Did You Considered These Two Things While Setting Your New Year’s Resolutions

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For my daughter’s eighteenth birthday a few years ago I took her on a hot air balloon ride.  This had been on both of our bucket lists for a long time. We were so excited.  We drove up to Park City, Utah.  We watched in awe as the pilots fired up the balloons with gigantic flames until they were full. We shivered in the brisk morning air as we waited anxiously for our chance to enter the basket and sail around the sky.

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But that’s not what happened.  When the moment came, we realized that ten people would be crammed into the basket and that our view would be limited to the spot we were assigned. That didn’t seem like such a big deal, but then we took off and. . . our basket just sat in the air. We couldn’t seem to find a current. The entire hour we barely moved. We watched longingly as other balloons moved around the valley. The sun emerged and beat down upon our backs with no relief from wind or movement. It was simply. . .still.

I liken this scenario to setting New Year’s Resolutions.  I have these great expectations for my year.  I write them down, anxious for my forthcoming success, but then I find that my schedule is too crammed to achieve them or to enjoy the process, OR my goals fizzle out and I find myself going nowhere.  The result:  I watch longingly as everyone else (it seems) floats effortlessly on to success and happiness while I’m left grappling with feelings of failure and frustration.

Sound familiar?

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As I have considered my New Year’s goals, there are a couple of things I realized that have been helpful to me.  My first draft of goals has completely changed because I have considered these things. And they now fit nicely into my life and support my overall desires. Here they are for your consideration:

1). Don’t set more goals than your schedule will realistically allow you to achieve.

I am a multi-tasker by nature. I always have multiple projects going on. I get as much done as I can in a day, and I love it. However, when it comes to setting goals there is very little room in my schedule for anything new. I have always tried to add more without letting go of something. This doesn’t work. If you have a full schedule you’ll have to consider letting go of something if you want to add something new. You can’t learn to play an instrument if you have no time to practice! You can’t learn to ski if there’s never time to get to the slopes. You get the idea.

2). Make sure you know what FEELING you are trying to achieve by setting any goal.

When a person wants something it’s usually the FEELING they want, not necessarily the actual object of desire.  We set goals because we want to FEEL a certain way.  Goals bring us FEELINGS–feelings of confidence, accomplishment, competence, success, importance, attention, etc.  You have to set goals that align with the feelings you are motivated by. Let me give you a personal example.  One of the feelings I savor is a sense of peace, but I realized that I was setting goals that created pressure and chaos in my life. Not only did they not fit into my schedule, they stressed me out!  They sounded good on paper–successful, accomplished, but I was fooling myself. Peace was the greater, deeper motive and I was missing it.  Once I realized that I needed goals to support my need for peace in my life I was able to choose better goals.  Of course, peace is not my only motive, but it is an overarching one at the present moment and one I must honor.  Perhaps in time my over-arching need will be different. And that’s okay.

Knowing what feeling you are trying to create with each goal is like the current, or wind, that will keep your goals moving. It’s your WHY.  Make sure those feelings support your overall need right now in your life.

A cool note. . .

My daughter and I were kind of disappointed by our whole hot air balloon experience.  It was not what we expected it to be.  But the view in the air allowed me to capture this rare perspective of a hot air balloon from the top, in flight, with the ground below it.  I love this picture.  It’s one of my favorites (as is the one above that’s similar).  We try things.  Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t.  We always gain something from each experience that can benefit us, if we’re willing to take the time to consider the lessons the experience holds.  If you’re goals don’t manifest they way you hoped, set new one. The point is to continue to grow.

Much success to you!

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