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Evaluating Resolutions and Goals Partway Through The Year

Updated on July 7, 2017
"There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream." ~ Unknown
"There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream." ~ Unknown | Source

Three Quarters of the Way Through the Year

I like to re-evaluate my New Year's resolutions and goals at least a couple of times a year. It is encouraging to see how far I have come along, and to establish what I need to focus on moving forward.

Do you evaluate your goals periodically?

See results

Contents:

  • Poll on evaluating your goals. Feel free to participate
  • Origins of the tradition of New Year's resolutions
  • The benefits of setting goals
  • A link to an inspiring article on goals
  • Re-evaluating goals
  • The 8 key areas of life
  • Table: examples of goals in each of the eight categories
  • Walking can be a great exercise in reflection, illustrated by photos
  • Looking back 4 years later
  • Entertaining videos on New Year's resolutions

Feel free to comment at the bottom. I enjoy feedback from my readers!

The Origins of the Tradition of New Year's Resolutions

The Benefits of Setting Goals

I know some people are not thrilled with the idea of making resolutions, and many are discouraged. Sometimes our good intentions fall by the wayside as life "gets in the way". But here are some of the benefits of making goals:

  • It's a great way to take charge of your life
  • It gives you more of a focus on things that are important to you
  • It helps you to visualize your success
  • It increases your awareness of your strengths and weaknesses
  • It is motivating
  • It gives you accountability
  • It helps improve your performance and productivity
  • It increases your confidence
  • It gives you a sense of purpose and direction
  • It gives you a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment

To see these benefits, you have to not only set goals, but have the desire to accomplish them. It's important to take action toward attaining your goals.

"Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too, can become great." ~ Mark Twain

The 8 Key Areas of Life

There are an endless supply of goals that can be made, but these are some of the basic areas of life:

  1. Mental
  2. Physical
  3. Family
  4. Social
  5. Spiritual
  6. Career
  7. Financial
  8. Hobbies and Interests

Re-Evaluating Goals

After 8 months, hopefully you have accomplished at least some of what you set out to do. But if you haven't done as good as you had hoped, don't worry- there's another three months left of the year! There's time, but the trick is to figure out what is the most important to you.

This is what I think about at this point:

  • What have I accomplished from my list of goals so far?
  • What did I accomplish that I didn't even write down?
  • What did I do that went above and beyond my plans?
  • What could I improve upon?
  • What didn't I accomplish at all?

Looking at what I haven't yet accomplished:

  • What is no longer a priority? Don't feel bad about tossing out some of your previous goals. Our lives continuously change, and what may seem important at one point may be completely irrelevant later on
  • At this point in my life, which of the remaining goals need to be worked on? Which ones are the most important?

Previously unwritten:

Thinking about where I want my life to go during the next few months, I decide on new goals to add to my list. They don't necessarily need to be attained by the end of the year, but it's good to get a "head start" on next year. As good as it feels to attain new year's resolutions, it can feel even better to get started on things that can be very valuable the following year. Just remember not to overwhelm yourself with goals, or you'll defeat the whole purpose of this exercise!

Breakdown:

Appreciate your accomplishments, make improvements on partially completed tasks, maintain ongoing goals, and work on the ones that are your main priorities (old and new).

Another thing I like to do is to incorporate something fun into my goals. Make it a habit to incorporate something from the hobbies and interests category into your New Year's Resolutions or goals, and you won't dread accomplishing them!

Examples of Goals in Each Category

Mental
Physical
Family
Social
Take college courses
Cut down on junk food
Spend more time with family
Get out to meet new people
Enlarge vocabulary
Exercise more
Call family to chat more often
Be friendly to others
Do writing exercises
Go to the doctor
Write letters to loved ones more often
Interact with others in online communities
Stop worrying so much
Drink plenty of water
Keep up with them on my social networks
 
Read great literature
Get more sleep
Nurture existing friendships
 
 
 
Rediscover old friends
 
Spiritual
Career
Financial
Hobbies & Interests
Be a better person
Work hard
Find more ways to make money
Learn about and practice poetry
Be more helpful to others
Be accurate
Learn to effectively budget money
Delve into photography
Be kind and charitable
Learn new skills
Create a savings nest egg
Learn how to code
Be thankful and appreciative
Find a new job that has great potential
Become financially independent
Plant a garden
Listen to people
 
Learn how to invest
Get better at drawing
 
 
Start a retirement account
Cook a new meal every month

Walking Can Be a Great Exercise in Reflection

I frequently go on walks in my South Boston neighborhood, and it is a great time to reflect on my life. It is also a very enjoyable experience that has been most helpful to me as I try to determine which direction I want to take my life in, and where I want to go. Whenever I go out, I bring my journal and camera, so I can record and photograph some of the beautiful moments of my life.

The photos below are from one of my walks during an early morning stroll around sunrise. I hope you enjoy them, as well as the comparison between walking and life.

The Journey of Life Is Like A Long Walk

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Toward the beginning of the walk, you see how far you plan on going. It can be beautiful, hopeful and awe-inspiringPay attention to life around you, and be open to possibilities and experiencesDawn is a beautiful time of day. Everything is quiet, except for the sounds of naturePartway across the causeway~ there's plenty of place to relax and reflect before moving onResting can be a great way to rechargeTaking a look back at how far you've come can be a positive experience Look at what is out thereNotice how far you have come, and how much enjoyment you have gotten out of itThere will be turbulence around you. The water may not always be calm and sereneTake time to notice the beauty around you, and take pleasure in the small things
Toward the beginning of the walk, you see how far you plan on going. It can be beautiful, hopeful and awe-inspiring
Toward the beginning of the walk, you see how far you plan on going. It can be beautiful, hopeful and awe-inspiring | Source
Pay attention to life around you, and be open to possibilities and experiences
Pay attention to life around you, and be open to possibilities and experiences | Source
Dawn is a beautiful time of day. Everything is quiet, except for the sounds of nature
Dawn is a beautiful time of day. Everything is quiet, except for the sounds of nature | Source
Partway across the causeway~ there's plenty of place to relax and reflect before moving on
Partway across the causeway~ there's plenty of place to relax and reflect before moving on | Source
Resting can be a great way to recharge
Resting can be a great way to recharge | Source
Taking a look back at how far you've come can be a positive experience
Taking a look back at how far you've come can be a positive experience | Source
Look at what is out there
Look at what is out there | Source
Notice how far you have come, and how much enjoyment you have gotten out of it
Notice how far you have come, and how much enjoyment you have gotten out of it | Source
Source
There will be turbulence around you. The water may not always be calm and serene
There will be turbulence around you. The water may not always be calm and serene | Source
Take time to notice the beauty around you, and take pleasure in the small things
Take time to notice the beauty around you, and take pleasure in the small things | Source
Someday I want to ride in a blimp (airship). I see them floating over the city, and they seem so cool!
Someday I want to ride in a blimp (airship). I see them floating over the city, and they seem so cool! | Source
I take pleasure in the small things, including gazing at the moon.
I take pleasure in the small things, including gazing at the moon. | Source

Some of My Own Goals As Life Has Changed Drastically

My own life has changed quite a bit this year. I have had some very positive things happen, as well as some that most would consider negative. If you had asked me what I thought of it a couple of months ago, I would have thought it bad, as well. But in reality, this is just a stepping stone to something different. I can't call my life bad, when I hear so many sad and devastating stories of what others are going through at this time, or have been through. It is all a matter of perspective, and I like to believe that I can make my life great, as long as I put in the effort. The experiences I have had over the past few years have been invaluable, and I don't regret any of it.

Since my life has changed, so have my priorities. At the beginning of this year, I wanted to learn how to code (it's completely different than anything else I have done, and is basically like learning a new language). I also wanted to finish writing a book I started years ago. But since my time is limited, I will put those off until next year. Instead, I will focus most of my effort on:

  • Enjoying Boston while I am still here
  • Moving back to Connecticut
  • Working enough to pay my bills and save money, as I will be living on my own for the first time since 2007 (and the second time in my life). For me, becoming financially independent is not only something that is desirable, it is necessary
  • Learning to live more frugally, and within my means
  • Managing my money well
  • Budgeting my time effectively

On the heels of this year, I want to:

  • Get a more sustainable job
  • Buy a car

Looking Back Four Years Later

Reading this article many years later, I am happy with how far my life has come since then. I recognized my hurdles at that point as something that could potentially be life changing in a positive way, and I was correct. The last few months of that year were a challenge, but I did in fact move back to Connecticut, established my financial independence and enjoyed my life as it was. I had a part time job to hold me over until I found a more substantial one, and I stretched my dollars and made it work.

Many of the goals I have set for myself have come to fruition in the years since then, and I look forward to accomplishing more in the years to come. Good luck with your goals and resolutions, and please enjoy what you already have.

An Amusing Song About New Year's Resolutions

These Friends' Resolutions Are Great!

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    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Eddy,

      You're welcome, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      You're so sweet :)

      I hope you have a wonderful day. And that reminds me, I have missed many of your beautiful hubs. I will visit your page now.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Poetryman,

      Thanks, I appreciate your kind words. I had fun putting this together.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      DDE,

      I completely agree with you. I like this positive and productive way of life.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Joe,

      I enjoyed Liz's hub, and felt it was perfect as a supplement to my own!

      This reminds me, I need to get back to Bubblews and see what posts of yours I have missed. I am over there sporadically, but I do like it there.

      Good luck with your own goals, no matter what time of the year they are made. You do well!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Flourish,

      I completely agree with you, and always enjoy a little self-reflection.

      Thanks for commenting, and I am sorry for taking so long to respond! Somehow I never got back to a whole slew of comments!

      Have a great day.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Randi,

      Thank you so much. I put a lot into this, and enjoyed putting everything together.

      I actually started putting together something to go with this for the new year, but I have too many projects on the table right now!

      Have a great day, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Janet,

      Thanks, I appreciate your kind comments about my writing style. I am glad I found my passion for writing again, too. A few months were very difficult for me, but these last few have nearly made up for them. Life is settling into a new familiarity, and is improving immensely. I take it one day at a time, and hope for the best while trying to control aspects of my life that I can.

      Have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Careermommy,

      I'm glad your hubby Is so into goal setting, and that it has worn off on you. I think it can be very motivating!

      Thanks, I appreciate your kind comments. I definitely put a lot into this piece, and I am glad it shows.

      I am sorry for taking so long to respond.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Pamela,

      I set goals more than just on new year's, I just tend to feel very motivated when a fresh new year comes along. But setting goals no matter when and where it is are a good thing!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I apologize for taking so long to respond.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Romeos Quill,

      Even if it seems a bit pagan, I am still very into goal-setting. We may not have complete control over life, but I like to make sure I am on the right path when it comes to what I can control, rather than letting myself coast along. But that is just me. I know some people are not into the whole resolution-setting deal.

      Thanks for sharing your view on this subject, and I apologize for taking so long to respond.

      I have become even more upbeat since this post, as life is settling into a new familiarity, and I know that being on my own is something that I can handle. After being with someone for so long, it can be hard to start using my "independence muscles" again, but it feels great. Actually, I feel better about myself now that I am living life this way.

      Have a great day.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Cygnetbrown,

      Doing it quarterly is a good way to go, because then enough time has lapsed to see any progress or problems that have come along, so that the next quarter you can improve upon them. I think it can also be encouraging to see how we have come along.

      I feel the same way. I always get fired up when I evaluate my goals. It's very motivating!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I apologize for taking so long to respond. Somehow I put off answering comments back when I was busy, and didn't remember to come back.

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Dream On,

      Thanks for your complimentary comment! I am glad this is an inspiration to you, and that you liked the pictures. I always spend time trying to figure out what photos to use, as I think they add some visual interest to my pieces.

      I agree, we are constantly improving. I think that is one part of life that is interesting to be aware of.

      Have a wonderful day, and I really enjoy your own posts. Your poems are different than any other I have seen, and remind me of the "stream-of-conscience" pieces I used to write (or is it conscious? Those two words always get me mixed up, I am embarrassed to say).

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a wonderful day.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzie,

      I didn't realize I never responded to so many comments. Oops!

      I enjoy making the traditional New Years resolutions, but I also like to think outside of the box, and check back partway through the year to acknowledge my process.

      Time has passed, so I have probably answered many of your questions. After a few months, I have settled into life on my own, renting a room in an old house in Connecticut. I still get along with my housemates, enjoy getting to know my "new" boyfriend I met back in November, and work is going well. At the moment I am trying to find a way to get a car, so life will be easier.

      I hope your own life has settled down a bit, and that you are okay. Take care, my friend.

      ~ Kathryn

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 3 years ago

      Your hub is quite an inspiration to me. I am always making goals and lists and sometimes it becomes overwhelming . I found to look back and stay focused and have fun with everything we do. Remember we are always improving even if it isn't up to what are expectations were. I personally loved your pictures and you tube videos that made it complete.Have a great day.

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      Re-evaluating our lives is so important if we want to do more than tread water. Revisiting my overall plan is something that I try to do quarterly rather than every New Year. I find that every time I start again as I do every time I revisit my plan, I am again fired up and ready to master those goals.

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      An interesting Hub you have here, dear Katherine. The goal-setting is very motivational, and realistic - New Years' resolutions? Always felt a bit pagan to me, and find it nigh on impossible to compartmentalize things beyond human control - Proverbs 16:9 springs to mind:-

      " A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. " ( King James Bible), and,

      Proverbs 20:24:-

      "Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way? " ( King James Bible ).

      Glad to hear you're so upbeat Katherine, and you're so positive. Thanks for a fascinating read, and sincerely hope your hearts' desires materialize for you, as you are such a decent woman. :)

      With Kindest Regards,

      R.Q.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 3 years ago from United States

      I do not actually make New Year's resolutions, but I do set goals for myself. I think your article is very inspiring as I don't reevaluate the goals as often as I should.I do stay busy forward however, in a very much enjoyed your hub.

    • Careermommy profile image

      Tirralan Watkins 3 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Kathryn, great hub! I'm a big proponent of goal setting, thanks to my hubby, who is the master of goal setting. (-: You put a lot of thought and effort into this piece and shows!

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 3 years ago from Georgia country

      This is a very interesting and useful hub. I have never made any New Year's resolutions but I like to set general goals. I'm so glad that you found your passion for writing again. I love the way you write as your writings always have a personal touch.

      Good luck on your challenge and your new start in Connecticut!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      What a great, comprehensive article, complete with beautiful pivtures and fun clips! Wonderful job! up++

      Good luck with the 10 in 10 challenge!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A great read to enjoy and benefit from. I vote up and thank you for sharing this inspiring hub. You are an inspiration for sure Kathryn.

      Eddy.

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 3 years ago

      interesting and well put together article.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Evaluating Resolutions and Goals Partway Through The Year goals are very important to fulfill and work on a positive way of life indeed.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Kathryn, it's encouraging to see you writing steadily again. Good for you! And what a wonderful hub about setting goals! I like the very well-structured format of your article, and I was happy to see Liz's linked hub here.

      This one inspired me to evaluate the goals I set last December for 2013, and I'm happy to report that I have a lot of work to do. LOL!

      Aloha, my friend! The light's back on in Hubsville!

      ~Joe

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I agree with you that goals are critical to have. If you don't know where you're going, how do you know when you get there (or when you're headed in the wrong direction)? This hub provokes self-reflection. Nicely done.

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn

      I like to make general resolutions now but have in the past made the traditional ones of New Year. I love how honest and practical you make it as so many times we make goals with others in mind and not our true thoughts and ideas. My goals last year for this year fell short and were turned a bit topsy-turvy this year with changes and it affected me greatly.

      Even though I was under pressure somehow I got through it from my writing goal on HP point of view. So good to have you back and the change is noticeable. 2 part-time jobs is awesome, congrats my friend! What are they in? The move sounds good and nice to move to a familiar location too and that bit closer to family. I am an hour driving away from most of my family, an hour and half probably from dad as he is also in Dublin but that bit further south rather than west Dublin.

      So good to see you writing with passion you always bring to your work and your own personal style and personality which is awesome!

      Well done and good luck on your challenge, I KNOW you will succeed!

      Up, useful, awesome, interesting & shared!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      WND,

      I mean computer coding. Oops, I didn't even think to clarify. Medical coding sounds interesting, too, though. I see job postings for that quite often.

      I'm feeling very good, and I am glad that it is obvious by what I write. Sometimes it just takes a while to bounce back.

      Yes, it is nice to be on track, so far. One down, nine to go!

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and for being so supportive. Have a great night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

      You sound very upbeat and I am happy to hear it. Sounds like the old you that we have been reading on HP.

      The code thing has me curious. You mean computer code? or code for medical?

      Great hard work here and I am happy you got a great start on this 10 day challenge.

      Keep up the good work.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Bill,

      I know some people don't like the New Year's Resolutions, and that is one reason I kind of grouped it with goals in general. But most everything I write can be applied to those that don't have a one-year shelf life.

      For me, I find creating goals at the beginning of the year to be very motivating. I have felt that way since I was a kid, although I don't recall what happened to give me that feeling of anticipation once the new year comes.

      Thanks, Bill. I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment. I feel good about writing again, and I think this will be very helpful to me in many ways. I feel more focused, and I am getting more done than usual.

      Have a great night, my friend.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Elizabeth,

      Thanks, that means a lot to me. I absolutely love making goals, so this was a fun post to put together. And the timing of your own hub was so perfect!

      I like your approach. I like writing New Year's resolutions, but I like the idea of just writing general goals, too. They don't always need to have a December 31 deadline.

      The table was fun to make! I actually looked through lists I wrote from each category several years ago for inspiration. I just wanted to give people ideas on what the different categories could hold. Plus, I like tables! I am also huge on organization.

      I definitely want to learn how to code next year! Earlier this year, I did quite a few simple lessons on Ruby on Rails, and even though it's different than what I am used to learning, it felt great to start getting a grasp on something as foreign as that. The site has quite a few other types, too. It would be awesome if I could gain a skill like that, and it would not only be useful, but it would give me confidence, too.

      I love taking photos, and I really hope to become better at it. I'm really happy that my ex-boyfriend is letting me keep the camera I have been using for the past few years, because I wouldn't be able to afford a new one anytime soon.

      Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing. I saw another hub of yours that appeals to me (on organization, actually), and I am going to finish reading it now. Have a great night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent, Kathryn! You have it boiled down to nuts and bolts in this one. I'm not much for New Year's Resolutions...it has a negative connotation for some reason with me....but I'm all about goals. Maybe it's just semantics or some ancient hangup from childhood. LOL Anyway, you are well on your way so keep it up my friend.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      What an AMAZING and truly inspirational hub. And thank you for including a link to mine, so nice of you. I typically don't make a bunch of New Years resolutions as it seems for whatever reason, I can't think of any at that time, however, I make goals all throughout the years, constantly adding, checking off and sometimes deleting if they no longer interest me. I LOVE the table that you created for goal-making. I may use that idea for myself as I am a stickler for organization and that table takes the cake on organization! I love that you're looking to learn code and photography. I learned VB about twelve years ago and it's been a while since I used it, but it was so much fun. I've also dived in with photography this year and I LOVE it. Great hub all around. Voting and sharing all over the place!