Where has 2008 gone? It seems just yesterday that Quinn and I were getting pumped up to start a blog as one of our resolutions. We had visions of changing the world with our bi-monthly posts of wisdom. Ironically, I feel the person who has benefited the most from "phil good" has been myself.
In addition to fulfilling my resolution to start and continually contribute to this blog, I succeeded in other goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year. I failed in many others. With the start of 2009, I must admit I am excited to ponder upon the ways in which I can make much needed improvements in my life. As I was studying resolution making this past week I came across a few principles that I believe will help this year's resolutions make a greater impact on my life. First, the importance of goals. Elder M. Russell Ballard said:
I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see that we reached but a small part of our full potential. When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life.
I am not Elder Ballard, and therefore do not know what principles of goal setting he was referring to, but here are some principles I have come across.
Proverbs 29:18 states "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." By beginning with a vision of the desired outcome, we can begin to form goals that are the stepping stones which lead to a fulfillment of that vision.
By having a clear vision, goals become more than something to give us short-term feelings of accomplishment; they give us purpose and direction in the present. In the past I have failed at goals, not because I gave up or did not put forth effort, but because the goal itself was lacking. I have found that quality goals have certain attributes. Quality goals are:
If the goal is too general, we are unable to focus our efforts. If the goal is unrealistic, giving up becomes an easy rationalization. President Ong taught me that you should achieve your goals 50% of the time. If you accomplish your goals 100% of the time, they are not challenging enough and you could be growing more; less than 50% of the time, the goals may begin to be discouraging. Finally, if our goal is to be more humble, but we have no concept of how to measure it, we are unable to judge how our progress is going.
Although I am not sure what my 2009 resolution list will include, I hope that each of my resolutions encompasses these principles so that my efforts to fulfill them will lead me closer to fulfilling the vision I have for myself.