Making Healthy Goals

Alright, Christmas is over now. I’m enjoying a week of getting my ass back to work after my vacation.

I’m also writing out my 2017 goals.

You’re probably doing the same thing. This is going to be your year! You’re going to lose weight, get a better job, become closer with nature, climb Mt. Fuji, breed eyelash vipers in your basement. Whatever you want to do.

I know I have some big plans for the year. I got the Your Best Year 2017 Planner by Lisa Jacobs, and I’ve been carrying it around with me like a favored toy since it came in the mail. It’s really helped me focus on what I want to accomplish this year.

Of course, I want to do more than just succeed in writing this year. I want all sorts of things.

If you’re making your list of 2017 goals, do me a favor. Don’t set yourself up to fail. Keep these things in mind when you’re making your list.

Be realistic. I would love to do so many things this year! I want to learn to speak fluent German, code my own website, write a ton of books, go on a great vacation, quit my job and buy a boat.

Only some of that is going to happen. It’s ridiculous to expect all of this of myself. It’s like that great part of Sylvia Plath’s book, The Bell Jar, about sitting under a fig tree. Each fig represented a fantastical future. She couldn’t decide which she wanted, and so instead watched as each of the fruits wither and drop away.

It made me sob the first time I read it. Don’t do this. Pick a fig. Pick a basket full. But know that you can’t pick them all.

Remember why you’ve failed at this goal before. I be you have at least two or three goals on your list this year that have been on your list before.

I do. Confession time, I can’t drive. I’ve only been behind the wheel of a car twice in my life. Every year I put learning to drive on my list. And every year I get a copy of the PA license test book, then get distracted and forget about it.

So this year, I’m putting that goal front and center. I’m questioning why I haven’t gotten this done yet. Mostly, I think it’s because studying driving rules is boring and I’d rather be doing just about anything else. For real, though, I’m turning 31 this year. I need to make this thing happen.

Don’t make goals based on things that are out of your control. I’m feeling like I gave you this advice last year, but I’m going to say it again anyway. I won’t be making any goals about how many copies of books I want to sell this year. Because I can’t control if you buy a book or not. I can produce a good book. I can make sure that you know it’s there and remind you about it sometimes. I can hold sales, go to cons, do book signings and do any number of other things. But I can’t make you buy that book.

Consider why you want to meet this goal. What will this do for you? D you want to lose weight? Why? To be healthier, or look better? Do you want to join an athletic team? What are you putting all of this effort in for?  Because sometimes, you’re not doing this for you. Sometimes you’re doing this for someone else. In that case, see below.

Do this for you, not anyone else. There may be people in your life who think they know what’s best for you. Sorry, but they probably don’t. You know what’s best for you, not anyone else.

Disclaimer! There’s one big exception to this rule. If someone who loves you is worried that you have a substance abuse problem, there’s a chance you do! The addict is always the last person to know. And this isn’t an easy discussion to have with anybody. So if your loved ones are suggesting that you’re maybe drinking too much, don’t dismiss that.

Other than that, though,you’re probably not going to do something you don’t want to do. Even the best of advice isn’t going to mean as much as a realization of your own. For instance, I can type until my fingers bleed about how important it is to be organized. You probably won’t do it until your sick of missing bill due dates and dentist appointments. Though if you do want a kick in the ass about that, go ahead and add up all of your late fees and missed appointment fines. That should encourage you to grab a damn planner and a pen.

Basically, no change in your life is going to come unless you want it to. Keep that in mind as you plan out your next year.

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