A lot of us set new year goals every January. "This year I am going to do ____." Last year I set out to do several things throughout the course of the year. I set out to become fluent in Spanish, start running more regularly like I used to, read more and get married. Well, I accomplished at least one of those things (getting married) but dropped the ball on the rest of it. In the midst of moving to a new city and a wedding, I started dropping the ball on more book reading, fell off on my Spanish and got beat in a 5k by a guy wearing a cheeseburger costume for the first time in my running career (aka my running dropped off substantially). I realize that I was going about things the wrong way. After reading numerous posts from @incentintel and reading the book Switch over the summer, I learned that maybe I should approach my behaviors and not rely on quite as much as the end goal. End goals are important but I believe focusing on the tiny steps and attitudes that makes those goals happen should be a higher priority. 

Learning From an Old Friend

This summer I lost one of my closest friends growing up to a tragic accident (more here). I learned a lot from him running with him over the years and learned the benefit of working hard to achieve goals. Over the Christmas holiday, I went back to my hometown and spent an evening with his family, the first time I'd seen them in person since his funeral. His mom gave me a few momentos of his from us growing, including the note pictured here. It really put things in perspective for me.

Yeck was really focused on different aspects of his life. I'm not a huge proponent of using someone else's goals as your own but this list is a good start in my honest opinion. The list isn't very specific but focuses on different attitudes he had for his day-to-day. Up until his last day, these were his principles that helped him succeed in his life.

So I think this will be my focus on 2012. Not to read X amount of books, get a certain amount of readers for my blog or something like being able to run a certain time for a 5k by the end of the year. I want to try and focus on these different attitudes towards life and let that carry over into all of my day-to-day tasks.

No New Year's Resolution. Just a re-alignment of what my priorities will be in the next year. Some of those things are found on Yeck's list, some of them are personal to me. We'll see how this approach to New Year's goes.

What do you have planned for 2012? How do you approach New Year's Resolutions and year-long goals?

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