), you will need to start planning NOW. Start setting goals.

• Make a list of your dreams and goals
• Make a plan of how to attain the above
• Set a doable timetable
• Put forth the effort
• Remember that there will be snags, forks in the road, challenges and adversity along the way, so…
• Don’t be afraid to reassess, tweak, and refresh your goals. As you evolve, so do your goals.
• Stay the course, never give up, dream, and live!

LONG-RANGE GOALS

When I think long-range, I think ten years or more, maybe longer. What I’m really trying to say is—when can I retire? And: how much money will I need? Also where?

A few years ago, I made a major commitment and decisions that would greatly determine when and how well my wife and I would retire and live. How did I go about doing this? I set goals. Sensing I was nearing the end of my prime earning years, I made a concerted effort to work more hours, earn more money, so we could save more. I set short- and mid-range goals for contributions in our 401k plans, upping the percentages each year until we eventually hit our maxes. I reworked our budget to help meet these goals (a good practice to do at least once a year), cutting spending here, sacrificing there (here’s a helpful video to get you started in the right direction), without compromising our other goal of enjoying our lives today.

These are just some of my goals. Your goals will be different, and they will need different strategies and planning. No matter what your dream life is, what goals you need to work on to achieve it, the more effort you put forth the better your results will be. Focus, plan, work hard, and you’re on your way.

Set goals and stick with them and your dream life, before you know it, will become reality.

Remember: A life without goals is a life unfulfilled.

Wow, for a guy who didn’t feel like writing, I sure wrote a lot. Why? Because it was a goal.

peace,

Mike

49 comments:

MizFit said...

and I got choked up for some reason at the last line...about a life unfulfilled.
so many people simply bide their time here without truly living.
thank you for being one who DOESNT.

happy new year,

Miz.

PaulsHealthblog.com said...

Mike, Both posts are excellent. The Bible says "Man without vision shall perish." SHALL perish, not might or possibly could, but shall.

Man was created to be goal seeking and striving. When you do not have goals, you die a slow, painful death.

Ben Franklin said it best. "Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five."

Here's wishing you health, happiness and prosperity in 2009!

Oh, and may you reach all of the goals that you set too.

rebounder said...

I don't believe about life being unfulfilled... they just deserve what they have. Man chooses what he makes of his life. He control his own destiny. And Mike, yours is truly living a good and healthy life that is evident on your good blogging. Happy New Year! Peace to all!

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

Happy New Year and I really am doing some thinking on these posts. I think I need to write some goals down as I have been wandering aimlessly for too long. Great posts!

krizcpec said...

happy 2009...I don't know why, when reading your posts, when typing the comment, I thought of Enya's may it be.

Luis Torres said...

Hi Mike,

Happy New Year for you and your family.

Thanks for the lessons of life you gave us with your posts, this last 2008 were not be in vain vanished since I met you and make look life from a different perspective.

Thanks a lot.

skylarking said...

Happy new year to you, too! Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year.

Casbah Kitten said...

Happy New Year!
How true about goals! I too, am goal oriented and right now I'm going over spreadsheets and setting goals for my business in 2009! I KNOW it's going to be a great year because I will make it one.

Mark said...

Yes a Happy New Year to you again! You deserve it!

My Autism Insights said...

Happy New Year, Mike!

Robin Easton said...

Oh Mike this is great! I have never been one to set New Year's resolutions. It always seemed a bit absurd to do that only once a year. I agree, it needs to be a way of life, something we do all year long. This is not only a truly positive post but a helpful one.

I was also touched by your honesty in terms of their being both misery and positivity the past year. AND YET, you "choose" to focus on the positive. I am the same way; so it is heartening for me to read a post like this one.

MIKE!!! I have to tell you that I LOVE LOVE LOVE your 365 song. It is BEAUTIFUL! I have listened to it 10 times already. It just makes me feel so determined and alive. It is currently my favorite song...of ALL time. I am SO glad you sent the link. I told my readers to go listen to it...great way to start the new year.

You are very talented. The melody, your voice, your whistling and the other sounds effects make this a truly uplifting song. I felt exhilarated after listening to it.

Thank you for being not only such a joy but an inspiration in my life. It means a lot to me. Robin

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Happy New Year Mike. You have quite a list here. I'm just going to boat more this year. Yep, that's my goal for the year. :)

Dori said...

Great post! Happy New Year!

Sam said...

Hi Mike,

Happy New Year!!! May you all have the blessings this year.

SHIELA said...

Thanks for the wishes Mike. Happy New Year to you too!

Kloggers/Polly said...

Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy New Year! Here's to a good one.

Lux said...

Wishing you a Happy New Year - we enjoyed your little song. :)

Peace,
Lux

Jena Isle said...

Hi Mike,

Those are very organized goals. SMART, I might say; the acronym stands for what goals should accomplish. S = specific, M = ?
A = applicable, R = reliable , T = time bound.

I'm not sure now ..lol...perhaps you can provide us with the rest.

Good luck on your goals and happy new year.

The Happy Mom said...

Happy New Year!

I enjoyed reading your inspiring posts and wish you a new year filled with health and happiness! :)

Bryan Karl said...

Hi Mike!

Happy New Year!

I wish good health for you and your loved ones in 2009.

Bryan Karl

Shawie said...

Happy New Year!!! cheers for the new 2009! peace!:)

iWalk said...

According to chinese tradition, 2009 is OX(牛)year, OX means growing, Yeah, A growing year!

So Happy 牛 Year to you!

☆╭┐┌╮☆°.﹒
╭┘└┘└╮∴°☆°
└┐..┌┘───╮∴°
╭┴──┤Happy ├╮
│o o│牛year │●°
╰┬──╯    │ ∴°﹒
☆ | / /∴☆

Robin said...

Hi Mike,
Wishing you a Happy New Year too! Health and happiness always. You are a great writer and I enjoyed this post. :-)

Mike Foster said...

mizfit: from one who doesn't to another hope you have an amazing 2009!

paul: two excellent quotes. hope this new year treats you and yours very well. thanks for all the tremendous support...

rebounder: good blogging to you too

heidi: thanks for all of your great comments and posts!

krizcpec: that's a good thing...

luis: glad I could be of service...

skylarking: same to you

casbah: positive thought can go a long way to making those goal a reality

mark: you do too....

my autism insights: peace to you...

robin: thanks for all of your amazing support and inspiration through your wonderful blog. I always enjoy your thoughtful comments. very pleased that you are enjoying my song...that's why I wrote it...peace

sandee: boating more is an awesome goal...

dori: same to you

sam: blessing to you too

sheila: peace

polly: here's to a very good one

lux: meow...

jena: smart is good

happy mom: health and happiness for you too

bryan: peace

shawie: 2009 will rock

iwalk: year of the ox sounds just right

robin: thanks, robin, you have an excellent year...


Hope all have a wonderful 2009! Thanks for all the great comments.

peace,

Mike

The Success said...

Hi Mike...
Happy New Year 2009
More Health, Happiness and Success for you in 2009

John@Family, Fitness and Finances said...

Great post Mike! Your thoughts on goal setting are spot on! Thanks for all the support of my blog this past year. It is much appreciated! Looking forward to a great 2009! Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

Jennifer said...

Happy new year, Mike!

Looking forward to reading more in 2009!

Faisal Admar said...

happy new year mike. a fruitful one i hope :)

i like the way you set days to write. monday, wednesday and friday :)

pkay said...

Thanks for stopping by. I am so glad you blogged about setting goals. I have to set some for myself. I found myself last year just doing. I made a few lists to get things done, but never really had a goal. Didn't even have the motivation to set any. This year is different. I will set those goals and live life like it should be. Happy New Year Mike and thanks for setting up straight.

charles said...

Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!

More Power!!

asmaliana said...

How about the goal for life is to build our life forever in after life...

Japanese Recipes said...

Hi, Mike, Happy New Year to You..

Anna said...

Working towards better health, better life and more appreciation for all that I have! Thank you for being such an inspiration Mike! I've also given you the Lemonade Award, both for this blog and your video site! Thanks for everything!
http://arosebyname2.blogspot.com/2009/01/lemonade-award.html

Antonio Howell, M.D. said...

Happy New Year!

Bendz said...

Hi,

Wish you this new year gives you health and wealth.

:-)
Insurance Agent

Mike Golch said...

Happy New year to you.

Cher said...

Thank you for sharing your goals and in turn making me start thinking of mine. I am young still but I know it is better to start early!

Bill Kenny said...

Excellent advice Mike. I personally review my goals every single day. Here's a little something I learned this week. Do not go and see the movie Marley and Me with your ex wife a year after putting your own yellow lab to sleep. That was a downer!

Carla said...

Isnt "resolution" just another word for goals? I set "New Years resolutions" but the effort doesnt end during the second week of January.

You are so right that a 'life without goals is a life unfulfilled." I will keep that in mind.

Mike Foster said...

the success: all the best to you too

john: hope your year is great; I enjoy you blog a lot

jennifer: looking forward to reading more of your wonderful blog too

faisal: fruit...ful is good

pkay: good luck with your goals

charles: power to you

asmaliana: sounds like a good plan

japanese recipes: happy new year to you

anna: thanks for the award, and good health to you

antonio: peace...

bendz: wealth and health and a whole lot more

mike grolch: peace...

cher: goals are ageless

bill kenny: sorry about your dog, but keep living life 365

carla: yes, they are the same and should be worked and reworked throughout the year...


peace...

mike

Pushhyarag said...

Mike,

Going a bit more further, I would say one must set goals not just throughout the year but on a continuous basis, throughout life. The time intervals for reviewing, adjusting or re-setting must be decided by the individual him/her self. Many useful points found here and worth reflecting on. Thanks.

Mike, slightly off-track but you could include this in your goal: a cool, neat site such as this isn't expected to take long to download, much less to be engaged long with some server with, I think they call it 'HTML calls' or some such thing. I noticed this every time I was here, so thought might as well let you know. I am sure you appreciate it.

Jenai said...

I like the idea of the blog posts, sometimes my mind boggles about updating them daily. You always have something good to say, thank you.

betchai said...

I think I got lost :(( I thought I greeted you already here Happy New Year before and the importance of having goal in our lives, thanks for this wonderful post.

Happy New Year again.

AJ said...

I truly agree with your idea of a goal-filled life. I believe that without goals, then your life will be aiming for no where.

-AJ

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health Tips Blog said...

Great post ... Mike go ahead for more posting.

Funny videos said...

Happy New Year and I really am doing some thinking on these posts.

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