I've only heard from one grandparent this Christmas, and we were able to settle the hash of that adult child mighty quickly, thanks to the intervention of child services and an attorney. I had my own little incident, but that was kept to the Internet and a county sheriff's office. So, Christmas stayed happy for us.
We've had a few accomplishments this year: Moved to a house that was much better for us, with public transportation, got some good test results for the kids, and I lost 18 pounds. A goal never hurts.
What are your goals for the coming year? Going to get on the weight loss trail with me? Better health through exercise? Fix the enclosed porch into a room for a grandchild? Draw up a better budget? Go to court and get this matter of custody settled once and for all?
These are all good goal ideas. But goals just don't happen. They need motivation, something to make us accomplish that goal. If we don't follow through, all we had was a wish, something we wanted and hoped we would would obtain. With motivation, w can move that wish into reality.
So, give your goal some motivation!
- State your goal in obvious, concrete, solid words. Don't just say, "I will lose weight." How much weight? What method? Will simple dieting be enough, or will exercise be involved? What type? How often?
- Less is more with goals. If you have one or two resolutions you convert to goals, you're doing well. Don't overwhelm yourself with a pile of goals!
- Give yourself an end date. Let's use the example of the enclosed porch being converted to a bedroom. It needs to be finished by a due date. "Someday" is not a date due, but an excuse to putter. If you fritter too long, your grandchild will have spent the remainder of his or her childhood on your pullout sofabed. And if you are Grandpa, Grandma is going to get mighty tired mighty quickly of the mess you've made of the enclosed porch, when she could have converted it to a sewing room or a summer bedroom. So, the goal is, "I will complete converting the enclosed porch into a bedroom for Clarence no later than _________, 2012."
- Break your goal into "chewable" pieces. Most people don't pile everything from a meal into a sandwich and down it in one gulp without chewing it first. Break down your goal into what you have to do to reach it. Put it into segments, individual "mini-goals" of one to two lines each. Meeting the "mini-goals" along the way will be so much easier than trying to swallow your whole goal in one gulp (and it'll be a lot easier to digest).
- Don't forget to factor in the cost of meeting your goal when you segment it. If you're losing weight, will you be doing that on your own? Weight Watchers? Atkins? Detox? How much is it going to set you back? Will different foods be involved? Can you take the money you spent on unhealthy foods and apply it to healthy choices? Are you finding a job? New clothes might be in order. Quitting smoking? Maybe you need nicotine gum or patches. The enclosed porch is going to require lumber, insulation, maybe a new window, maybe some new furniture, definitely paint, possibly drywall. Figure out how much you intend to pay for this, and where you plan to get the money for it. One of the fastest ways to kill a goal is not to fund it.
- If you need help, line it up now. Maybe you never set up your own business, but you have a friend who has. Maybe you've never hung drywall, but you know your adult godson has. Maybe you just need somebody to whom to be accountable on your weight loss journey, or an exercise buddy. Gather information, asks questions, ask for assistance- NOW.
- Give your goal some reality NOW. Posters and lapbooks aren't just for children. Cut out some pictures from magazines, or print some pics off the Internet, or even draw your own illustrations. Spell out your main goal on a poster, in glitter, and put the mini-goals in metallic using gel pens. Take before and after photos, and print them out, either at the big-box store on professional paper, or at home using your own printer. Make your self a goal thermometer, or whizo-meter, that you can complete every time you meet a mini-goal. Have fun with this, and make it REAL to you.
- DON'T GIVE UP. Just because you had a setback doesn't mean you can just quit. What did you tell your now adult kid all these years about quitters, about starting over again? So you have to rehang the wall, or the woodwork looks a little uneven and has to be redone. So you gained a pound. It doesn't give you the luxury of throwing up your hands in despair and flopping your butt down in the La-Z-Boy.