an array of yellow sticky notes with positve praise written on them If there’s one thing people associate with the new year it’s making resolutions. A lot of resolutions relate to losing weight, exercising, or stopping a bad habit. Just like you have to use exercise equipment for it to work, you have to remember that you have goals or resolutions and actively work on them to get any results.


For 2012 I made 31 goals and in 2013 I made 34. Each year one of the goals includes reviewing my goals each month. Let’s just say that with that many goals, it’s hard to accomplish any of them, especially if the only time you think about them is during the monthly review, when you remember to do that.


I thought having a lot of goals was a good thing, even if I didn’t accomplish most of them. About a year ago, I was talking to the students, all seniors, in a class I teach. Their assignment had been to share at least one goal they had for the new year. Their goals were nothing like mine! Their goals included going out with friends once a month, watching the squirrels in their yard and coming to classes at the senior center. When I told the class how many goals I usually had, one woman said, “That’s too much pressure!” Until she said something, I didn’t realize the truth behind that. When I thought about it I realized I didn’t feel good looking monthly at what I hadn’t started, or accomplished. In 2014, I made a change and made only 16 goals. While that’s still a lot, it was less than half the number of goals I had the prior year.


This year I’m going to try something new. Again. I’m going to add some caregiving goals.


Count to five before speaking if I’m upset. This gives me a chance to bite my tongue, but won’t make it appear that I didn’t hear what was said.


If I’m overreacting, I’m going to stop and look at what might be causing the problem. Am I tired, hungry, thirsty, sad, or is it something else? If the problem is something I can deal with, I’ll handle it with a snack, sitting down to rest, or having a glass of water.


I’m going to think before saying either yes or no to something. I’ve discovered I say “Yes” too easily when someone wants a volunteer, and “No” too quickly when a friend asks me out for coffee or lunch.


I’m going to be more forceful, rather than timid, when talking to someone in the medical profession. I hired them so they work for me. They may know more about medicine than I do, but I know more about my husband!


You might be wondering how I’m going to accomplish these goals. Sticky notes! I’m going to write reminders of these things I want to do, and place them where I have a chance of seeing them. I’ll place sticky notes in my desk calendar, on our wall calendar, by my computer, on my phone, in with my iPad, and on the notebook that goes with me to the doctor appointments.


I have no idea how successful I’ll be, but I have learned that being visual reminders make it more likely that I’ll at least remember there is something I’m trying to do. For 2015, a new approach is worth trying.


Happy New Year!

Image credit: DepositPhotos/iqoncept



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