Goals 101 ‘at your age’

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-Setting.” 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. I still have my 1982 Lifetime Goals in my working notebook.
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 25 years later, I still have the same goals. But I have fleshed them out with specific goals with hard deadlines.
Last Saturday, I did a search of files titled “Goals” on my computer and found 70 documents!
Goals are very important. GOALS GIVE US HOPE. And in his 40-page book “Goal Setting 101,” Gary Ryan Blair says, “Goal-setting gives you confidence . . . when vagueness and doubt are replaced by focus and concentration.”
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? Is it time to revamp them? If you had goals years ago, that isn’t good enough. They probably will be different now.
What are your goals for next year, for five years from now?
So, why not begin now planning your 2008 New Year’s resolutions. 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 care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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