Find A Better Way to Resolve

Setting Goals

New Year’s Resolutions are worthless. You’re not going to remember any of them a week now, a month from, or even next year. Why do we both setting worthless ‘goals’?

I’m convinced it’s because we’re not spending the time:

  • Reminiscing
  • Reviewing
  • Revisiting

We rush through December at breakneck speed and then January slams into us like a semi-truck on the interstate highway. And somehow we’re supposed to make resolutions that we think will stick? Um, no.

Goal Setting Failure

Last year, I attempted to follow 30 Days to Build a Better Business by Tonia Kendrick.  She had several daily exercises to get the year going, and I thought this would help me grow my startup business.

I was off to a good start, completing the exercising and articulating the vision for Family History Fanatics.

 We promote the fun in family history and
provides quality education at affordable prices

After that early step, I was stuck. I had no idea how to break down this vision into objectives that could be measurable, timely, and achieve my dream.  I couldn’t predict the projects at the beginning of the year that we were involved in by December. It had nothing to go off of to set goals, so how could I make resolutions?

I quit participating in additional daily challenges. Setting goals was a failure and I hadn’t even finished January! What was I missing?

I couldn’t reminisce, revisit, or review.

I was starting at ground zero. I had written a few books and attended a state conference, but then what? What should I be involved in? How much time should I devote to growing Family History Fanatics? How would I balance that and my homeschooling responsibilities?

The list of questions to answer continued to grow and I couldn’t find my way to set goals.

Ever feel like that?

Instead of setting goals, I spent the year attempting to take advantage of opportunities as they presented themselves to me so that I could better prepare for my future goal setting attempts.

There Has To Be A Better Way

I like what little I’ve learned about the Jewish New Year held back in September. Rosh Hashanah is a period to stand in awe and to repent. From what I understand Jews will recognize their sins (mistakes, failings, shortcomings, etc.) and commit to not to do them the following year. While recommitting to follow God better, Jews will give charity, provide service, and fulfill more commandments. In so doing, the hope is God will bless them further. And all of this was done in September while most of the world is caught up in ordinary life.

September sounds like a better time to set goals, rather than recovering from a massive two-week vacation and the busyness that entails. The kids are back in school, the summer break is over, and the US holiday season hasn’t begun.

I also love the idea of reflecting upon the past year in terms of mistakes, ways to improve, and then coupling the attempts to change with service. I like the idea that if I would make commitments that support my belief system, then maybe my resolutions, no matter when they’re set, will have more power and strength.

This tangent to the Jewish view of a New Year, circles back to the point that those making resolutions in January aren’t spending enough time evaluating how the year was spent, analyzing where they went wrong, and then making plans to realign.

Would this knowledge have helped me plan better?

Yes. I could evaluate what skills I had for a business: researching, communicating, and presentations. I could evaluate where my weaknesses were and how to improve on them. Combined with my vision, I could seek out opportunities to build my business while improving my skills. Let’s face it. When you’re at ground zero, that’s where most of your time should be spent!

To sum up, it’s important to change how we view January and the draw to make New Year’s Resolutions. Reflect and review the past before you set goals for the future. If you can’t determine the action items you need to take in order to achieve a particular goal, work on changing the mistakes from last year. Combine that ‘repentance’ with doing service and giving of yourself to benefit others.

In so doing, God, Karma, or luck will be with you and bless you in amazing ways.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

2 thoughts on “Find A Better Way to Resolve

  1. Morning Devon, I read this just as I was about to set my genealogy goals for this year. (I stopped setting personal goals, years ago and take what life gives me and grow from that.) I went WOW! Now I'm going to reflect on what I did last year and what I would like to achieve this year and NOT STRESS about it. I do want to finish one more certificate in my studies. Bye for now, Lilian xxx

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