It’s a Brand-New Year and here we go again!

Mari Almon, Director of Advertising for Homeschool Buyers Co-op, lives in central Florida. Married to Steve, they are both thrilled that their two children, Liz and Jon, had the opportunity to graduate high school from home. In her spare time Mari enjoys traveling, hiking, fishing, and perennial gardening. To reach Mari, email her at

We often make resolutions in January promising ourselves that we’ll follow through. Almost all of us have promised ourselves we would achieve something in the new year at one time or another. Often by February though, our resolutions have been forgotten at the bottom of our to-do list. If our goals were lofty, then we may find ourselves discouraged and maybe a bit disenchanted.

Setting a successful resolution involves utilizing goal setting skills, some realistic questioning and a bit of discipline. The first question to ask yourself is this, “is what I want to change something that I can control through my own behavior?” Here is what I mean. You may be able to control your own eating habits, but you do not have direct control over your husband’s or children’s eating habits even if you purchase and prepare the food.

An important part of goal setting is to prioritize what is most important. Most all of us would like to make several resolutions but for maximum success, keep your list short. Focus on only one or two things at the most.

Pick a specific goal, then figure out how to tackle it. Create a roadmap for success. I recommend working backwards to figure this out. For example, you know that your goal is to save $1,200.00 this year for a vacation in 2019. Your steps to achieve this may contain some of these ideas: Examine all your sources of current income; list all your outgoing expenses including groceries; look seriously at all your discretionary spending. This is typically all the cash transactions that we spend quickly without a lot of thought, like buying a cup of coffee or a small lunch, dinner, and snacks. Most of us spend a lot of unaccounted dollars daily. Learning this amount typically will take a week or two of moment by moment tracking to get an accurate feel for how much is spent this way. Once you are comfortable with an amount, do the math to see what’s left over. This is what you have left to save UNLESS you decide to spend less in one of your categories or earn more income. I am sure I’ve left some important steps out, but hopefully, you get the idea. Create a roadmap for success for whatever goal you shoot for.

Try not to be too obsessed but be realistic with your ambition. Ask yourself if you are willing to change or try new things to achieve your goal. As much as we might like to hide our resolutions, just in case we fail, if we really want a better chance at success, then becoming accountable to someone will help. Share the burden and successes with someone you trust.

Whatever you endeavor to do, keep in mind that you are changing and growing. This is a new journey and a process. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a setback. Every day is a new day and you can always get back on track. Celebrate your successes and reward yourself.

I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year!

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