Is 2007 the year you will change?

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Long lists of resolutions have short results

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When her son was born, Lehi’s Judi Pickell felt her life had changed. Through setting goals, she found herself — and joy — again.

For those of you who meticulously write out New Year’s resolutions, may I offer one wee bit of advice?

Burn them.

Research — and personal experience — shows that any goal associated with New Year’s will ultimately fail (thereby explaining the sudden rise in Groundhog Day Resolutions). Why not try something new this year, something that makes you happy, something that actually works?

Ask yourself two things:

• What are basic needs in daily life that are unfulfilled? (feel appreciated, be peaceful, etc.)

• What specific area in life do you want to change? (get in shape, get out of debt, get organized)

Then write an “I will” statement such as “I will organize my home.”

That’s it. Well, not really, but basically.

Put this sentence on a big piece of paper and post it on your wall or bathroom mirror. Then look at it everyday, not in a planner I-must-review-my-goal way but in a Polaroid wow-this-is-me-and-I-am-developing-before-my-eyes way. As you pay attention to life, you will receive subtle and obvious ideas about achieving your goal (i.e., walking through Barnes & Noble and suddenly seeing “Organizing from the Inside Out” by Julie Morgenstern).

Five years ago when I did the pilot program for LIFEChange, 26 women did this little exercise. Their various one-sentence goals included “I will let go of guilt and fear,” “I will see a muscle in my body” and “I will identify my needs and be able to fill them.”

This was not about a + b = c, and it wasn’t very quick and tidy. This was a 12-week process of enjoyable discovery. These women achieved their goals simply because they knew what they wanted and learned how to achieve it.

What can you do about your one-sentence goal?

One thing. That’s it. One thing a week for 52 weeks (actually, I only do 34-plus because it’s messy in July, August, November and December, and there may be a week or two I just don’t feel like doing a darn thing). Make one phone call, buy one supply, read one book — one a week. Have faith in your innate desire to change.

I had the privilege of life-coaching Judi Pickell of Lehi, a woman who created incredible change. She started at the point of hopelessness and avoiding goals. She said, “When my son was born I felt like I lost my life. I left my career behind, I was tired and my body was different. If I set a goal — ­­­then I would have to admit I wasn’t a victim anymore.”

Through answering the two questions, and a few more, she recognized that she had control over her life.

“I realized that I needed to stop dwelling on what was lost but on my new life with new challenges and opportunities,” she says.

Though others recommended prescription drugs to help her through, she chose first to try key concepts to create change.

“I learned to not keep using the same failing ways,” Judi says.

She stopped trying to attack all of the issues at once. She dealt with each piece one at a time. Finally, she implemented the No. 1 principle: being kind to herself.

As she practiced solid principles, the change in Judi was night and day.

She says, “Before I had written on my mirror, ‘You are so FAT. This is your CHOICE!’ After practicing these principles the note read, ‘You are beautiful. You are a wonderful wife and mother. God loves you!’”

This year, dream your dreams, achieve them through goals and start today! I will do the same, with the excitement of knowing I will make mistakes, create success and enjoy the experience. UV

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Connie Sokol is an at-home mother and president of LIFEChange, a program to enhance women’s lives. For more information, visit www.lifechangeprogram.com.

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