My 2015 Personal Revolution

personal revolution jim morrisonI am not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, mostly because I haven’t been the person who really takes them seriously. Does anyone really exercise more, lose weight, make more money? I haven’t. Or at least not much past January. December would find me in glum panic as I realized that my high hopes in January had simply faded away without notice. Last year I made a decision to find a way to keep track of changes I wanted to make. It made sense that if I kept track of small wins, I might be able to focus on my goals for twelve months.
This is my second year of personal revolution. Last January I chose four categories I wanted to improve in my life. I then made a list of all the changes I wanted to make and aligned them with the overall categories. The resulting grid was my 2014 Personal Revolution. I highlighted one change in each category that was most important.
My categories for 2015 are: Financial Security, Social Choices, Physical Health, Spiritual Awakening.
1. Financial Security is anything to do with my spending habits, budgeting, and savings. I’ve noticed that financial security also spills over into physical health, social choices, and spiritual awakening. I’m much less stressed and feel more in control when I’m following my fiscal plan. I’ve known the sick feeling of overdraft charges or missing payments. Getting control of my finances makes me feel better emotionally as well as in the wallet.
2. Social Choices reflects how I spend my time with others. I need to limit my social outings to two-to-three times per week maximum, and choose to spend time with positive people. My friend choices need to be people who lift me up, not pull me down. I like to be active.
3. For me Physical Health is more than simply weight and exercise. I include nightly sleep goals, daily water intake, bringing my lunch.
4. I’m not overly satisfied with the term Spiritual Awakening, but haven’t come up with anything better. This is the part of me that’s not physical, and includes reading books, letter writing, meditation, writing, gratitude journal, etc. When these parts of me are missing, I am definitely not happy.
“Supporting actions” make these categories happen. Some have remained constant: meditate daily, evaluate friend choices, spend time with positive people, drink 100 ounces water daily, use cash instead of my debit card, stick with my budget. Others have changed to reflect my current situation. I prefer “be active daily” to 300 minutes fitness weekly.
I did not meet all my goals. I didn’t write two letters per month but I wrote several. Opening the mailbox to find handwritten letters from friends means I make the effort on my end. The most profound achievement was locating and contacting two half-siblings I’d never met. My “new” brother and sister are an indescribable blessing. By the end of the year, I hadn’t met my goal of losing 30 pounds but I had taken off (and kept off) 14 pounds. In all categories I definitely made progress. And that makes me happy.
Why do I go to all this trouble? I want to make a difference in my own life. At the end of the 365 new days I’ve been given, I want to feel that I made good use of that gift.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions or goals? Why or why not? If so, what works for you?
For a sample of my Personal Revolution spreadsheet, send me an email request at