Build hope and confidence

Some people form their goals in their minds and never write them down. Others live happily without formulating clear-cut goals.
And still others write their goals. Some even put goals on their bathroom mirror or write them on post-it notes on their computer screens.
I easily could be called the “Queen of Goal-Setters.” I’m a person who formulates and reformulates goals all the time.
During our 1982 Christmas vacation, my daughter and I listened to some motivational tapes to get ready for the New Year—and I still run my life by my 1982 Lifetime Goals.
My general goals at that time included live a simple, uncluttered life. Be in touch with nature. Be free from fears and worry. Have enough time and money to do what I want and love it.
Create a strong support group of significant others.
Now 32 years later, I still have the same goals. But I have fleshed them out with specific goals with hard deadlines over the years.
Goals are very important. Goals give us hope and confidence.
In his 40-page book “Goal Setting 101,” Gary Ryan Blair writes, “Goal-setting gives you confidence.”
Well-defined goals replace vagueness and doubt with focus and concentration, says Blair. And the result is confidence and hope.
Blair is a motivational speaker and an author. Among his books are “Goal Setting for Results” and “What Are Your Goals: Powerful Questions to Discover What You Want Out of Life.”
Blair believes in New Year’s resolutions. He says it is the only holiday that celebrates the passage of time.
“Perhaps that’s why, as the final seconds of the year tick away, we become introspective. Inevitably, that introspection turns to thoughts of self-improvement and the annual ritual of making resolutions.”
Blair did a worldwide survey to determine the 10 most popular New Year’s resolutions. Some are very familiar!
Four of them resonate with older people:
1. Lose weight and get in better physical shape
“With every year of your life, you have more to gain from being physically active,” writes Blair. “As your age-related risks of chronic disease increase, regular exercise generally slows or reverses that trend.”
2. Learn something new
How about taking an art class, starting piano lessons, trying a gourmet recipe, or learning a new computer program.
Choose to be interested in everything you encounter and look for opportunities to learn new things.
3. Volunteer and help others
Of course, that’s a natural for people this side of 60. Where would the world be without older volunteers!
4. Get organized
A perennial goal that applies to every age. Imagine a life without clutter!
So what about your goals? If you had goals years ago, that isn’t good enough. They probably will be different now.
What are your goals for next month, for this year, for five years from now? Is it time to revamp your goals in the middle of the year?
So why not begin now. If it’s hard to get started, use Blair’s list, then personalize it.
Age is no reason to stop setting goals. In fact, the older you are, the more important goals become.
Remember, goals give us hope and confidence, and as we age we need both.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health writer and syndicated columnist.
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