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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

New Year’s Resolutions: Why do they Matter? By Fran Joyce

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Most people think they have to make their New Year’s resolutions before midnight on December 31. Did you know January first through January eighth is New Year’s Resolution Week?

Many blogger/experts contend making resolutions is a waste of time. Why set yourself up for disappointment and failure?

I believe New Year’s resolutions have a purpose and are not impossible to keep.We need to have goals and work toward achieving them. It’s important for the people in our lived to see us set, work toward, and achieve these goals. Sometimes it’s equally important for them to see us fail and bounce back.

If our goals are realistic and specific enough, it’s easier to stay focused and make our resolutions reality.

Write everything down on whatever you will see every day - a journal, notes on your computer, notebook, or a smartphone note, reminder, or calendar app. Use complete sentence, phrases or buzz words – whatever motivates you.

This is how I like to get started:

Write down the first seven words/phrases that come to mind when you identify what’s important in your life (Pick seven because five is never enough and ten is always too many). I chose family, health, community, social justice/equality, career, finances, and self.

Write down two goals for each category. Stay focused on what you can do to improve your life and the lives of others.

Brainstorm ideas to achieve each goal – be sure to write them down.

Write down what you have accomplished each day or week and where you met resistance from others or yourself. Phrases or buzz words are acceptable.

Re-evaluate and modify your goals each week or at least once a month.

Remember, life changes without warning, and you may have to modify some of your goals.

Don’t abandon your resolutions because your definition of success is too narrow or you become impatient.

These are resolutions for the year; they will become part of a lifetime of achievement.

Value your accomplishments and what you learn on your journey and keep striving.

In December I will review my resolutions, and next January I hope to add a few new ones.

Remember, choices often become habits over time, so choose well.

Wonder by RJ Palacio: Reviewed by Frances Joyce

The Butterfly Project at The Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh