Resolutions, Visions and Goals

“Another year over; And a new one just begun,” John Lennon; Lyrics from “So This is Christmas”

As one year ends and another begins it’s the perfect time to reflect on the previous year and make plans for the new one. New Year’s resolutions are traditional ways of making plans for a better year.

This year I’ve seen many articles on why people don’t maintain their resolutions and why setting goals is better than making resolutions. As I see it, resolutions and goals are both focused on tasks and doing or not doing specific things.

I prefer a vision. I like to look at my whole life—work, relationships, recreation, health/wellness—and create a vision of how I want my life to look and feel in the New Year.

Creating a vision focuses more on being than doing. More on who you are than what you do. More on what you want your life to look and feel like than the specific actions you plan to take to get there.

Vision Board WorkshopI’ve been creating vision boards for many years now. It’s a great way to think through what you want in the New Year and post pictures and words giving a visual reminder of the life you want.

Last year, June Cline and I did a couple of Vision Board Workshops where a small group of people worked on our vision boards together. Both sessions sold out and were good opportunities for networking, discussing our dreams and visions and connecting.

As I look back at my own vision board for 2013 I see that most of the things I put there did happen. I hiked, participated in a charity walk, and even began walking three to four times a week. In my business I was able to write, increase my income, and work with a bestselling author conducting writing workshops. The photos I used for my personal life represented friendship and fun. I had lots of that!

In another section I put some photos that just felt good to me. No particular goal or plan, just things I liked. Some were of fancy luncheons. Although I had no specific goal in that area other than attending a charity luncheon or two. This year I had a chance to help in organizing a big charity luncheon. Although I would not have set that as a goal, it was a unique opportunity that came up through a friend. This luncheon brought visibility and connections that I hadn’t anticipated.

Another photo I included was of a group of women meditating. Oprah Winfrey was in the center of the picture. Meditating with Oprah. Not a goal as that would seem quite grand and I could have used up lots of energy figuring out how to outline steps to make that happen. Anyway, I liked the feeling the picture gave me and I wanted to meditate more often. Early this year I got an email about a new Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience. Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra teamed up for 21 days of meditations that came to subscribers in daily emails. I signed up and not only was I meditating and meditating regularly, I was meditating with Oprah!

Sometimes it’s good to set S.M.A.R.T. goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound. It helps you to do what you set out to do.

It is also good to create a vision for your year based on the big-picture of what you want your life to be. Go with your instincts. Look at what stirs feelings inside you and what makes you feel good. Leave the possibilities open and see how the pieces fall into place. You don’t want to miss an unexpected opportunity because it doesn’t fit into your plan.

This year [2014] June and I are offering our vision board workshops twice in January: Thursday, January 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and Tuesday, January 14th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Click here for details and join in the fun of creating your vision for 2014!

(NOTE: Check http://www.MyraMcElhaney.com in January to see the date(s) we’re offering a Vision Board Workshop this year.)

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