Daily News editorial

The New Year means different things to different people. For some of us, the New Year is a time of change, while for others it is a re-commitment to an existing path.

What does the New Year mean to you? Is 2018 the year you change your life? Is January the month you will drop bad habits and start new, healthier ones? Or, is 2018 just another year to continue on your already successful path?

From a personal perspective, we tend to believe life is what we make of it. It is up to each of us, as individuals, to take on the responsibility of making 2018 a great year. The challenges in life and the curveballs often tossed our way are inevitable, but we can work to overcome them instead of dodging them.

Members of the TDN editorial board have numerous goals for 2018. Some of them are pretty typical, such as getting in better shape, while others are more detailed and personal.

One of the keys to achieving our goals is to write them down. Putting ideas on a piece of paper, or taking a picture or image from a magazine, helps us get our minds around our objectives. And when we write down our aspirations, we can add dates and deliverables.

When we set huge goals, those dates and deliverables are particularly important. Sometimes we need to break down our big goals into a series of smaller ones. Seeing dates and deliverables can lead to achieving our larger objectives.

Whether you are a visual person who prefers placing pictures on a vision board or on a wall in your house, or you prefer writing your goals on paper, do what works best for you. And remember, if your goals get you excited, motivated and geared up, you more likely will put forth the effort to accomplish them.

Whether it is for business or personal purposes, building an action plan is worth the time and effort. Nebulous or partially defined goals are not as sound as specific, measurable ones. A strong plan details from start to finish the steps you need to take to ultimately reach a goal. Many people skip this process, but it is an important one because those first steps in your plan can be the keys to your success. Yet, getting started on them often is the hardest part. The age old saying, “The toughest part of a journey of a thousand miles is the first step,” certainly is true.

You set the tone of your action plan through those first steps, and that tone should help you build positive momentum toward the upcoming challenges. Most goals worthy of your efforts will be filled with hard work and rough spots, so building positive momentum in the early stages keeps the process moving forward.

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is losing weight – a tough resolution and a hard one to stick with for many people.

Numerous times we’ve heard people say, “I’m going to join a gym this year and get in shape.” Although the statement sounds good, often it is not a great starting point. By using some of the ideas in this column, think about making a weight loss goal more specific.

Perseverance is a trait some people have and others do not. People can have great goals they are passionate about, have detailed written action plans and have the means to achieve their goals, but without perseverance or “grit,” many folks’ goals slip away.

What is “grit”? Courage, bravery, mettle, backbone, spirit, strength of character, strength of will, moral fiber, steel, nerve, fortitude, toughness, hardiness, resolve, resolution, determination, tenacity, endurance.

You know if you have grit and you know if you don’t have it.

If you don’t have it, and want it, how do you develop it?

Assuming you are passionate and excited about your goals, your next step in developing grit is to build good habits to support achievement. The right habits often lead to the right behaviors. Achieving goals usually means changing behaviors.

A probably less talked about component of success and developing grit is hope – the expectation of a positive outcome, having a positive attitude or outlook.

Some people like to join forces to achieve goals, which can be good or bad. Having a partner to face the challenges, successes and failures can make the process more fun. At the same time, the wrong partner can be a hindrance and hold you back.

A modified partnership approach might work better. Focus on achieving goals individually. If joining forces works, that’s great. Take whatever positive effects joining forces brings, but be ready to drop your partner and move forward if your progress is hindered.

We wish you all the best in 2018. If you set New Year’s resolutions and find success, send us a Letter to the Editor and we will publish it.

Happy New Year!

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