Posted by: 2thdocbob | 30 December 2021

Goals or Resolutions? Does It Matter?

As we approach the new year, it’s never too late to start making changes. I happened upon this article in 2018 in our Church’s magazine for youth 12-18 (or to 95: I still like to read it), and really liked the ideas for resolutions. I am reposting it with some revisions of my own.

I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions; there is an implication that they are not serious enough to stick with, even if the intent is good. I have always set goals at my birthday, and review and revise them at the New Year. That’s simply a personal preference, and it really makes no difference when you set your goals, as long as they are done with good intent.

There is a tremendous amount of literature about making goal-setting easy, and many people share three or six or five “quick easy steps to meet your goals this year and find happiness.” Malarkey. If it’s easy, it probably isn’t a meaningful goal. If a goal does not stretch you and push you out of your comfort zone, it may not be a worthwhile goal: you may not grow. But if it’s too challenging, it might discourage you and thwart your overall progress.

In my mind, goals are a means to grow. And my goals can assist in my own growth as well as in others’ growth. That is why this New Era article resonated with me. I have posted it with minor edits (in brackets), including an added seventh goal.

You can read the original article here.


6 New Year’s Resolutions You Probably Never Thought About [Plus One]

Charlotte Larcabal | Church Magazines

Tired of making the same old New Year’s resolutions? Here are [seven]new ideas to make [2022]amazing!

My [2022]New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Eat better.
  2. Get better grades.
  3. Exercise more.

Have any of these goals made your list? Don’t be too surprised if they have—year after year, these are among the most popular New Year’s resolutions. In fact, if you’re like many people, these goals were on your list last year—and the year before that.

For some reason, we keep setting (and oftentimes, not achieving) the same goals year after year. There’s nothing wrong with these goals, and there’s no reason why you can’t accomplish them, but why not shake things up a bit by setting (and meeting) a goal you’ve never thought of before? Here are [seven] new goals that will help make [2022] amazing!

1. Make eye contact with people as you speak with and listen to them.

If you’re looking to make new friends, this is a great goal to set. Don’t overdo it—staring into someone’s eyes for too long (sometimes even for just a little) might make them uncomfortable—but try to look people directly in their eyes as they talk to you. When you meet someone new, notice the color of their eyes. Looking people directly in their eyes sends the message that you see and appreciate who they are. (Read “How to Be a Good Friend.”)

2. Try something new every day!

This doesn’t mean you have to jump into a new hobby every day. Something new can be something little. Never hang up your coat? Hang it up! Always sit with the same people at lunch? Sit with someone new. Even making the smallest changes can lead to amazing new experiences and help you learn new things.

“Fill up your memory bank and your book of life with as many ‘I’m glad I did’ activities as you can possibly crowd into one lifetime,” counseled Elder L. Tom Perry (1922–2015) of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (“Making Memories,” Ensign, Aug. 1993, 63). Don’t let fear, laziness, or a routine keep you from “I’m glad I did” experiences. Surprise yourself! You’ll be glad you did. (Read “How to Discover Your Gifts.”)

3. Look in the mirror every morning and say, “I am a child of God. He loves me and will help me today.”

We think thousands of thoughts every day, and if we’re not careful, many of these can be negative. Repeating a positive, powerful, and hopeful thought to yourself is a great way to keep out all those complaints, criticisms, and fears. Repeating that thought out loud makes it an even more powerful reminder. That fact that you are a child of God, who loves you and will help you, is one of the most positive, powerful, and hopeful thoughts out there! (Watch “Our Divine Destiny.”)

4. Do something besides pull out your phone when you have free time.

What do you do when you’re sitting in class before the bell rings or waiting for your mom to pick you up? Chances are, you pull your phone out. But what if you didn’t?

Set a goal to not pull your phone out every single time you’re bored or waiting. Give your mind time to wander. Look around. Notice things. Bored? Good. You can handle a few minutes of boredom. Creativity can happen when you’re bored.

5. Learn to cook three new meals this year.

Think outside the (cereal) box. Reach for some fresh ingredients and kitchen gadgets and wow your family with your chef skills. Whether you love to cook or aren’t sure what a tsp is, learning a new recipe is always a good idea! You can find someone who cooks well to teach you a few things, or you can find some recipes to try yourself. Don’t forget to clean up! (Read “Self-Reliance: Preparing for Your Future.”)

6. Say “thank you” 10 times a day.

You can make someone’s day by showing them some gratitude, but studies show that being grateful also has a powerful effect on your own mood and well-being. Many people find that the more they focus on things to be grateful for, the happier they are. Want to be happier, healthier, and make someone’s day? Amp up the gratitude. “No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish,” said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency. “There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it” (“Of Regrets and Resolutions,” Oct. 2012 general conference).

Try saying “thank you” 10 times a day. Or finish each day by writing down 10 things you are grateful for. (Read “Live in Thanksgiving Daily.”)

[7. Try to treat everyone kindly, even if you disagree with them.
Our world has always been a challenging place to live in. But during the pandemic, we have faced many new and difficult challenges. Respect for others with differing viewpoints seems to have become passe.

Elder Dale G. Renlund, speaking of the pandemic, said “in some instances, the spiritual stress test [the pandemic] has shown tendencies toward contention and divisiveness. This suggests that we have work to do to change our hearts and to become unified as the Savior’s true disciples. This is not a new challenge, but it is a critical one” (“The Peace of Christ Abolishes Enmity,” Oct. 2021 general conference: see also footnote 4 for additional references).

Jesus Christ explained that His doctrine was not “to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but [that His] doctrine [is] that such things should be done away” (3 Nephi 11:30).

It could be helpful to recall the Primary song that many of us learned as children and repeat the line “Kindness begins with me” (Kindness Begins with Me, Children’s Songbook, #145B).]

It’s in the Doing

There are many, many different things you can do to become a little more like Heavenly Father this year. After all, that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it? Maybe you really are going to practice discipline as you lose weight or save more money this year. Or maybe you want to shake things up and set a brand new goal. Whatever you choose to do, just remember what President Thomas S. Monson has taught: “It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the effort. we must actually make the effort. It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals” (“A Royal Priesthood,” Oct. 2007 general conference).

Happy New Year!


“Our responsibility is to rise from mediocrity to competence, from failure to achievement,” the late President Thomas S. Monson has taught. “Our task is to become our best selves. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no failure ever need be final.”1

This is what meaningful goals are about. The [seven] suggestions above will certainly make a difference in the life of a teenager; they could also make a difference in the life of an adult. [And these changes will have ripple effect because they will certainly affect those around us for the better.]

Does one of these goals resonate with you? Or do they inspire you to set a different goal? Please share!


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