Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Are your goals set for 2015?

It is that time of the year that we start thinking about what has happened in the past year and start thinking about the new year to come. This is also the time that people think up New Years resolution's that get forgotten by January 2nd, I have already discussed the importance of setting goals and how to set them.I  also talked about a good planner to keep track of what you need to be doing. Today I am going to discuss putting them together to set your yearly goals and to make plans for the year to come.

Last year I had a small planner that was about 5X7 but it just did not work out the way I wanted it to. I found that I liked to have more room to put hourly schedules in and have room for important dates. This year I purchased a planner that measures 9X12 but is still convenient to carry around. This planner is an weekly appointment book that is broken down by 15-minute intervals 7 days a week and runs from 7am to 8pm.

In addition at the there is a monthly calendar at the beginning of every month. One feature that attracted my attention to this particular planner was that both the monthly calender and the weekly appointment sections have an area for notes that I can write my goals for that month and week into and see them every day as a reminder of what I am going to accomplish. I will have to say it sometimes scary to see how fast the calendar is already filling up and we haven't hit the new year yet.

Now that I have a planner that I like that allows me to put in my monthly and weekly goals there is the job of getting the yearly goals done. As I mentioned on the posts about setting goals there are long range (life) goals, medium range goals and your yearly goals with the yearly goals set up as stepping stones to those big life or long range goals.

Last year I accomplished several of my goals a lot sooner than I had planned for which means I set the bar too low so this year I am raising that bar. For example I hit my weight loss goal by the first of September and even though I do not have that far to go I want to hit my final weight by the time I attend an importance conference from April 17th to April 21st. While this is a tight deadline it creates a challenge to overcome especially since I want to buy a nice new suite for the conferance and don't want it to be too big after a few months!

Another goal I set up was to have an update set of life goals by April 1st. While I already have a set of life goals, they should be reevaluated every few years to ensure that you are on the right track or when you have major life changes that cause you to reevaluate your priorities in life. An example using a medium range goal is that I have a picture of a Ford Raptor on my desk as it was something I wanted a few years ago. Well life has changed and that Raptor no longer appeals to me so that goal has changed.

On the other hand there is also times that you may reevaluate how aggressive you are with a goal. I have mentioned previously that I added a goal during the year to read a book a week after seeing the that my friend Rich Hopkins was doing it. Well not only did I meet the goal I blew it away by reading 87 books this past year. While I could say I want to be even more aggressive this year instead I am actually sticking with the 52 from last year. While I love to read there was times last year that reading became a choir so I am going to work on enjoying it again instead of worrying about how much I am reading.

Now is the time to get those goals in order and ready for the challenges the of the new year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Holidays and Christmas memories

First of all I want to wish all of you the happiest of holidays, writing this as another Christmas Eve dawns.

The other day I was asked what kinds of Christmas traditions have we started with our family since we adopted our children and it took me a while to think about it. We have tried our best to give them a good Christmas experience but what defines our family when it comes to the Christmas tradition.

I then flashed back to my earliest Christmas memory which is not one that many people would want to remember. It was the Christmas after I had turned six years old and I spent most of the Christmas season at La Vina hospital which included having surgery. I was suffering from double phenomena, had fluid in my lungs, bronchitis and other things wrong we me and wasn't expected to live (fooled them...). But that set up what would become a Christmas tradition when the hospital allowed me to go home and decorate the Christmas tree.

Every year after that the decorating of our Christmas tree became a family tradition, Then after having worked retail for several years, my Christmas spirit was largely gone as I would often see the worst that our society had to offer. People pulling guns on each other to get the some poorly made piece of junk VCR that wouldn't last six months because it was made extra cheaply to be sold cheaply for Black Friday, people at the doors after we closed on Christmas Eve blaming us that their childrens's Christmas would be ruined because we closed and so on.

However, despite that there was still treasured memories including that cause you to truly remember which ironically usually involved when you give to others including the year that we worked at a homeless shelter making Christmas dinners and giving to organizations that help others during this time of year.

But now, as a father I can once again see the better part of Christmas. Of course we do our best that our children truly understand the true meaning of Christmas but in today's over commercialized world it is not always easy. What is something that we can do that will given them that precious memory that lasts a life time? Most of the time those memories are something that happen by chance, not something that is planned.

One minor thing that we started doing is to go look at Christmas lights on either Christmas day or Christmas Eve. Because I have to get up early on Friday this year we are going out tonight. They even get a bigger thrill because we allow them to go out in pajamas and bathrobes when we take the drive.

What are your special memories of the holidays?

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas and create some special memories.