Setting goals and dreaming big is right up my alley. But New Year's Resolutions are not. Here's why!
As much as I look forward to Christmas each year…the extra décor throughout my home, the twinkle of excitement in my children’s eyes, the satisfaction that comes from giving to others…I’m never happier to have my house back to normal than the days following the much anticipated holiday. Even though I find excuses to hold off just another day or two to fully enjoy every last moment with the Christmas tree up, I quickly discover such a sense of orderliness and peace in having everything back in its place.
I enjoy beginning the new year with a clean house, a refreshed mind, and enthusiasm about what’s to come. So it should be a no-brainer that I would find good reason to look forward to making plans…big resolutions…for myself and our family.
Instead, I avoid New Year’s resolutions like the plague.
It’s not because I don’t think setting goals are worthwhile. As a Type A, high-achiever, I actually think quite the opposite.
It’s just that New Year’s resolutions are such a buzz phenomenon, a fad followed by hundreds of thousands of people each year. And while they’re often well-intentioned resolutions at the onset, they’re rarely followed through. And that’s what makes them meaningless.
They’re often as easy to break as they are to make.
Setting a goal…making a resolution…should be done on an individual’s own personal timeline, not when the calendar year turns over or when the masses are dictating it’s time to lose 20 pounds, train for that 5k, or commit to reading the Bible every day of the year.
Short or long-term change best happens when it’s your decision. If January 1 is when you realize it’s time for improving yourself or dramatically changing a habit, then go for it! But feeling pressured to resolve something for your life without a clear plan and a support system, just because everyone else is doing it, is quite simply setting yourself up for failure.
I have both a long-range list for myself as well as short-term goals that can be reached within a few weeks. Maintaining both allows me to embrace immediate successes alongside looking forward to accomplishing one or two BIG goals.
The key is finding someone to hold you accountable.
If running every day is your aim, be sure you’ve got a friend texting you at 5am every morning to get you up and going because that cozy bed will be terribly difficult to ignore.
Write down your goals, whether little or big and post them where you have to trip over them every day. Then ask yourself, "Are they realistic? Achievable? And do they fit into my current lifestyle"?
Set goals that are meaningful and timely just for you…because you are inspired and desire that change, not because society is telling you it’s time.
And most importantly, celebrate your successes along the way, whether it’s the first of the year or smack dab in the middle of the summer.
So this year, resolve to make change happen for yourself…but only when you are ready.