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Wade Heath Mapping out goals as we enter a new year

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Wade Heath

Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:00 am

You haven't heard from me in a while. I apologize. No, I didn't get canned; no, I didn't quit the column; and no, I didn't move to Canada right after the presidential election, but thank you for your email concern.

As a matter of fact, I have been busy putting together a plan for the new year. At the end of each year, I take time during the holidays to reflect, re-tool and set new goals. During said time, I'll read a lot of books, listen to a few lectures and listen to my intuition as I write down what it is I'm looking to accomplish both in the coming months, as well as down the line several years from now.

I've found that taking time to dedicate to yourself as you approach each new year helps to prepare you in meeting your goals. By focusing clearly and specifically on what you desire out of the coming calendar and of yourself, you are able to easily identify opportunities that present themselves, as well as hold yourself accountable for achieving results.

Some friends refer to what I do each year as a drawn-out way of declaring new year's resolutions. But the point I argue with them is that new year's resolutions, the very idea, is a joke. Sure, it's cute to say you're going to lose weight and stop a bad habit, but at the other end of the year a ridiculous number of people can't even tell you what there resolution was to begin with.

I not only brainstorm what's important to me, but I also categorize by faith, family, relationships, business, passion and fun. After that, I post the list and a detailed description of how I'm going to meet those goals, along with the date, on my home office desk and door so that it's fresh in my mind every time I'm near those areas, which in my case is several times a day. Call it a map for the new year, if you will.

If you're anything like me, and want to accomplish a lot each year (even to a fault), creating a map has been very helpful in keeping me on-track to make those bullet-points happen. Whether it's something simple, like writing more thank-you letters to people you care about and wish to express gratitude to, or something big, like buying a home, the map puts things in front of you, in perspective and in your mind daily.

Therefore, you're much more likely to succeed, because you stay ever-present with your goals.

I developed my map idea after a few years of reading different books on the topic of self-improvement and personal success. Nearly all of the books talked about writing things down. They also touched on time tables and daily visualization of goals. But I decided to take it a step further and also add images to each goal, so that there is no doubt what I'm aiming to achieve.

Again, I place the map front and center, and describe under each bullet how I plan on succeeding and the time frame I believe it will take me.

By the same token, don't be afraid to eliminate a goal if it just isn't feasible — or go ahead and assign it a new time frame, if it is achievable but something unexpected got in the way.

Last year I was able to accomplish quite a bit on my map, but not everything. Some things made it on this year's map; others, I dropped because not everything that was important to me last year is important to me this year.

One of the things on my map this year is take a more positive, optimistic tone with this column. While politics and hard opinion aren't totally taking a hike (expect a few pieces on the topics of the moment every once in a while), I would like to spotlight more inspirational stories and share more words on uplifting topics.

There is enough anger and doom in news and opinion right now to depress even the likes of smiley evangelist Joel Osteen. I don't feel as though adding to that mix very often is productive during a time when so many are looking for a way out of the storm clouds.

That's just the first change as part of my 2013 map. I have a lot I can't wait to share with you throughout the year, and with your help, I hope we can inspire one another to think, be and do life a little differently.

I look forward to starting a new conversation with you as we move forward.

Do you have a map or something like it for the new year? I'd love to hear your plans and how you keep yourself honest in achieving them.

Contact columnist Wade Heath at wade.lodi@gmail.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Bobcatbob Ingram posted at 8:14 am on Mon, Feb 4, 2013.

    99er Posts: 119

    Humor is a good enuff reason for me.

  • Brian Dockter posted at 8:06 am on Sat, Feb 2, 2013.

    Brian Dockter Posts: 2866

    Thanks for your philosophies Wade. One does not have to be an old timer to have philosphies. Unlike Mr. Barrow, I take into consideration what people have to say from all ages and walks of life.

  • Walter Chang posted at 3:01 pm on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    Walt Posts: 1184

    "on topic"



  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 12:36 pm on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    Like others I also refrain from making any kind of "resolutions" just because the calendar changes from one year to the next. As of midnight December 31, 2012 (or would that be early morning January 1, 2013?) the only thing that changes is the date - just as it does every day at that same time.

    However, ever since most of us have been very young there's something mystical that still has others taking stock of their lives – there’s nothing wrong with that. But if we make the same list each year and never succeed, what is the true value?

    As I've gotten longer in the tooth I now forgo waiting for the replay of the ball dropping in Times Square simply because staying up so late doesn't make much sense to me. January 1st means very little now because parades have lost their delight (too bad I can't pick up the Mummers from Philly) and most college football games mean very little to me as well. So I usually just enjoy the day which is usually spent with my dogs, family and friends.

    As for Mr. Heath - a young man still in his twenties - I can remember when I thought as he did. And for those in his age group his thoughts on resolutions might be worthwhile. Since he publishes his picture with his columns, it's quite easy to see that the majority of his life is still in front of him; hopefully his life experiences down the road will add to the wisdom he's already garnered. My only advice would be to rely less on his word processor's spell checker (it doesn't always differentiate between "there" and "their") and to take the time to manually proof-read his offerings. And for another’s post below, some might be confused as to how many women he might be married to at one time, so my advice would also apply. But take it or leave it.

    I enjoy Wade’s column most of the time and am happy to let him know when I agree; but as he also knows when we differ I don't hold much back.

    So Happy New Year Wade! And best of luck in 2013.

    And it would appear that we’re finally “on topic.”

  • robert maurer posted at 12:05 pm on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 485

    Oops! My analogy should have read "life is like a c... sandwich; we either eat it or we starve."

  • robert maurer posted at 11:04 am on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    mason day Posts: 485

    I would like to take a moment to say that I understand and agree with the first 6 comments and realize that life is life and has great and rewarding times,but can also be a rotten sandwich,which we have to eat or die. I personally never personally make new years resolutions; I simply try to keep what is good in my life and change the things which are not year round to minimize how much of that rotten sandwich I have to eat.

  • Eric Barrow posted at 10:08 am on Fri, Feb 1, 2013.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1602

    I'll get on topic and elaborate on my original statement. I don't care about Wade's life philosophies. I've been married to the same women most of my life, raised children to adulthood and buried many friends and family I don't need any advice from the child philosopher maybe Wade did a good job writing for the high school paper but I see no evidence from his previous contributions that gives him enough respectability to give life advice. What I do care about is that he and LNS feel that he has something to contribute and it is for this reason that I responded to his article.

    Drift on Bobcatbob "all those that wander are not lost. "

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 5:47 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I know of no one who loves paradoxical thinking. That's weird. But to each his/her own . . .

    I suppose we've not yet been "on topic." Maybe I should click on "Report" link for every comment offered so far. Nah! Let's just let it drift along for awhile.

  • Bobcatbob Ingram posted at 2:50 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    99er Posts: 119

    Your very through and It seems to have worked out for You gratzola. One of the happiest places to be is while 'working on a goal'

    But I won't do it. I would much rather drift and drifting seems to have worked out pretty good so far. Which goes to prove there are many 'right ways' to live life.

    I have enjoy Your column and I hope You continue.

    PS.......... I love paradox and I care less than Eric

  • Eric Barrow posted at 10:57 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1602

    I guess that would make you wrong

  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 10:24 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2370

    I would think that if someone seriously and truly did not care about something, they would refrain from announcing so; they would simply ignore what they claim to care so little about instead of attempting to begin a debate. A paradox, no? Yes!

  • Eric Barrow posted at 6:46 am on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1602

    I seriously don’t care.


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