Oprah Winfrey has a famous quote she's mentioned on several occasions that she borrowed from one of her beloved friends, Maya Angelou:
"When we know better, we do better."
Isn't that the truth! It is such a simple yet powerful statement. This year, of all the personal and business goals I have set for myself, the most important one is to do better with the knowledge I have. Better than what you might ask? Better than the last year, the last week, the last time, better than before. I want to ask even more questions and research deeper for answers when the need arises, I want to save more money this year than I did last year because the economy is always uncertain and investing in my family's future instead of the 'here and now' will never be a wrong choice.
I want to exercise harder, eat even healthier because I know what great benefits doing so has upon my life. I want to be an even better friend this year than I have in the past to those that I call my friends. This means listening more, speaking less and arranging more catch up phone dates with long-distance friends.
I know better when it comes to procrastination and as I mentioned in this post, procrastination isn't pretty and it's one of my weaknesses. While I do get a lot done in the average day there are also things I put on the back burner that get pushed aside over and over again (usually because they are things I don't enjoy doing like taxes) and eventually turn into something much bigger or more expensive than they once started out.
With all of this will come more self-discipline, less entertainment time, more writing time, more work and marketing of my business, better planning as well as smarter time management and prioritization.
I believe one of the most important discoveries in life is that of personal growth. The truth is that there are so many times that we all do KNOW better but we don't use that information to DO better almost out of habit. This happens whenever we choose the french fries over the salad, working during the weekend vs. spending time with our spouse and/or kids, watching TV vs. working towards a goal, or buying a new pair of shoes instead of investing it into our savings account.
Now, obviously this doesn't mean that I'm aiming for perfection or going to completely deprive myself for the next year or forever, nor should anyone, but it does mean I'm going to start challenging myself to make better decisions with the powerful knowledge and resources that I have (and that we all have). Because, at the end of the day the most disappointment in my own life comes from not making the best choices that I could have and from frittering away time on things that are less important than other bigger goals and dreams. Procrastinating on a Sunday night by watching a movie or pulling out my scrapbook supplies is fun and has a place but in the grand scheme of things it isn't really helping me achieve my life goals.
So, no more sticking to a long list of what I'd like to accomplish and then reflecting on it Dec.31st only to realize that I've missed the mark and get frustrated as a result. My yard stick for success and growth this year will be doing better with the toolbox I have and although mistakes will still be made along the way, I'm looking forward to the journey.
How about YOU? What are you planning to change or do differently this year than you did the last? What is your ultimate goal this year?