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  • marykayliston

Starting Off Strong!

It seems as if I was just getting comfortable writing “2023” on my checks. Now it is over.

What a year it was for us.  More importantly – how was it for you?  Did you achieve your goals?  By the way, if you didn’t write them down, they aren’t really a goal.  Real goals MUST be written down to achieve them. 

Every New Year’s morning, MK and I sit in bed and review our goals from the year and decide what our goals will be for the next year.  We break it down this way:

·       At least 3 places we want to travel in the next several years.

·       Projects we want to complete in our homes.

·       Hobbies or projects we want to grow and develop in the upcoming year.

·       Aspects of our physical health and wellness to improve.

·       Our legacy – an organization or charity we want to support or increase our support.

·       The one relationship we want to improve or grow.

·       Activity we would try if we could suspend all fears.

·       Additional languages we would like to speak.

·       Spiritually – how we might develop a greater sense of inner peace.

·       Building our character.   How can we become better neighbors, friends, etc.

·       Dream to realize in the next 12 months.

·       Long-terms dreams we want to be living in the next five years or more.

·       Financially – how can we increase our portfolio – especially in our retirement years.

I wish we could say that we were brilliant enough to come up with these items on our own.  We aren’t.   Fortunately, we met Matthew Kelly at an event in Waco sponsored by our company – Dwyer Group (now Neighborly).

He spoke of the importance of writing goals, and we realized we needed to learn more about that.  We read his book, The Dream Manager.  It is available on Amazon. 

Matthew is a Christian writer who penned a few other books we read last year in our devotions.  The Fourth Quarter of Your Life and The Rocking Chair Profit were two of our faves in 2023.  Holy Moments and Amazing Possibilities:  365 Days of Inspiration.  Several years ago, his book Off Balance:  Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction was another one of his books that was great.   These, too, are available on Amazon. 

Did you read any books last year that will help you in your business life or in your personal life?  I guarantee you that reading about your profession, as well as your personal and professional life, will bring you much more income than watching the hot series on TV.  Think about it.

As MK and I authored our book, Diagnosed: Inspirational Stories After an Alarming Medical Diagnosis, we achieved a new level of understanding about what others are faced with and what their priorities become in life.  I was emailing a close friend last night and she shared with me what her friend is going through with brain cancer. 

His diagnosis was just over a year ago.  He was told he had 15 – 18 months to live.  Every day his abilities to speak and recall events are diminishing.  A good friend of theirs is taking him on a trip to help the last days of his life be as stress-free and as much fun as possible.

At one point I hate to admit that I was a workaholic.  My father was a workaholic.  My frenetic schedule led to a divorce.  And, looking back, I spent so much time trying to support a family and give us what I thought we needed, and everyone wanted, that I missed some of the most important moments of my children’s younger lives.

This brings us right back to yearly goals.

Because MK and I do this list together – it is OUR goals.  Not just mine.  Not just hers.  It is so powerful to build the list with your spouse or sig other as it ensures you are in alignment.

Make sure under each bullet point that you put ALL the items you have as a goal.  Not just one.  Example:  Say you have 5 different areas you are working on for your physical health.  Write them all down with specificity.  Don’t simply write down “lose weight.”  How are you going to do this?  Cut back on calories.  Go to the gym.  Walk 2 miles per day.  Etc.

Happy New Year.  Remember it is your choice to lay out a plan for a great year.  Make it outstanding!

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