If you are like the majority of Americans, you woke up this morning with the best of intentions to start your new diet, wipe out household debt and spend more time with family. For most people, January 1 is the day to reflect on the previous 365 days and promise to do things better and differently in the New Year.
Not for me though – I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.
Instead of one big eggs-all-in-one-basket New Year’s Resolution, I make goals in November for the upcoming year. Why November? With Thanksgiving and abundant family time, it’s the time of year that I feel most grateful for what I already have.
Then, I break the yearly goals down into achievable bite-size packets for each month. By the time January rolls around, I have my yearly goals clarified and my monthly goals sketched out as well. With the smaller baby steps to leading to steady progress, it makes huge goals seem achievable.
My goal list ranges from the very difficult (open a 2nd Otion store location) to the very simple (practice yoga one time per week). If achieved, these goals will help to move me ahead professionally and personally.
What about you? What are some of your goals for the year?
Comments on this thread through January 5 will be entered into a goody box of handmade soaps and sundries, essential oils and a soapmaking DVD.
Joanna Schmidt says
I did it again! 🙂
Joanna Schmidt says
I need to dive in and attempt things I am desperate to try, but am scared to.
I can be frozen and just think about what I want to accomplish, but those things won’t turn to reality until I just do it.
I wish you hadn’t been anonymous, that was beautiful! And I couldn’t agree more. I am a divorced homeschooling mommy. Which means I homeschool half the week and work half the week (once I go back to work, I have been out since September because of surgery & complications). I have battled cancer the last year and a half. I am 37 years old. You just never know. My sons … ages 6, 7 & 8. I am remarried (he married me while I was bald, how great a guy is he???) 🙂 and my husband is a programmer by day and a fire fighter by night. EVERY single time he leaves for a call, even if its a groggy 3am call, I yell to him as he gets ready “Be careful! I love you!” because truly, you just never know.
Another homeschooling and soaping Mom here!
I don’t set long-term goals, as LIFE has a way of changing an individual’s direction on a moments notice!
Instead, I choose to live every moment in the best way I can and with the best attitude I can.
Don’t decide tomorrow that you will begin doing this or that. Start TODAY, this very minute.
Tell the people that you love of their importance, NOW.
This past year saw me have 4 surgeries since July and being in a wheelchair for a couple of months, all the while caring for both my 87 year old stroke-survivor Mom, 80 year old father-in-law (both living locally) and my 87 year old Dad (living 80 miles away).
Any set goals set in January 2007, had I made them, would have flown out the door, with the above events and the surrounding circumstances!!
I am about to have more surgery within a couple of weeks and expect to be back in that wheelchair, again. So be it.
By always realizing that things DO change (and, seemingly, always without a flicker that it is coming), I know I can handle whatever happens.
I always say “I love you” to my husband when he leaves (whether to work each morning or to go skiing on a weekend). A drunk driver or a simple miscalculation can separate people forever. We can smile and know that, no matter what, we always say and show each other that love.
The same goes with our son and our parents. We tell our son how much he means to us. I thank neighbors for being wonderful (and, I tell them this when they haven’t done something special!).
Goals are something to strive for, an ending to a plan. But, they aren’t really the end! Opening another store, or reaching a desired weight or having a child mark the beginning of other stages in your life, not an end to the previous chapter.
Make plans for those desired stages and continue to adjust to the changes they bring. A curving river is more interesting than a straight canal!!
Great job Melissa. If we can both duplicate our efforts for 363 (? is this year a Leap Year?) days, we’ll be fine!
I had to come back and post again. I exercised vigorously today, remembering my previous post and the desire to keep my goals. THANK YOU for the inspiration!
It’s interesting reading through all of these comments- so many of them center on personal health (working out, eating better) and commitment to family – it’s inspiring me to see the comments and your desire to always keep improving.
Steph! I did yoga today, just because of you. I totally didn’t want to, didn’t have time to and then thought, “But what would Steph say!?”
So, I scooted my patootie into the gym and did an hour of yoga. =)
I have some house fix-up projects that need to get done, some landscaping items this spring, eating more healthfully, moving my body more, completing a project with my 79 yr old mother-in-law, figuring out my new business and exactly how I want it look/work…other things too but I find as long as I write them down, they stop taking up the space in my head and I can quit obsessing over them and work on accomplishing them.
Happy New Year everyone! Shan
Pajama Mama says
AnneMarie, I just blogged about the fact that I don’t make resolutions, either…but reflect on where I am and where I want to be in certain areas. This year, I want to live in the moment…..Our oldest turned 12 last weekend and the dozen years passed by so quickly in some ways…and crept by in others. So, my main goal this year is to LIVE each moment, not hurry it by…..Does that make sense? J.
I love reading everyone’s goals for the year, it is very inspirational.
I normally dont do the resolution thing either but I do have a few that I thought of this year:
-Start the beauty biz I have been dreaming about for the last year. (Making large goals and breaking them down will definitely help with this!)
-Get healthy by finding an exercise I enjoy and stick with it.
-Think about what I say before it comes out of my mouth.
Happy New Year to all of you!
Ann Marie – I looove reading your blog and I am so thankful I stumbled upon it.
Just recently found this blog and Bramble Berry website when searching for soaping supplies. Just started making soap last year – output is still rather crude – but I really enjoy it, although I do hope that collecting essential oils doesn’t become an addiction – it does seem to be going in that direction 🙂
Enjoying my time with my family is always my primary goal – it is so easy to get lost in life’s little aggravations – laugh more, worry less and find more time to explore really cool soaping websites and blogs!
I guess if you decide to open another Otion it doesn’t matter where it is…it will be well recieved. At least by all of us = )
I love the idea of monthly goals. (Although sometimes I have to break it down to daily goals..haha!)
My goal is to take care of myself more. Being a wife and a homeschooling mom of 4, it is easy to loose myself.
Within the goal of taking care of myself, there lies weight loss and exercise for a “healthier me.”
My other goals are also to be a better wife to the man I love and be a better mom to the 4 blessings I have.
Anne-Marie, open a store in the Chicago area. I’ll help you out Ü
Pudleduk Family Farm says
Wonderful Blog! My goal for the year is to start home schooling my older child while running my business.
Just found your online store and blog a couple days ago. Love both, and I’m glad that I didn’t make any resolutions not to spend money on soaping supplies. LOL My plan for 2008 is to continue to improve my health and be able to get back to working at least part-time by spring. I don’t like to make actual resolutions. I would rather make plans and have hopes. Thanks for opening up this discussion. I love to see what other women are thinking and doing.
DJ in SW MI, USA
Happy New Year,
I don’t make resolutions but I have goals that I am working on accomplishing this year.
– Get a job that can help me pay my bills and is worth going to. I am presently not working.
– Start my bath & body business.
– Make steps to get out of debt. Hence goal number #1.
– Start a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family.
– Stop putting my goals last and put myself first.
Open a store here in MN Anne Marie!!! I’d invest in something like that for sure!!
My goals are to exercise daily (and stick with it!), fine tune my product recipes, cook more and eat out less.
Ria's Collectables says
Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University is GREAT, humorous, enlightening, and full of real life common knowledge regarding “Debt Free” living. Last years number one goal was to complete his course and I made it. I use it in my business by not buying anything on credit, if I do not have the cash it does not get purchased.
I am officially down to 3 more years on my rental mortgage (other business) and have 10 more years on my primary residence.
I hope you enjoy his reading and hopefully you will be able to attend one of his classes or seminars. He’s great!!!
I dunno! Real estate in NC is running pretty cheap!
What about a Canadian Otion?? We would looovveee to have you come up to Canda!!!!!
Maybe a new store in the Seattle area? Or Everett even better? I don’t make resolutions either but I like the idea of goals broken down into do-able parts.
To open a store on the East Coast would probably be around $100,000 investment; our little Bellingham store cost $80,000 to open.
If anyone on the list has an extra $100,000 to open up a 2nd store, let me know. We’d love to test the concept out East! =)
Well, of course I’d like to be more healthy this year both physically and financially. But my goals for my business is to stop procrastinating and follow through!
As most of my soaping friends know, I was forced to close my soap business for health reasons: I have lupus and just can’t do the work. But Oh, how I miss my soaping. I still have a few supplies left, and one of my resolutions is to use them up making soap for ME. I think every woman needs a good bar of lusciously scented handmade soap at hand. Anne-Marie, I’m enjoying your blog!
Anne Marie, is it possible that you’d like to open another Otion on the Eastern side of the country? I’m crossing my fingers and toes hoping you’ll say yes = )
These are all great to read = )
I need to be more disciplined overall. With homeschooling and a 4th baby coming, thats the one thing I could do to help things run more smoothly. I guess thinking more about the people around me than myself would help…
For those of you wanting to do more yoga, check out yogatoday.com. I can’t say enough good things about it!
my NYR are this:
To eat less red meat and processed foods and to concentrate on organics and live, fresh foods.
And to get back into soap making. I miss it!
Steph – Yoga is on my list too! Yeah, we can be yoga accountability partners.
Ria – I’ve never heard of the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace thing; I’ll have to go google that and see what it’s all about.
Carrie ~ Gigi – Supposedly, in our new speeded up internet world, we actually don’t have the luxury to focus just on one project at a time. Multi-Tasking (though not to extremes) is apparently going to be one of the huge trends for newly graduating seniors (as they juggle their iPod, cell phone, books, paint their nails and drive a car – all at the same time!). I’m trying to do like 4 or 5 steps towards “What did I do today to move me/my business/my relationship forward today” every day – baby steps add up to greatness, eventually.
BathCake – Wow! You’re going to summit a mountain this year? That’s HUGE! And not just literally either. Congratulations. By the way, I like the way your new blog is coming along. It’s very cute.
Tracy – One of my goals *tonight* was to clean a closet. I’m disappointed to say that I didn’t manage to get to it. A long lost college girlfriend called and we spent over an hour reminiscing and catching up and whoops, there went the time and motivation to actually clean! You and Miss Playing With Soap will be my cleaning buddies this year!
Playing With Soap – Great job on the savings and investments. It sounds like a seriously long and detailed blog post for your own blog. I know I’d like to know more about what you give up (for example, I mostly stopped shopping for clothes this year and was less fashionable but still functional in order to save).
I usually don’t really set New Year’s resolutions either but this year… I did. Top two would probably be: I want to run another half-marathon and start a one-sentence journal.
Ria's Collectables says
I am so happy to see that I am not the only one who does not make New Year’s Resolutions.
When I opened my business 2 years ago it became more than obvious to me that setting achievable goals was the only way to live life and to keep me from feeling as if I had failed to keep the Resolution.
This year’s goal is to implement Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace into my business. Although the business is debt free the goal of building the financial side is of great importance for 2008.
Thank you Anne-Marie for sharing.
Now that the food holidays are over it is time to eat right. I am going to try something new for me, eat less and exercise more. We are supposed to get 5-10 feet of snow this Friday so maybe a little cross country?
Michelle in NV
This year I want to visit my family more often. I live very far from them and miss them so much. It’s really hard finding the right time to go. Also I really want to work on patience, and having a little of me time. That is really hard to fit in.
Carrie ~ Gigi says
Try to focus on one project at a time…:)
My goal this year is to spend more time doing, rather than watching others or reading about what fabulous things people are doing. Oh yeah – and to make waaayyy more soap!!!!!
Joanna Schmidt says
That was me, hitting the button three times.
Maybe I should make a list of things I want more of:
Joanna Schmidt says
Wow. You all are amazing. Lots of very strong women in the audience, Anne-Marie.
For me, I have always lived by flying on the seat of my pants, but once I had children, I had to plan and work on organization a bit more. It is very impossible to have a smooth day if you are dealing with a baby or toddler that is challenging your every minute when you can’t find the diapers or bottle or sock… children can be unreasonable and when I was unorganzied (the first go around), I, too, became unreasonable. That is NOT a pretty picture. A two year old and a 32 year old on the floor looking like they just flew off of a roller coaster… 🙂
I can organize someone else’s house or office or life if they let me, but when it comes to ME, I sort of “lock” up and flounder a bit.
Business has also forced me to be a more organized individual, but my strengths really lie elsewhere. I believe that realizing the strengths I possess instead of the flaws I have, well….. that is the first step, and then working on bettering those strengths is the trick. Delegating tasks to others that do not have my weaknesses so I can focus on the strengths is key. I just haven’t found the help yet. I’d like…a housecleaner, cook, business sales team, exercise motivator, food shopper, laundry do-er and cat feeder…..(my cat wants to be fed 2 tablespoons every two hours) Makes me nuts.
This was fun.
GREAT idea to set goals in little chunks! I was just pondering that idea this morning and had started to break down my one big goal of improving my health into small, monthly projects, called ‘my 12 habits’. Each month I’ll tackle one small new habit, so that hopefully by the end of 2008 I will have developed 12 new healthy habits. They’re not all defined yet, but they start with ‘eat more veggies and fruit’, and ‘get more sleep each night’. I’ll work on one each month. Small bite-size habits will hopefully give me a huge transformation over a year’s time, I hope!!!
A few of my goals for this year are to: take piano lessons, get a massage once a month, practice yoga once a week and join an online mastermind group. How intriguing reading everyone else’s goals. Happy New Year!
Fantastic goals…so, when are you going to open an Otion in NE Florida? *grin*
My first goal is to make a production schedule and actually stick to it. I’m a horrible procrastinator.
I also have to get this house under control this year (hopefully early this year!) Husband and I moved into my mom’s house to help her out back at the end of July and we’ve still got boxes stacked everywhere from the household merge.
Happy New Year!
My main goal for this year is to find some kind of exercise that I actually like doing so I will stick with it.
A desire for this year is to get pregnant.
playing with soap says
Honestly, I normally do not do New Year’s Resolution, but I usually set daily goals, as part of my weekday schedule (weekends off). If I do not accomplish it, I either set it up for the following day or rethink it to see if it is worth my time.
Though I have never done this before, I am currently working on a 1, 5, 10 year goal and then break it down to monthly goals, which in turn I break it down to daily goals, so that it starts as baby steps. When they are huge steps, it just turns me off.
The only two things that I pretty much do extremely well and effortless is saving money and organizing. I save little by little, especially my coins, which I take to Commerce Bank because they do not charge a fee for the coins and also I have my bank automatically transfer my money to my savings account. Every small amount adds up.
Also, I love organizing and this is also done in small increments. I probably put in about no more than 30 mins daily of organizing and/or cleaning my home. Sounds a lot. Nope, because I probably do 15 mins in the a.m. and 15 mins in the p.m. And every day it’s a different section of the house I am working on or if it is a big project, I give myself several days. This way it accumulates to a big clean up.
And I think the most important thing about setting goals, is to forgive yourself if it is not accomplished. I think when a person does not forgive themselves or they are hard on themselves, they basically create this love/hate for that particular goal and to themselves.
Okay, sorry for all this writing, but my friends and family always wonder how I keep my surroundings organized and my savings in check and I tell them, but it goes in one ear and out the other and they are constantly in the same situation year after year because they continually do the same thing.
My main goal this year is not to buy 50 million types of seeds for things that I *know* won’t grow in my garden! 🙂
I don’t make resolutions, either, but like the idea of goals.
Really organize my home. Every nook and cranny.
Read the Bible in a year.
Buy less, make do more. Simplify.
Hi AM and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I don’t make New Years Resolutions either. I learned a long time ago that I just make them to break them. I work on bits of myself throughout the year when I feel its time for a change. I think your idea of doing a little at a time is good because, for people like me anyway, its more achievable.
My big goal this year is to summit Mount Washington in New Hampshire (hiking). I’ve been battling cancer for about a year and a half and finally have my strength back (physically). As soon as the doc cleared me to get on the treadmill, I made the goal and jumped on it. Funny how fast 3 minutes can turn into 30! Can’t wait to hit the local trails to start “real training”! 🙂 Of course, I’d better wait for the snow to pass!! Here in CT, we just got hit with a bunch of the white stuff.
I want to buy less, make more, worry less about housework, and thoroughly enjoy every minute with my baby! I guess those were things I was working on last year, too!
Great goals! I have no doubt you can do them. I want to give away more, sell my house (been working on this one awhile), begin building an intentional community, start a business, RELAX MORE, put more effort into teaching my kids, go on more dates with my hubby, read more, and help others more. It can happen!
I wouldn’t really call them New Year’s Resolutions though. I was working on most of them last year too.