I am done with making New Year’s Resolutions.
I am an expert at making resolutions….and immediately failing at them. And if there is anything I really hate, it is feeling like a failure.
But what I hate more than feeling like a failure is feeling like a failure all year long!
There is something about a resolution that is so immediate, so final. A resolution seems so A-Z, with no steps from B-Y.
But life isn’t like that.
Take what is likely the most common New Year’s Resolution: Lose Weight
There is no A-Z with healthy, long-term weight loss. Weight loss definitely requires steps from B-Y to be effective and long-term.
It is a long-term goal that, for some, takes years.
We watch re-runs of “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” and expect that our journey will take us from obese to fit and thin in a matter of 12 months, but fail to recognize that in the hurry to shed the pounds we’ve never really addressed the issues that led us to obesity in the first place.
And this is exactly why this year I wont make New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve decided to make goals instead.
Three Reasons Why I Wont Make New Year’s Resolutions:
1. Goals lead me to create steps of action. By creating actionable steps to reach my goals, I am able to break down my giant goal into smaller goals that are easier to reach, thereby allowing myself to grow into that goal.
The ability to break my goal into steps of action gives me a sense of accomplishment each time I step closer to the destination.
2. Goals make the journey as important as the destination. Take the illustration I’ve been using: weight loss. I’ve been on a weight loss journey for 3 years now. Some may wonder why my journey has taken so long. I wasn’t obese when I started, I just had a lot of really bad habits. I haven’t rushed my weight loss on purpose because I realized that if I was going to make it stick this time, I would need to make new habits a way of life.
The journey to losing weight has been as important as my destination. Along the journey I’ve learned to stop and consider what I’m putting in my mouth before I munch down on it. I’ve learned that rest and sleep are essential and not to be taken lightly. I’ve also learned to value exercise, although I still don’t always enjoy it.
These are lessons I hadn’t learned the other two times I shed pounds in record fashion.
3. Goals allow time for personal growth. To be honest, if I don’t meet every goal by December 31, 2017 I wont be disappointed in myself. Rather, what I’ll want to see is how much closer I’ve come to my destination.
If I’ve made good progress, I’ll be more than satisfied.
Friends, if there is anything I’ve learned this year it is that when we expect perfection from ourselves, the only thing we’ll get in return is frustration, stress, and disappointment.
I know, because I’ve lived for years being frustrated, stressed out, and disappointed in myself.
But if there is anything 2016 has taught me is that I don’t have to be stressed out and frustrated….and I am certainly not a disappointment: to God, to me, or to those around me who matter.
There is something very lovely about being comfortable with being perfectly imperfect.
There is something attractive about being in the presence of someone who is comfortable at owning up to their imperfections.
And there is something very freeing about giving yourself permission to be that person!
I’ve made this worksheet for myself and I want to make it available to you.
One thing I want to caution you about, though….
Don’t rush it. Don’t sit down and just start quickly jotting down goals. Take your time, pray about each of them. Ask yourself, “Why do I want to make this a goal? Is this an expectation God has of me, or is it an expectation I or someone else has placed on me?”
Once you’ve filled out the worksheet, put it someplace you’ll see it often as inspiration to stay the course.
You can download this worksheet today by typing in your email address below.