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What are you going to do better in 2017?

Posted in Our Community @ Feb 2nd 2017 - By Judy Gillespie, Vetanswers
What Are You Going To Do Better In 2017

Did you have a successful 2016 or are you hoping for a better 2017?

A version of this post was published in the VNJ January 2017

At the end of 2016 I found there seemed to be quite a few blog posts all about what a challenging year 2016 was and although I don’t think personally it was any more challenging than any other year, I am blessed with a terrible memory and a ‘Pollyanna Personality’ which makes me forget all the bad stuff and only remember the good (or sometimes nothing at all!) so maybe it was a difficult year.

Although now I think about it – I did miss the mark on a few of the goals I set at the beginning of 2016. But I think I know why that was. Firstly, I’m not as efficient and effective as I could be in my day-to-day work and this meant that I didn’t achieve some major work goals. And secondly, who knew having a son in year 12 was going to be so time consuming for me?!

Both of these issues however were my choice. I chose to ‘fluff around’ when I should have been focusing on projects and I chose to say yes to whatever my son needed from me during the year. Although the fact that he says he had an amazing time and Year 12 was the best year of his entire schooling means I don’t regret any of those ‘Yes’s’ during that time.

The ‘fluffing around’ however I do regret – but can’t blame on anyone else. It’s just something I need to keep working on and finding new tools to help me manage.

On the positive side, I did develop an excellent routine at going to the gym and am now going between three and five times per week. Again, I can’t attribute this to anyone other than me. I made myself go even when I didn’t want to and after a while began to enjoy the feeling of exercising regularly and NOT enjoy the feeling when I didn’t go. But that took a couple of months and more than one stop–start situation throughout the year.

So, what about you?

Was 2016 a challenge?

Before you start listing all the things that went wrong, let’s start with the things that went right. For me, my exercise routine and the happiness of my two kids are at the top of the ‘Good Things’ list.

Now for the things that didn’t go so well…

What do you wish you had done differently in 2016?

Now for the big question…… Why? What went wrong? Are there things you could have chosen to do differently?

Ok – So what will you do differently in 2017?

The fact is, if you don’t start to make some changes nothing is going to happen differently in 2017. The other important thing to consider is that you’re probably NOT going to be able to fix everything at once. In fact, in my experience that’s the best way to fail at everything!

Instead, list all the things you would like to improve or do differently in 2017. For example:



Personal finances

Get organised

Develop or improve work skills or knowledge

Now it’s time to decide where you would like to start and how you would like to get there.


If you’ve tried to exercise regularly in the past and it hasn’t worked – don’t try it again the same way. Find some classes to attend, or a friend to join you at a time that suits the rest of your schedule. And stick to it!


Personal finances?  Check out the range of budgeting apps available or set up your own spreadsheet. Set a budget that you know you can follow. And stick to it!


Need to get organised? Again, there are some amazing tools available for free although you may have to have a look at a few to see which one appeals. I’ve found one simple, free ‘To Do’ list app that so far is working for me but I also came across others that were a bit of a mystery. There is one thing they all have in common though, and that is that none of them work unless you stick to it!

Concentrate on what you can control....

You may not have control over the weather, the economy or what happens in other countries, but you do have control over what happens in your life (even when it sometimes feels completely out of control).

A new year has started, full of new possibilities. Now is a great time to let go of what happened in 2016 and decide what you want to achieve in 2017. Take note of what didn’t work last year and take on the challenge to do things differently. But start slowly. Choose one thing and work on that until it becomes a new (good) habit. Then start on the next thing.

Ask for help if you need it and celebrate the small milestones – the first time you exercised three times in a week, the first week you stuck to your budget (despite the smells from the coffee shop!) and change things if they’re not working.

You never know – in 12 months’ time you might be amazed at what you’ve achieved. 

What other tips can you share on how to stick to and achieve your goals? Add them in the Comments section below.


Rickey @ Feb 13th 2017 10:31am
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Judy @ Feb 13th 2017 11:09am
Hi Rickey, thanks for your kind words - I'm glad to hear you enjoy our blog. All of our contact details are in our 'Contact us' page on the website.

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