It’s here. The New Year has begun and everyone is figuring what changes they are going to make for 2017. Some are thinking multiple small changes while others are looking for that one huge change. The really motivated are going to do it all! Then the 2nd week of January hits and you find yourself back in the same routines and doing your best to ignore your commitments to 2017 chalking it up to too much food or drink. In fact, take a moment to look at your 2016 resolutions and count up how many of them you achieved?
I think the real problem isn’t the resolutions but more about your commitment. The real challenge is our response to our faltering resolve. The problem is, we don’t have a response. We simply fall back to old habits, tendencies, and vices that keep us from achieving our goals. The best thing you can do for yourself is plan for the challenge and define your responses for each possible scenario. It’s possible to stay committed but here is the disclaimer – it takes work. Real work. Really hard work. If you’re willing to put in the work, here are a couple things to help you on journey.
It’s one thing to have a desire to achieve goals and make changes in your life and it’s another to put it into action. Your intentionality will help you take the next step and create a lifestyle that is sustainable. Part of being intentional is taking a step back and considering everything your are doing and then asking the simple question, “why?”. The answer to this question should in some way connect to and further your goals. As you prepare for future goals and resolutions make sure you are asking the exact questions to determine what you are actually doing.
Sometimes, we need to say no to good things to have capacity to say yes to the right things
Create Habits and Lifestyles
Fight the temptation to join the next fad, purchase the new gadget, or jump on the bandwagon of the new diet or system that guarantees change in 60 days! First, I’ve found that these types of promises prey on your emotions. Second, for the most part they are epic failures. Even if they do show you the benefits they promise they are always short lived. So, instead of putting your efforts towards extreme changes that will leave your frustrated and failing, put that same effort towards small and simple lifestyle changes. Focus on things that you can see and feel the difference and get the small win. This is part of the brilliance behind the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace books and his entire organization. It’s about the psychology of the person and creating a track record of wins to help motivate towards lifelong changes.
Have a Plan For Failure
Failure. We all hate it but it has a way to find the best of us. I mean, even Michael Jordan experienced failure being cut from his High School basketball team (I wonder what that coach is thinking today?!). Theres a strong possibility if not guarantee that you also will experience failure cause I know I have. We need to plan for the failure. We can’t allow failure to take us captive and imprison us in our own self made doubts, anxiety, and a lack of self-worth. We have to have a plan for failure. It’s as simple as writing it down. You can start with this simple phrase.
If I fail at _______ I will respond by _________
It’s like any reading goals and especially for Bible reading. Just cause you miss a day or reading and/or journaling you can’t quit. Even worse, don’t try to play the catch up game. All you do is dig a deeper whole that leaves you feeling like the task at hand is impossible. The result – ignoring it until the next year. In stead you have your plan. If I fail at reading my Bible and journaling for that day I will respond by picking up the next day on that chapter.
Know The Source Of Your Resolution
Finally, why do you do what you do? What is the source of your resolution? Sometimes the reason for our challenges or failures is due to a lack or resolve and understanding our motivations. Recalling the source of your resolution to memory on a consistent basis will allow you to achieve your goals and remind yourself of the “why”.