With Goals, Size Doesn’t Matter. Progress Does.

In the TV series MAS*H’s episode entitled “A War for All Seasons” the show begins with the cast ringing in 1951. We see snippets showing the year’s progression. The corn Father Mulcahy grows. The scarf Margaret knits turns into a blanket. The episode ends with Colonel Potter saying may the new year “be a damn sight better” than the old one. I found myself saying that prayer last New Year’s and this one. That’s my prayer for 2022 that it’s better than 2021. Then I realized it’s up to everyone do our part to ensure the year is better.

 

 

To me, that means working to improve and grow along with trying to better the world around me, even if it’s only in small ways. That understanding brought up a phrase I dread—goal setting, a task that has always been difficult for me. The whole concept of SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound or trackable items—makes my head hurt. Then thinking about creating career, personal, and financial ones short-circuits my brain right now. But then something in my Pinterest feed spoke to me.

 

 

From savvyscot.com

My hope is doing these things will become part of my routine. Things like learning new skills, visiting places, reading difficult books, and eating new foods will broaden my horizons, challenge my mind, and keep me out of ruts (Boy do I hate leaving my comfort zone. I mean it’s called a comfort zone for a reason.) For writing something important I’m going to write down my memories, thoughts, those supposed “words of wisdom” for my children, and what people I love have meant to me. This goes along with one item I’m adding to my list, to voice gratitude often and liberally. As for good deeds, often those  simply come down to treating my fellow humans with respect, dignity and kindness. Which brings me to the second item I’m adding–to show extra compassion, understanding, and kindness to those whose views differ from mind. To remember that we are still a team in this adventure called life when one rises, we all do. We’d all be better off if we remembered that and acted accordingly.

This year I’ll be reminding myself that nothing on actions need to be huge. In fact, they can be as simple holding the door for someone, letting someone with only one item go ahead of you in line, or telling someone you appreciate her. One thing I’ve learned is small changes can have a huge impact. Maybe even more so in these trying times we’re navigating. Never forget that, and here’s to 2022 being a damn sight better than 2021. We can make it a reality. Now I’m off to break my bad habit of not finishing all the projects I start.

To be entered in today’s giveaway for the Be Wild Be Brave T-shirt and a signed copy of Family Ties leave a comment on the one thing you want to concentrate on resolution wise in 2022.

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Julie Benson has written five novels for Harlequin American, and her Wishing, Texas series is available from Tule Publishing. Now that her three sons have left the nest in Dallas, when she isn't writing, Julie spends her time working on home improvement projects, rescuing dogs, and visiting Texas wineries with her husband. Visit her at www.juliebenson.net.

55 thoughts on “With Goals, Size Doesn’t Matter. Progress Does.”

    • Denise, thanks for being here. Practicing kindness when others aren’t is hard. I try to remember what a pastor once told me. It’s almost always because something else is going on with a person’s life. If I remember that, I say a prayer that whatever’s got them so upset eases. That way I feel empathy rather than anger. Take care, stay safe, and have a blessed 2022.

      Reply
      • That is so true. The transference of ones feelings toward another is the root of a lot of rudeness. Extending grace is hard, I know my first reaction is to hit back verbally, but I also know walking away from it is better.

        Happy New Year!

  1. My word for the year is kindness. I am not able to physically help someone due to being disabled, but I can show kindness to others especially those who are having a tough day. We all have them. God gave me grace so I need to extend it to others. Happy New Year.

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    • Debbie, you don’t have to help physically to help. I think praying for people and for God to heal their heart can work wonders. How can we hate someone if we realize something or someone has damaged their heart and we pray for their healing? And don’t we all have tough days and need a little extra kindness and forgiveness? Goodness that’s for sure. May your 2022 be filled with blessings.

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    • C..D. I’m working on that one, too. Life trauma tends to impact my creativity, too. My body puts all my energy into surviving and there’s nothing left for other things. Do what you can and don’t beat yourself up for what you can’t accomplish. Celebrate every success, no matter how small. You might check brainsync.com. The site has some wonderful things to listen to that help release stress, enhance creativity, ,etc. I’m having an old age moment, but an uber big author told me about the site and she used it all the time. (I think it was a Jo who died within the last couple years. It’s driving me crazy I can’t think of her name now!) Take care and I’ll pray 2022 bring you the clarity you need.

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    • Rhonda, wow, what a wonderful thought! I never considered how different offering grace and advice are until you said this. Your resolution is going straight onto my daily practices to live by list! Thank you so much for this. If we’d all practice this think of how different our world would be! I wish I had the ability to make something go viral because this sentiment/practice needs to do just that. Thank you for being here today, and may your 2022 be filled with blessings and grace.

      Reply
    • That’s one I need to do more, too. Every year I say I’ll walk more and sit less, but somehow I never manage to put it into practice. You’d think I’d do plenty of walking with having my own dogs and fostering them, but sadly no. I suspect I need to get up earlier every morning and walk before I do anything else, but I can’t bring myself to do that. Here’s to both of us walking more. Thanks for being here today and may your 2022 be blessed.

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  2. I love those goals. If you dont mind I would like to copy them. this year one thing I would like to focus on is: getting my health on an even footing. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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    • Lori, feel free to copy them. In the caption under the image is a link to the original post on savvy.com. I don’t know why these particular goals spoke to me, but they really did and I’ve thought a lot about them. They’ve made me create a daily practices to live by list. Good luck with getting healthy. Everything starts with us being healthy. I’ve worked on that for the last few years. I’ve greatly reduced my sugar intake. My doctor thought my lingering issues could be from gluten sensitivity. Apparently a huge percent of people are gluten sensitive and don’t realize it! Since before Thanksgiving I’ve been gluten free. What I’ve mainly noticed is I’m not as congested at night and the fluid in my ears has finally cleared up. Also my indigestion, gas, heartburn, and acid issues have disappeared. Getting healthy is rarely easy, but it’s worth it. Thanks for being here today and may your 2022 be blessed.

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    • Debra, goodness I need to add that to my list! Patience has never been my strong suit. I’ve seen a meme that says “Lord give me patience right now!” That’s so me. I have more patience now than before I had children, but it’s still not great. May we both have success with developing more patience in 2022. Thank you for stopping by today.

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    • Teresa, I agree that we will probably need to adjust to a new normal now. With the way nature (and viruses) adapt and mutate to survive COVID may be with us for a long time. People need to realize science like this in nature always wins whether we acknowledge and believe it or not. We can’t simply will it away. I think both patience, adaptability, wisdom and perseverance will all play into how happy we are and how we do. Thank you for stopping by the corral and may you have a blessed 2022.

      Reply
  3. Happy New Year!
    My resolution is to try to be more patient with people especially my 97 yo mom. I want to stop and think before I say something that might hurt them.

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    • Laurie, stopping and thinking before we speak is always a good thing. That’s what’s bad about social media. People type something and hit post/send before they think. Another good one that goes along with thinking before speaking is talk less and listen more. I’m trying to do more of both of those. Thank you for being here. Take care and may you be blessed in 2022.

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    • Trudy, with that goal so many others will take care of themselves. If we do as you suggest, how can we act with anything but kindness, grace, forgiveness, and respect? It all starts with Christ. Thank you for reminding us of that. Take care and have a blessed 2022.

      Reply
    • Anne, what a wonderful sentiment and action to focus on. You can’t go wrong. I’m amazed how much I receive when I give to others. Thank you for stopping by today. Take care, stay safe, and have a blessed 2022.

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  4. My heart’s desire is to keep nurturing my faith and growing in my relationship with Christ. Encouraging others especially those who are going through breast cancer. Travel more too. You asked for one thing … but I had to mention three. Love you Julie! Hope you are doing well.

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    • Kathy, nurturing our faith makes everything else possible. It totally changes our outlook and enables us to react to others with compassion, understanding and grace. My issue this year is supporting/helping those dealing with aging parents. I’m seeing so many people weary from trying to juggle a job, their own family life, and assisting aging parents. They feel as if they’re failing at everything and there’s never enough to go around. Dementia in its various forms is such a terrible disease and is incredibly hard to deal with, and with people living longer, we’re forced to cope with the affects for ore years than ever. Love you, too, dear lady. May 2022 bring as much love back to you as you give to others.

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    • Ella, it’s funny that you mention empathy. I’m working at Starbucks right now. Someone was here a while ago and lost it when the staff said they were only giving straws if someone ordered a Frappuccino because they were so low on straws. The customer unloaded on the manager, a dear friend. Afterwards, I talked with her about how sometimes reacting with empathy will de-escalate situations like that. So often we simply want to be heard and understood, especially when we’re in pain. We’d all be better off if we reacted with empathy first instead of anger. Thank you for reminding us about showing empathy. Take care and have a blessed 2022.

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    • Karen I think nowadays we all need to work harder to do that. The world and our blood pressure would be much better off if we did. Take care, stay safe, and have a blessed 2022.

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    • Connie, that was a change my husband and I made a few years ago. It takes more planning but it has been well worth it. You can do it! I’m eating more vegetables now that we buy fresh. I put them on a cookie sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then pop them in the oven for 15-20. Easy and they taste wonderful! Thanks for stopping by today.

      Reply
  5. I truly want to be the best person I can be, with the assist of Our Lord and Savior. Times I see an opportunity to be of assistance and I become shy. That is something I am not is shy – at my age. Help me to reach out to family and share myself to keep our family circle warm and welcoming. Sometimes I take on too many tasks and I have to learn to say “Not at this time.” Spreading the Gospel is top priority which I do daily of Facebook.

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  6. I want to concentrate more on being present, which means I need to be more diligent to put my phone down sintead of mindlessly scrolling.

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    • Megan, I need to do that more too. When I get stressed I play games on my phone. I need to start walking instead! May we both have success in putting down our phone in 2022. Take care and stay safe.

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    • That’s exactly what I want to do. Focus on today’s blessings. Be present and listen. So important in this crazy, loud world.

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    • Colleen, we could all use more calm in our lives. I think we’ve all had enough excitement and changes to last for a while. Take care, stay safe, and may 2022 be much calmer for all of us!

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  7. What I need to do more than anything is to clear up the clutter in my house and in my email account (114,000 unread and I can’t catch up even deleting hundreds every night. There are some I need to deal with that I haven’t found yet, so I can’t just delete all.). If I could accomplish this, there would be so much less pressure.

    Reply

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