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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Birthday and a New Year -1/2/07

Welcome 2007! We celebrated Joseph's 25th Birthday on Saturday and welcomed in the New Year on Monday. Joseph enjoyed parties with friends and we've had visits from many. The photo is of the Bath-Taylor family from Bristol England, over visiting family for the holiday.
As we were reflecting on the New Year it brought to mind an article we wrote for the missionaries about resolutions and goals. we've adapted it below:

Resolutions to Reality

The New Year is a famous time for making “resolutions”. According to the dictionary a resolution is something you’ve reached a firm decision about. Many people avoid the guilt of failed resolutions by not making any. Most of the people that do make New Year resolution lists reflect mere wishes, dreams, aspirations, or hopes. For many, this wish list often lasts less time than it takes to lose the paper the list is written on. The items on the list are soon forgotten and life moves quickly on. Sometimes our goals fall into somewhat the same category as New Year Resolutions, we may avoid them altogether, thus easing our conscience about failing to reach them. Or, if we do make goals, they reflect our wishes, dreams, aspirations, or hopes but are quickly forgotten and/or do not become a reality. What is the process of turning the righteous desires of our hearts (our resolutions) into reality, into actual results?

It involves Spiritual Creation before Physical Creation and it involves accountability (to “return and report”). Let us quickly summarize:

Establish Goals

This reflects the first stage of Spiritual Creation, what do you desire? Wishes, dreams, aspirations, and hopes are a good starting point, but are only that. As you visualize, quantify and describe the desired outcome you begin the process of making them a reality. Goals are a reflection of your righteous desires and are critically important as a first step. Many failed attempts at success stop with this step, like New Year “Resolutions”.

Make Commitments

Here is the real resolution step. You commit to what you will do. While your goals reflect the desired outcomes, your commitments reflect an unchanging decision to act. Unless your desires (goals) can all be achieved through the exercise of your individual agency they may not all be achieved. That is fine. However the commitments you make must all be within your sphere of control and choice. We must all learn to make and keep our commitments.

Establish a Plan

The plan states your goals, incorporates your commitments and is the action document of your success. It is your blueprint, your strategy. It answers the questions Who, What, When, Where, and How. (Who will do the work?, What work is to be done?, When is it to be done by?, Where is it to be done?, and How is it to be accomplished?)

The Plan incorporates the desires/goals and commitments of the local unit of the Church. This correlation of effort is required if we are to enjoy the full blessings of the Lord. The greatest success will occur when our plan and the plan of the local unit is the same. Remember to use the commitment pattern and invite others to do their part. Then follow up. This concludes the “Spiritual Creation” phase of the work.

Go and Do the Work

Do what you have committed and planned to do. Use the Spirit, go forth with faith, work with all your heart, might, mind, and strength.

Return and Report

Accept accountability. Seek feedback. Share your commitments and plan with others and allow them to help follow up on commitments. You will be strengthened and they will be blessed. Let them help evaluate the plan. Show them you know how to make and keep commitments (those elements that are strictly under your choice and accountability). Help them by following up.


Sometimes it hardest to take your own advice. But we're going to work on it! Happy New Year!


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