You may remember at the beginning of last year, I made 13 goals for 2013. Let’s see how it went.
1.Try 13 new recipes – This one was easy. I stopped keeping track when I hit #14 in July. I think my favorite recipe was chocolate chocolate chip cookies.
2. Run in 13 new locations – Done! I kind of cheated, though, because several of them were new races that I hadn’t done before. My favorite was running on a new bike trail here in town, although the path part of the GiGi’s Playhouse Superhero Run was also incredibly beautiful.
3. Attempt 13 crafty projects – I made it, but I wasn’t exceptionally creative here.
4. Read 13 new books – This one was pretty easy, too. My favorite was Wonder.
5. Do 13 family activities – Done! Our favorite was our weekend getaway to Dubuque and Galena.
6. Try 13 new classroom activities/lessons – Last January, I didn’t know I’d be switching grade levels in August, but that definitely made it easier to do new classroom activities. I probably did more than that; I just didn’t keep track.
7. Help 13 charities/non-profits – Done! This is not including running charity races.
8. Perform 13 random acts of kindness – I’m calling this done, even though I’m not going to list everything I did. I said before that telling you my random acts makes them a lot less random.
9. Play 13 different board games with one or both kids – This was pretty easy. We play a lot of board games. Just over break, we tried two new ones: Life and a camping game.
10. Study 13 Bible verses or chapters. FAIL. Praying is something I do regularly, as is trying to live my life in a Godly way, but the Bible and I have not connected like we should have in 2013.
11. Try out 13 new podcasts. I found 3. I don’t actually listen to podcasts like I used to. For a good chunk of the year, my iPod was broken, limiting me to podcasts I could stream on my phone. My favorite new podcast of the year was America’s Test Kitchen on NPR.
12. Organize 13 places, at home or at school. Done! Just yesterday I went through all of our coloring/craft/paper supplies. We tested every marker! We ended up with a small pile to keep, a large pile to toss, and a pile to donate.
13. Run 13 races – I actually ran 20! It wasn’t hard at all, and I even skipped a few that were local.
Now for 2014? I’m going to try something new and not make a goal. I have to say that making my list of 13 goals did not change my year at all. I think I would have done these things with or without this list. I recently read this article: “Forget Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead.” Here is the first point:
1. Goals reduce your current happiness.
When you’re working toward a goal, you are essentially saying, “I’m not good enough yet, but I will be when I reach my goal.”
The problem with this mindset is that you’re teaching yourself to always put happiness and success off until the next milestone is achieved. “Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy. Once I achieve my goal, then I’ll be successful.”
SOLUTION: Commit to a process, not a goal.
Choosing a goal puts a huge burden on your shoulders. Can you imagine if I had made it my goal to write two books this year? Just writing that sentence stresses me out.
But we do this to ourselves all the time. We place unnecessary stress on ourselves to lose weight or to succeed in business or to write a best-selling novel. Instead, you can keep things simple and reduce stress by focusing on the daily process and sticking to your schedule, rather than worrying about the big, life-changing goals.
When you focus on the practice instead of the performance, you can enjoy the present moment and improve at the same time.
You really should read the whole article. It’s great!
Another alternative to a resolution/goal is to pick one word to live by for the year. I originally read about this on The Cotter Crunch. I’m still mulling this over. I do love the idea of a word and trying to be better EVERY DAY in every area.
So, my resolution for 2014 is to not make a resolution. How about you? Are you the goal-setting type?