How many New Year’s resolutions have already gone up in smoke…or down in donut grease?

I spoke of goal-setting last week, but we all know that the hard part is carrying through.   It’s not how you start the race, but how you finish that counts – a lesson we try to teach everyday at Whetstone Boys Ranch…with words if necessary.

So let’s just say your goal is to be less rushed, to heal what John Ortberg calls, your “hurry-sickness.”   (Mind you, I’m just picking a random goal…not one that has been on my list of New Year’s resolutions since I was five.)

Now, what are you going to do about it?

For the last 15 years, I have had my students submit their goals for a class grade.  I find this to be a useful exercise for them, and an entertaining one for me.

I’ve had some memorable ones over the years:

  • Become a benevolent dictator of a small island country
  • Live to cash my first Social Security Check
  • Become a master snow-boarder (in Lexington, KY!)
  • Successfully complete a New York Times Crossword on a Saturday
  • Overcome my fear of rolley-slidey things
  • Get into fewer stupid fights with my dear mother
  • Start collecting vinyl records
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Break my addiction to over-the-counter nasal decongestant
  • Visit every country in the world

What I like about most of these goals is that they are unique and specific.  Most of them are measurable to some extent.  Instead of “travel more,” it’s visit every country in the world.  And while this may be impractical, expensive and extremely dangerous, you know if you have achieved it or not.  (Note:  A better goal might be “Visit a country on every continent by the time I am 40.”  Video games don’t count.)

In any case, making a goal that goes beyond the generic “get healthier” or “get richer” or “get smarter” is more likely to become a reality.

And to be specific, Whetstone is in the reality business.

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