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Setting and achieving New Year's Goals

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Starting a new year is a great time to consider goals that you would like to achieve. It's a new beginning, a fresh start, and it's a kick-off day to the things you have wanted to do, but kept putting off. Every year, I set goals for the New Year. I write the list of goals I want to achieve in the coming year and I keep that list on my desk, so that I can refer back to it as the months go by. At the end of the year I can take my list and evaluate to see what I accomplished and which goals I fell short on. 

This year, I accomplished most of the goals I had set for myself. Among them being completed writing my novel, ran over 365 miles, read over 52 books, and ditched plastic straws in restaurants. There were a couple of things I fell short on or came very close to completing. Today, I will make a new list of goals I want to accomplish in the coming year.

Research shows that only 8% of those who set New Year's goals actually achieve them. Yet those who set goals are 10 times more likely to achieve them, so it makes a good case for setting yearly goals. Here are a few tips for achieving your goals for the new year:

  • Keep them realistic. If you make outlandish goals or those that will be too difficult to accomplish, you will give up by February. By setting realistic goals that give you a challenge and something to strive for that you can actually achieve you will be more likely to stick with them.
  • Write your goals down. Without writing them down there is a good chance you will forget about them weeks after the new calendar begins. With them written down and put in a place where you will be able to refer back to them throughout the year you can read them over periodically and evaluate your progress.
  • Have a plan. Having a goal isn't enough to get you there. You need to know how you will achieve that goal. When you write the goal down, consider the path you will take to make it work. What do you need to do in order to make the change, stick to it, and make it a reality? With the path to get there, the steps to lead you along the way, you may give up.
  • Stick with it. The most important aspect to achieving goals is to continue holding yourself accountable. If the goal matters to you then you will find a way, if it doesn't you will find an excuse.

Over the course of the year you may find that your interest in achieving a particular goal changes. There's nothing wrong with that, just make new goals as you go along. If at the end of the year you haven't achieved all of them, but you feel good about the ones you did achieve then that's okay, too. I didn't achieve every goal on my list, but I feel great about where I'm at, because I did achieve most of them and especially the ones that are the most important to me. 

Good luck with your goals in 2018...and Happy New Year!

- Jacqueline

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Why we love visiting Sanibel Island


Every year since moving to Florida, with the exception of one, my family has made a trip to Sanibel Island. Located, off of Fort Myers, the island is a great place for a family vacation. It's also a great place for nature lovers, as it offers great opportunities to be outdoors exploring and enjoying nature. The first year we went, which was probably 10 years ago now, we fell in love with the place. This year, we spent Christmas week with our RV, camping at Periwinkle Park on Sanibel Island. The weather was 80 degrees all week and it was sunny and beautiful every day.

There are a lot of things I love about Sanibel Island, including: 

  • How pedestrian friendly it is. Now that we have the RV, we take our own bikes, but before that we used to rent them on the island. There are bike paths all over the place and you can bike the whole island. It's great. There are people biking everywhere. I've also never seen more runners in a place where a race is not taking place. There are people running on the pedestrian paths all over the place! The campground is just half a mile from the beach, so bike down there anytime. We even bought headlamps and went down there at night to look for great shell finds.
  • The shelling is the best that Florida has to offer. I've looked for shells all over the state and there's no better place to shell than on Sanibel Island. The beaches are literally covered with millions of shells. There are mounds and mounds of them. You can sift through and find awesome ones to take home. You can also walk the shoreline with a net and find great whelks, Florida fighting conchs, and more. Many of them are still alive, which is really cool to see. Keep in mind that it's against the law to take those shells that are alive, so we marvel at them and then put them back in the water. 
  • The beach is super clean. I rarely ever see trash on the beaches in Sanibel Island. The beach is primarily covered with natural items from the water. It's rare to see trash on the beaches there.
  • There are some nice things to do on the island, including driving through the JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, watching the sunsets in Captiva, visiting the shell museum, and checking out the nature centers there, including CROW and the shell museum. Here's a video I took this week of an alligator at the wildlife refuge
  • It's a great place for birders. We love to watch birds and there are lots of them to see on Sanibel Island. I'm especially a fan of woodpeckers, and they are all over that island. Every day I see multiple woodpeckers as we ride around the island on our bikes.

If you are looking for a nice family vacation destination that isn't too far from home, Sanibel Island is worth considering. Our first time there we stayed at a hotel on the island, but that's very expensive. After that, we found a La Quinta that is right off the island in Fort Myers. We stayed there every year to save money. For the last two years we have had our RV and have been able to stay on the island for an affordable price. You can bike the island to go to the beaches, nature centers, restaurants, and stores. Everything you need is right there on that beautiful little island!

- Jacqueline

Here are a couple of previous posts I've done on Sanibel Island: 

Visiting Sanibel Island

Shelling on Sanibel Island


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