Thursday, January 1, 2015

 Women for Sobriety, Inc.
Resiliency & Dedication

Resolutions vs. Goals

by Nancy Cross ~ Member of the WFS Board of Directors,
WFS Moderator for Cincinnati, Ohio & Chat Leader


Statement #6, “Life can be ordinary or it can be great.”
Greatness is mine by a conscious effort.

Statement 11, “Enthusiasm is my daily exercise.”
I treasure all moments of my new life.


“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential.”  -Ellen Goodman

“We will open the book.  Its pages are blank.  We are going to put words on them ourselves.  The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” -Edith Lovejoy Pierce

There is, to me, quite a difference between making New Year’s resolutions and setting healthy, achievable goals.  Resolutions seem to be things we think we ‘should’ be doing or the things we ‘should not’ be doing.  Goals on the other hand, are positive changes we want in our lives... things we really want to do or accomplish.

Once a goal has been clearly set and committed to, it is important to start planning how we attain the goal.  There will be challenges, uncertainties, setbacks, disappointments and pain on our way towards our goal.  No road towards a goal is smooth and easy, because the road to success is always under construction.

Henry Ford said that many people do not realize how close they were to success when they stopped trying.  We tend to complain about the effort, and everything associated with it, instead of accepting the effort and looking beyond to the end result...the attainment of the goal and the fulfillment of a dream.

Start by looking for the good in everything.  Make the most with what you have. Avoid negative thinking, and above all ENJOY LIFE!  Life, after all, consists of series of moments.  Focusing on thinking positively in moments throughout the day helps to develop the ability to think positively as an attitude and a way of life.

The most important aspect of setting goals in a new year is to BEGIN!  To begin is refreshing and renewing.  Every birthday is both a milestone and the beginning of a new life year.  Every day is a new beginning with opportunities for success.

Success is the extent to which we attain our goals.  Setting a goal is the beginning of the journey.  Planning is the drafting of a road map for the journey. Every phase in the plan will be a new beginning.  Every accomplishment on the journey will be the beginning for the next step.

The extent to which we will reach the final destination, our goal, depends on how we begin our journey.  For every beginning we need vision, enthusiasm, energy and focus.  To attain the goal, we need resilience and dedicated effort.  It is on the journey that we experience life in all its dimensions.

Beginnings are starting points...they refresh and rejuvenate body, mind and spirit.  But new beginnings are not limited to the important goals in our lives. They are just as important in our everyday lives.  Life is experienced in the moment, this second.  This is where we have a choice.  This is where we can continuously create new beginnings, new things to do, new ways of doing things, new relationships, and new experiences.

Without clear goals, we can become stuck in a groove.  It has been said that the difference between a groove and a grave is just the depth.  The way to avoid a groove is through new beginnings.  Why wait for a New Year to set New Year’s goals?  Create continuous new beginnings every day with enthusiasm and life will be a continuous renewal.


+ COMMIT TO YOUR GOAL!  Choose goals that you really want to achieve and make them positive.

*Questions to ask:

a) Is this my idea or someone else’s?
b) Does this goal motivate and invigorate me?
c) Does this goal fit comfortably with my values and long-term plans?

+ BE REALISTIC!  Don’t set the same goal you attempted to achieve last year.  If it didn’t work then, ask yourself why you believe it will work this year.  What has changed?

+ WRITE IT DOWN!  It makes your goal more real.  There is something inside us that creates more commitment and drive when we take the time to do this.

+ MAKE A PLAN!  Envision where you want to be, then, work back along the path to where you are today.  Write down the milestones you note in between.

+ BE FLEXIBLE!  Not everything will work out precisely the way you planned.  If you are too rigid in your approach, the first minor obstacle can throw you off course completely.

+ USE A SYSTEM OF REMINDERS!  Have your list of written goals visible as many times during the day as possible.  Be as creative as you can to keep being reminded.

+ TRACK YOUR PROGRESS!  This is a great time to journal...when you felt pleased with your efforts; when you felt down or felt like quitting; look for common themes to see if there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

+ REWARD YOURSELF!  Knowledge of a job well done can be reward enough, however, even the most committed person needs a boost and sometimes that is best accomplished through an external reward.

When you are developing a plan, make note of a few milestones where you will reward yourself once they are achieved.  But remember to spread them want to be certain the rewards remain special and are not too easy to get.



[The following is Dee Waddington’s yearly commitment to herself (signed and dated!) for the goals and endeavors she wishes to reach for and accomplish in the New Year.  Feel free to make this uniquely your own!]

2015 Commitment Goal

Statement #8:  Emotional and Spiritual Growth

I commit myself to working on the following in order to gain emotional and spiritual growth as I take responsibility for my life through setting priorities and creating healthy boundaries:

µ   Lasting sobriety
µ   Self-Honesty
µ   Emotional understanding of my feelings and actions and healing the relationship with myself and with others
µ   Spiritual stretching
µ   Learning to love and nurture myself
µ   Availability to others who need my help, love, care, support and compassion as I gain emotional and spiritual growth
µ   _____________________________________________________
µ   _____________________________________________________

What I need to do to honor my commitment:

Signed:  ______________________________________

Date:  ______________________________________

Email:   *   Tel215-536-8026   *   Fax:  215-538-9026   *

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