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Decisions and goals: resolutions in disguise?

Whew! We made it. Now we just have to get through New Year’s Eve, and we’re home free. It’s almost time to put decorations away and open up the credit card bills that will make our eyes roll back in our heads. Start practicing writing “2015,” start the diet, start the exercise program, make the resolutions.

Oh, yes, for sure it’s resolution time, but sometimes I think it works better to set goals. Good, solid goals can be accomplished, and then you’re finished with them. But in truth, you’re really never finished.

Take diet, for example. If you set a goal to lose 10 pounds, you can do it. But if you resolve to continue eating the way you did to lose those 10 pounds, the outcome is better than saying, “Well, all righty, 10 pounds gone, so let’s get back to the food I love.”

That’s like setting a goal of paying off bills. Out of debt. Yay! Let’s go shopping.

This also is a good time to make decisions. I’m going to decide to either get with the program and look at Facebook more often than every few months, or just get off of it.

It’s time to decide what stuff to get rid of and what to keep.

It’s time to decide on a budget – both time and money.

If you ask people their New Year’s resolutions, many will say they simply don’t make any because they can’t keep them, and it makes them feel bad. Maybe those are the people who should set goals and make decisions. They would wind up making resolutions without even knowing it.

I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Eve and prefer to stay home or be home by 10 p.m. However, I do think it’s a great time to reflect on what has happened in the past year. Take a little time to list the highs and lows of the year and see how things balance out.

Looking at my list, it’s obvious my highs certainly outnumber the lows. My husband and I had a truly memorable trip in September. In June, my granddaughter and I had a great trip, and my precious great-nephew was born. My volunteer work was enjoyable, my freelance writing was fun, my friends and family are healthy.

We all have lows, which make the highs even better. My most difficult thing right now is going through the first Christmas holiday without my mom, who died last December. We are missing her.

The only other low I have is a dislocated right shoulder. I will have surgery Monday. Have you ever tried to fix your hair with only your left hand? If you see me and I have a crewcut, you’ll know why. Considering the health-related problems others are dealing with, however, this is a bump in the road. With surgery and physical therapy, it can be fixed. I wish that were true with others I know.

Either on Dec. 31 or Jan. 1, stop and think about the past year. If you keep a calendar, look back through it and recall the good times. If you have an address book, go through it and see the changes that have to be made because of people moving or moving on.

Most of us are astounded by how fast a year flies by, so it’s good to give 2014 some reflection. Consider things that worked and those that didn’t. Sometimes it’s evident what can change to make your life better. For example, if you see that you had 14 meetings in one week, none of them the same organization or group, it’s time to figure out a way to cut back. It took me years, but I’m doing better on that point.

It’s a new year, a fresh start, and no doubt it will go by just as quickly as 2014 did. Set goals, reflect, make decisions and make resolutions. Do what works for you.

If you do make resolutions, good luck, and remember what author and minister Charles Monroe Sheldon said: “Good resolutions are like babies crying in church. They should be carried out immediately.”

Have a safe and happy New Year.

Reach Bonnie Bing at