Let’s Talk with Cheryl Hollon

Just One Goal

by Cheryl Hollon

For my New Year’s Resolution, I’ve given up New Year’s Resolutions.

At this time of year, most of us have a list of resolutions that read a bit like this:

Save Money
Lose Weight
Make New Friends
Find Love

Every January, I would bring out my programming and organizational skills and set up clear, measurable, and achievable goals by splitting them up into smaller tasks to be achieved monthly, weekly, daily – you get the drift. That worked well until about the middle of February when something would happen to send me off track and I never got back. The next thing – it’s New Year’s again.

For the past few years, I’ve used a new approach for self-improvement goals. I only set one goal for the year. Yes, just one. And, even more anti-analysis, it isn’t particularly measurable.

I started this about five years ago when I was trying to get an agent and struggling to write while working full time. Getting to the ONE thing that might help me, I came up with WRITE EVERYDAY. That’s it. No word count targets. No totaling up time spent. Nothing else but simply to write every single day. Yes or No.

Last year’s goal was BE KIND. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Not if you have a quick retort to almost any remark that, you can probably guess, might not be particularly kind. I wanted to fix that. I reminded myself in e-mails, conversations, and especially in the middle of family drama to BE KIND. I’m a more thoughtful person this year because I thought more about what I said.

This year I’m going to work on FOCUS. I have a tendency to be easily distracted and can start more than a dozen tasks without making much progress on any of them. By limiting my focus on what really must be done – in good time – I think I can achieve more with less stress.

If you selected only ONE goal for 2019, what would it be?

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  1. My goal-is to stay positive. and be thankful for what we do have. . Its hard to do with a sick spouse and little money. I try to thank God every day for something that is good.

    • cherylhollon says

      Caregiver is the most challenging role you’ll ever have. I think it is much harder than motherhood, but then I had wonderful sons.

  2. My one goal would be to live with joie de vivre (joy of life) this year. I tend to worry too much. Life is meant to be joyful.

    • cherylhollon says

      That’s a great phrase. If I FOCUS enough this year, maybe I can choose that one next year. This year will simplify so many things, we’re moving out of an old house into a new apartment and shedding so much stuff that had collected. I’m heading for a lighter life.

  3. Cheryl,
    I love your past and present goals. I don’t set any New Year’s resolutions any longer. I just do the best that I can. I suppose that’s a goal in itself.

  4. Maggie Toussaint says

    My days of busy-ness haven’t wrapped up, even though I’ve handed off some major responsibilities, and some days it feels like I might never get caught up. Having never thought about having a one-overarching phrase before, it didn’t take long for me to know what I needed to focus on. My phrase for this year is “Take a deep breath.”

    • cherylhollon says

      Maggie, I LOVE that! I feel much the same way when I repeat my word/phrase of the year. I’m shedding extra jobs as fast as I can, but whew — it is really tough. Good Luck!

  5. A focus of mine could be to Do The Things That Matter. Does it matter in the long run how many hours you spend per day on social media? Not really. Is it something that will help your family when you’re gone? Is it on the list of things to do while you’re still here and healthy? I need to spend less time on the computer and more time decluttering.

    • cherylhollon says

      That’s a good one. I’m only a month into this FOCUS and I’ve got the word taped everywhere. Sigh… it’s going to take awhile.

  6. In line with your “Be Kind,” Something I learned at work – the QTIP method (Quit Taking It Personally). When someone snaps at me, consider their walk. The reason they’re snapping might not be my fault, I’m just the closest outlet, so your “be kind” goal offers that person a vent without stirring up more controversy.

    • cherylhollon says

      I had to repeat that phrase more times last year than I thought would be needed, but it’s a habit now. I’m glad I did that one.

  7. Record more family history.

    • cherylhollon says

      Oh my goodness, what a wonderful goal. I’ve taken to having a notebook handy when I talk to my mother. She’s 92 and loves to talk about the past. PRICELESS!

  8. Mine is PATIENCE. I’m working on it. Patiently.

    • cherylhollon says

      I love that. My mother used to say in exasperation, “Lord, give me patience, NOW!” I giggled every time.