This year, why not make a resolution you can achieve?

By Kathy Radina, M. Ed. | December 31, 2008

Kathy RadinaLike every year in the past, I have a long list of things I’d like to accomplish during the coming year. How can I help insure that this time next year I won’t be disappointed when I review my resolution list next year? Rhonda Abrams, small business strategist, has some suggestions.

Set the goals. “You can’t reach a goal you haven’t set,” so of course the first thing to do is to figure out what we want to accomplish during 2009.

Make the goals specific. Clearly “I want to have fun with my spouse” or “I want my family to be happy” is not as specific as “Bob and I will have dinner together at least three times a week” or “My family and I will take a vacation to a place we all enjoy.”

Make it positive. Here’s the truth, it’s easier to add something good to life than to remove something bad. So “I will go to Jazzercise three times a week” is more positive than “I won’t sleep late.” Even when something bad does need to be removed, it can still be stated in positive terms. “Quit yelling at my teen” can be replaced with “I will wait 30 minutes then speak to my teen in a calm voice.”

Set a time frame. My day timer is filled with things I will accomplish during my day, and I need to set the same sort of target for my big goals. “I will have the capacity to video tape the couples and young adults I see as clients in my office by Jan 10.”

Make it achievable. We want to actually do these things don’t we? Just by asking the question, “Can this really be done?” helps us to consider what must be completed to get to the end result. Let’s not set ourselves up for failure. It’s nice to have a challenge, but life is hard enough without us adding impossible goals. I am not going to grow to be seven feet tall and play NBA basketball, and as much as I’d like to weigh 100 pounds, that isn’t going to happen either. I can, however, eat four servings of good tasting fiber a day. That is achievable.

Remind yourself. I want to be able to have the money to study abroad for two weeks at a Spanish language school; so I am taking a Spanish class, reading a novel about the Mexican revolution, and I’m about to change the screen saver on my computer to a picture of Argentina. A friend of mine, and her husband, are making a collage of their dream home, and of course it’s always a good idea to post pictures on the bathroom mirror and the refrigerator.

So here is your assignment. Pick one to three goals for the year, follow the suggestions above, write them down and put the list where you can see it daily. I’ll be checking back about this time next year to see how you have done. You can check on me as well, and maybe I will tell you about the new video equipment in my office … in Spanish. Between now and then keep this quote by Benjamin Mays in mind;

"The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”

Make 2009 a great year for your brain!

December 31, 2008

CAVE CREEK – Discover what you can do to have the greatest impact on your brain fitness – without breaking a sweat! Learn the basics of how to supersize your brain any age to enhance health and well-being. Carefree resident Phyllis Strupp, brain fitness coach, will present six interactive Brain Fun & Fitness programs at the Desert Foothills Library in January through March on topics ranging from serotonin and dopamine to dreams. Each program offers strategies and activities for brain fitness and growth that go way beyond crossword puzzles, games, and software programs.

The autumn series offered by Strupp at the library proved to be very popular with Foothills residents, with 20-30 people attending each of the three sessions. For priority seating RSVP to the library at 480-488-2286. Each program is $20 per person, which includes a color handout to take home.

Strupp is a brain fitness coach, and uses her business and adult education background to help people learn how to encourage the brain to grow and stay fit. She has spoken to many groups around the valley.

She is enrolled in the Brain Research in Education Certificate Program of the University of Washington, Seattle and is a member of the Learning and the Brain Society. She serves on the faculty of the national CREDO Episcopal Clergy Wellness Program.

A resident of Carefree since 1997, she is the author of “The Richest of Fare: Seeking Spiritual Security in the Sonoran Desert” about the evolution and purpose of the human brain and consciousness, which received the Independent Publishing Award for the best Mind-Body-Spirit book in 2005.

Her educational background includes an MBA in Finance from Columbia University (1982) and a B.A. in History from Rutgers University (1978). For more details, visit her website at:

Desert Foothills Library is located at 38443 N. Schoolhouse Road in Cave Creek. For more information phone 480-488-2286 or visit