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SETTING THE BAR by Anne Elizabeth

As the holiday season draws to a close and the New Year is about to begin, I’d like to share my version of a very common practice – the Resolution List.  In our home, the Navy values of “honor, courage, and commitment” are key forces.  Since we are like most couples – both of us work, we have a lot of family, and scheduling is tight – we try to implement organization when and where it is practical.

Here’s my process: I sit down with a blank piece of paper and pencil to write out my greatest hopes and dreams for the coming year.

"Non Sibi Sed Patriae!" (Not for self, but country) ~ a US Navy Motto

Step One: For country and state: This is usually my loftiest goal area, and yet, somehow it ends up being one of the more successful realms.  Some of the items on my list may be small such as writing more letters and others may be larger such as helping more wounded warriors and disabled veterans to feel at home or settled in our area.  Whatever the aspiration, hope, or desire, I make sure it is on the page. 
I’ve learned that visualization is a strong part of succeeding.  If you can imagine it then the steps of how to make it work can usually fall into place.  If they prefer a different approach, there are a lot of people who can help you get involved with the veteran community, to aid our warriors as they come home.  Remember, every gift of time, energy, or money makes an enormous difference.  Kindness and love are the greatest presents of all!

Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds. ~US Navy Seals 

Step Two:  For family: I usually begin with little items such as organizing the downstairs closets and coat areas then I move to clearing clutter.  From there, I consider tackling the piles in the office, the junk in the garage, and finally weeding out the closets.  Donations are usually sent to military families in need, a local church, or the salvation army.  When I look over the list and begin to feel overwhelmed, my husband reminds me of the above quote.  That together, we can do the tasks faster and more efficiently.  We are a Team.  So, make a good plan of attack and then get to work. 

"Can Do" "Construimus, Batuimus" (We Build, We Fight) ~
US Navy SeaBees motto

Step Three:  For me:  Afterward, I close my eyes and think about what I want to change in my own life.  What can I do to make my life easier or better?  Oftentimes, it starts with more sleep, more exercise, better diet, and more free time to spend with family and friends.  Knowing where to start is the first step.  Here’s my solution, I write a daily schedule providing the life changes I need such as a little extra sleep or relaxation time.  Then I write out the menu plan for the week, which forces my food budget to stay in line.  Lastly, I plan a day for family and friends.  It might not be every week, since I am a wife, a monthly columnist, a comic book writer, a romance author, and an organizer for several conferences and workshops.  But, I stick to my priorities. 

"The only easy day was yesterday!" US Navy SEALS motto

At the end of the process, I have a clear picture of what I’d like to achieve in the coming year.  I also allow myself to realize that some of the items on my list might fall short, but when a plan is made it is a full step closer to being achieved.  It all starts with your willingness to be brave.  To courageously step into the space of hopes, dreams, and desires -- to write them all down -- and see what a plan can do.
You are the key to your destiny!  It all begins with you.  And, when you need a little inspiration just remember you’re not alone.  There is a curly-haired wife of a retired Navy SEAL who is ‘on the go’ with you.  Hooyah!  Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


  1. Wow! This is a very structured approach to the new year. I like it. I can use all the help i can get planning my busy 2012.

  2. I saw a statistic somewhere that people who write down their goals are much more likely to achieve them. I think it's more basic than that: People who write down their goals are much more likely to HAVE goals and to acknowledge what they are.

    Yours is a great list. May you achieve everything on it in 2012.

  3. LOL! Nothing that cut and dried for me, I'm afraid. I just wing it!

  4. Wonderful post, Anne! I especially like the seals philosphy. The only easy day was yesterday. Interesting way to look at letting go of the past.

  5. Wow! What a humbling and inspiring post...words to emulate. Happy New Year to all of you!

  6. Hi, Shana! Thanks for the terrific post. Somehow, I always find it easier to organize when my goals are clear, and it helps to have a "resolution buddy"! I'm here if you need me. Happy New Year!!! Cheers! Anne

    Thank you, Grace! We'd love to achieve everything on our list. Also, what an excellent quote! It sounds good to me -- have goals, plan life, and achieve. Have a fabulous new year! Hugs! :) Anne

    Cheryl, my two best friends do exactly that! "Wingers" - that's what my husband calls them, because they fly where the wind takes them. They adore the journey, too. May yours be brilliant and fun this coming year! Anne

    Hello, Ashlyn! Thank you for your comment! Great hearing from you and I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the quote. A joyful new year to you and yours! Anne

    Elf, Happy New Year to You, too! May it be everything you desire. And, thank you for your lovely comment! Hooyah! Anne

  7. Great list! Mine isn't nearly so detailed but it has something to do with meeting deadlines and enjoying my family.

  8. Love your organized approach! I'm not nearly as together as that - seems I'm always just running full out and hoping I don't hit a wall. ;) I am determined this year, though, to take time out of my week for exercise. Fingers & toes are crossed I can stick with it. Ooh-rah! (And Happy New Year!)

  9. Love how you organize your goals and make serving country one of them. Our Vets and their families need our support! Best wishes for 2012!


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