Anyone not thinking about the New Year with both anticipation and a bit of dread? Without vigilance my mind goes on shuffle.
Thoughts range in tempo and temperament from “Oh my gawd it’s almost the first of the year and I haven’t reached all of my goals from 2010” to “Ahh, a new year, an empty canvas, a world of possibility.”
There is the occasional “Crap I never did keep my commitment to floss every day” and not infrequently “For the love of all things fabulon why didn’t I get that long overdue new hairstyle, learn to accessorize, and watch at least one of the “Housewives” shows so I’d be cool?”
Then there’s study again Spanish goal, the use the programs I bought to become a better marketer goal, the become the kind of person who is putting herself out there 3 nights a week at networking events goal, yoga twice a week instead of one, no more chicken wings—ever, and on and on.
Hit pause. No wait, better than that, turn the machine off.
Here are the four new questions I’m asking myself this year as I think about what new things want to be invited in.
1. Is what I’m choosing inspiring or simply something I think I “should” be choosing?
2. Do my new goals give me juice, invoke my passion for helping women feel better and live fully expressed?
3. Do they help grow me in ways that mean I’ll be a better lover, friend, sister, coach, step mom?
4. Will these goals add to my quality of life?
Ever been to a speed networking event? Never again!
What contributes to a life well lived, successful life? Do we need fourteen goals or would one or two do? I believe we need as many as move us into our best selves and not a single one more. None of our goals ought to be “shoulds” or taken on for others.
A client who is not a big exercise person has decided to participate in a half marathon next year. Great goal and plenty of time to train while also running two businesses, raising two small children, and having a relationship with her husband.
This new goal excites her and has the double bonus of improving her health. It’s the kind of goal that has emotional legs because she’s so excited about getting over that finish line.
Initially J wanted to begin by with one hour and twenty minutes per day sessions. She committed to doing that three times per week. After two weeks she was in tears because she had only managed to do that once. The amount of time she had committed to was impossible with everything else she has going on.
Rather than scale back her time commitment, she simply didn’t do anything. She felt that less would have been lame.
On top of choosing goals that excite us our plan for achieving them must fit our lives. Yes you want to stretch. Your goals should be big and juicy but don’t lie to yourself about how much you are willing take on or you’ll soon find yourself saying “I’ll never get there” and abandon your dreams all together. You can always increase your time commitment as you move forward.
There isn’t a person reading this who doesn’t want the most from life, a few new things, create more business/money or spend less time at work to name a few. To get those things there will have to be big goals, realistic action steps, and a good accountability partner. My suggestion is, choose your commitments wisely.
Ask yourself the four questions above.
Even something as predictably awful as networking, done in an authentic relationship building way, can be something that jazzes and juices. (It better be if you want to build your business.)
In the long view there are few activities we’ll do that matter. That said, life is for the living. And accessorizing is the only thing that separates us from the animals so this year I’m putting it back on the list. It makes me feel sharp and pulled together when I do it well. It gives me juice.
There are a few other things I’m adding to the list but only if I can answer yes to two or more of the five questions.
Do this year’s goals list just for you. When you reach them you’ll have added joy, happiness, even elation to your life. Whether they involve a finish line, a new business, or a new body, you’ll have a better than average chance of telling a story of success at the end of 2011 if you have a passionate connection to them in 2010.

Author's Bio: 

Gregory Anne Cox is a certified life coach who has been dishing up all-you-can-eat servings of women's health and nutrition information for years. Her Mind and Body Tune Up Tips weekly audio postcards give short bites of information that will help transform your daily choices so you live your best midlife. Sign up for free. You can find out more at MidlifeWithAVengeance, send her an email, or call her at (631) 728-2456. This article is copyrighted and you may feel free to use it as long as you include this paragraph when publishing it.