Friday, January 7, 2011

Resolutions and Goals

Welcome one and all, and a very Happy New Year!

I am totally excited to be here and am looking forward to a healthy and prosperous year for everyone.

Today, I want to talk about New Year’s Resolutions and Goals: Two four-letter words as far as I’m concerned. I know I’m probably in the minority, but there you have it.

A few years ago, I decided to quit making resolutions because I felt like I was always setting myself up for failure. If, near to the year end, I had not followed through completely on all of my resolutions, I would beat myself up. My soul would plunge into deep depression. Guilt weighted down my shoulders and churned up acid in my stomach causing many sleepless nights.

Even though for a few years prior to my no-resolution rule, I wouldn’t carve anything into stone, I would still repeat over and over in my head phrases like, “This year I’m going to lose weight,” or, “This year I’m going to be a better person,” or, “This year I’m going to write on a more regular basis…yada, yada, yada. About half way through the year, I’d start whining (to myself of course), “Gosh, I haven’t lost enough weight,” and “I haven’t been a good enough person,” and “I haven’t written enough…” and the list goes on. You get the picture.

So now, I simply don’t make resolutions. I no longer fret over them and I’m healthier because of my decision. I’ve tried repeatedly, with the same result so I relinquish that task to the braver, stronger public. Maybe I’m doing something wrong? Perhaps I internalize my shortcomings a bit too seriously? Whatever the reason, I’ve come to terms with my personal monster and he no longer gets the best of me.

Now for that other four letter word - Goal. Ask my critique partner’s what I think about goals. They’ll laugh and tell you I don’t like those either. I can hear them snickering right now. Hush vicious girls! :)

When it comes time each year to write our goals on paper, I’m the one and only in the background groaning loudly. For some reason, to me, goals are just another way to set myself up for total mental and physical collapse. I know it’s probably silly of me to think this way, but then not everyone can explain their own behavior, what works for them and why it works, sometimes it just does.

I know this is contrary to everything everyone has heard or been taught before, but this is what works for me. Don’t get me wrong, I believe goals are an invaluable tool, and they work for most people, giving them a guide to follow for their coming year’s achievements. Heaven knows everyone makes goals, right? I guess I’m one of those unique individuals who doesn’t fit the status quo. I blame my genealogy for that one. Even though I forced myself to write something on that blank piece of paper, I try to put it out of my mind…hmm…maybe that’s how it’s supposed to work. Mind games.

Previously, I would do just as everyone else and make those darn resolutions and goals even though I hated it and it made me nauseous. However, as I age, I’m learning to listen to my own motherly mind more and more. That crazy little voice wandering around in my brain instinctively telling me what’s the right and wrong thing to do. My twisting gut, and a considerable amount of therapy, tells me not to worry about these outside pressures.

One way is not always the only way.

I now appreciate my universal intuition and like the feeling I get from taking responsibility for my own actions. If I decide not to do something, like make resolutions and goals while everyone else around me thinks I’m nuts, or the system tells me it’s the only way to accomplish success, I can accept that choice and be happy and content.

I’m amazed at how often I feel like I’m doing the right thing for me and that everything plays out better than I expect most times, especially when I get out of my own way. I do however prepare a mental list of sorts and then try to get those things accomplished. I suppose this could be considered mental goal making without the written backup. I know what I need to do to get those tasks done. When I recently went back and thought about everything I’d accomplished this last year, I was surprised and satisfied. And of course with the help of friends, and the goals everyone forces me to face, I will push myself harder this year. So off I go to lose more weight, be a better person and to write more!

So now that you know how I feel about Resolutions and Goals, what are your feelings on the subject? Do you make resolutions? Do you make goals? If you answer yes, I’d be interested to know what your process involves. If you answer no, I’d love to hear why you don’t partake in this annual ritual. I’m also curious to see if there’s anyone out there who feels like I do.

If you perform an internet search for Resolutions and Goals, over 14,000 links are out there and there’s something for everyone, so have fun browsing that subject!

Regardless of your preferences in planning your future objectives, I wish each of you a fabulous and successful New Year. I look forward to next time.

For now I remain… Sincerely Yours,
Wendy Treitel


  1. Wendy,
    You are so funny and at the same time so very awesome! Your system does work for you, so stick to your guns. I know you will anyway! LOL
    I enjoyed reading your article and I'm very proud to announce myself as one of thos Vicious women who have tried very hard in the past to get you to set goals. You never did, but like you said, you accomplished a lot of things.
    One thing never need to set a goal to be a nicer person, you are one of the nicest ones earth.


  2. Aw, thanks, Geri. You don't know how much I truly appreciate you! Thanks for the kind words.

  3. *Wildly Waving Hand* Yes, I know well how you feel about goals, Wendy, but I also know you do anything you set your mind to!
    I, personally love goal setting and planning. I feel lost and afloat without an action plan. Working that plan, though, doesn't always work out. The best laid plans isn't a cliche for nothing!

  4. No to resolutions--making them just makes me want to break them. My goals are to try and keep me motivated. And then there's the *list*; my, what I would get/do if I could--due to my writing. Like having a cabana boy or house on Maui, fun stuff!