Setting resolutions

At the last real job I had, one of the tasks that all employees had to do was write our goals and objectives for the coming year. Now, in the college class or two I took that we learned about that concept and how to do it, I had already figured out that the road to hell was probably paved with goals and objectives.

That’s how much I embraced the concept and enjoyed the process. In case you are lucky enough to have missed out on learning about goals and objectives, as I remember the idea is that one sets the goals (such as “increase sales in the XXX area by 5 percent by April 1”), and then writes objectives -or steps–on how to reach that goal (“call on two new potential clients each week through March 31”).

So that’s why I don’t really appreciate new year’s resolutions, which some folks believe is what we should be doing at this time of year. The problem is that it’s hard to stick with our resolutions, to really see them through to reach the goal. Maybe if we broke those resolutions (goals) down to small, workable steps (objectives), we would do better at this resolution thing.

Currently, the top ten resolutions are: lose weight, pay off debt, save money, get a better job, get in shape, eat better, get a degree (or return to college), quit drinking/smoking, reduce stress. And take a trip.

It turns out that almost half of us usually make resolutions. But only eight percent of us are successful in achieving our resolutions. One source I consulted suggested that we would achieve more success in reaching goals if we write them down on paper and approach the goal in small steps rather than generalizations. (Lose a pound a week rather than lose weight.) There’s that goals and objectives concept again.

It helps to be realistic about setting a goal if you want to actually achieve it. If you really can’t carry a tune in a bucket, your goal of singing in an opera-or even being in your church choir, perhaps-just isn’t realistic. Another suggestion about how to achieve your new year’s resolution is to aim low. I think that sounds rather negative, but there’s something to be said for setting an attainable goal. That gets back to being realistic.

So far, I’m not ready to roll out any resolutions or goals for 2013. If I did, I would concentrate on being a better friend to my people that I am blessed to have around me. That’s one of my top goals for the year, and I guess my objective will be to get there by practicing and by mirroring the kindness I see around me.