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The One Thing I Do at the Beginning of Each Year

Tuesday, I blogged about a ritual I perform at the end of every year, for the last twenty-eight years. Today, I will share with you a second ritual I do, as a follow up. It enables me to enter a new year “on purpose.”  After I invest a morning reviewing the previous year, I spend the second half of the day previewing the new year. Once again, I think, I write and I pray as I open a new chapter of my life.

I don’t simply create a list of goals, although some of the items I will list below feel a lot like a “goal.” I like to view it as an “action” list and a “standard” list. What are the actions I plan to take, and what are the standards I plan to live by over the next year?

New Year's Resolutions

Here are the issues I address to create the goals, actions and standards for 2014:

  1. What are my greatest dreams for 2014?  What projects will these dreams require of me? What daily actions must I engage in to fulfill them?
  2. What standards will I live by, throughout the next year:
    • Health Standards
    • Family Standards
    • Financial Standards
    • Friendship Standards
    • Personal / Spiritual Standards
  3. In what areas of my life do I most want to grow in 2014?
  4. What books will I read this next year to achieve those growth goals?
  5. What mentors will I seek out to achieve those growth goals?
  6. What magazines will I scan and file to achieve those growth goals?
  7. What events will I attend to achieve those growth goals?
  8. What podcasts (audio recordings) will I listen to, to help me grow?
  9. What will I do Monday through Friday to be intentional about my growth?

I want to be better in January of 2014 than I was January 2013. To do this, I have found that the issue is not prioritizing your schedule but rather scheduling your priorities.  This means I must put into my calendar those things I say are the most important habits and attitudes I can embrace. Our character is simply made up of the habits and attitudes we possess daily.



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  1. Gene M. Kelly Jr. on January 2, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Tim: I have always admired your work. I am going to call my resolutions, “absolutions”, because they absolutely have to happen this year.

    • Tim Elmore on January 2, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Love the commitment Gene and new word to use! Thank you for sharing!

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The One Thing I Do at the Beginning of Each Year