The New Year is upon us, and with that comes a sense of responsibility to create a new beginning. How many New Year Resolutions have you made? How many have you kept up with and succeeded at? How many lost importance and became a failed good intention only to make next year’s list of resolutions? There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a fresh start, another chance, and feeling so motivated. Motivation and a little will power are all you need to succeed with this year’s list of challenges, right? I’m not so sure. Making a stiff pledge of absolute change that must be made in a short amount of time is usually unsuccessful. According to a list on statisticbrain.com, only 8% of us that actually make resolutions will be successful in accomplishing them. I know Iv’e failed year after year at different tasks I put upon myself. One of the biggest reasons I fail is the pressure of performing the task in an all or nothing fashion. This year, I think I’ll try something new. I am going to create a list of goals for my life. One that includes anything from books I want to read, to lifetime goals like wanting to learn to carry a tune and sing in front of a crowd. (Those of you that know me know that will be a sight to see. I’ve only had two singing debuts, both with my bestie Audra, and both were huge fails. However, they both bring me lots of joy and giggles when I think of them.)
Anyway, back to goals over resolutions. Here are a couple definitions of resolutions, the act of resolving or determining upon an action, course of action, method, procedure, etc.; a firm decision to do or not to do something. Now, here is one for a goal, the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. And here is the definition of goal setting; it is the process of identifying something that you want to accomplish and establishing measurable goals and timeframes.
The most important difference between resolution and goal, in my opinion, is a firm decision in resolution, and in goal, achievement toward. Carrying out life changes with a firm all or nothing mentality is doomed for failure. We need to work toward achievement, making a steady ascension. We are only human and can never be perfect, whatever that means anyway. We will have set backs and fail. This is where trouble can set in if we let it. We can begin to think we lack willpower and will never fully succeed. This is not the case if we are striving to be a little better each day toward goals we have set for ourselves. So, regardless of if we stumble a few steps back, we can look ahead toward our goals and continue along our path to reach them in the next moment. Getting better every time we try rather than giving up till next year’s round of resolutions. You have not failed at a task until you give up attempting to reach it, no matter how many tries it takes.
This leads me to another thought, which is that we exaggerate what we are capable of doing in a year’s time, and do not give much thought to what we can accomplish in a number of years’ time. I read about these over and under estimations in one of my favorite books, The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson. He says we need to “think long”. His book is about the power of prayer. It is a truly inspiring book and I suggest each and every one of you and everyone you know pick it up and read it! A year is a long time, but not in the grand scheme of things. Not when you plan on being here for 80 plus of them. Why plan for a mere year, so why not plan for the rest of your life? Set BIG goals and go after them, and do not put such a tight timeline on them. Some life changing goals will require a much longer commitment. By making something a lifetime goal and not a resolution that needs to happen ASAP, the disappointment of not accomplishing it in that exact year is minimized. This is not meant to sound like I’m pushing goals to the side, like they have no importance, as there is a balance to be found. I won’t lose my drive to achieve, but I will look at failures or shortcomings as lessons learned and opportunities for new beginnings.
Here is an excerpt from The Circle Maker about goal setting:
“The brain is a goal-seeking organism. Setting a goal creates structural tensioning in your brain, which will seek to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be, who you are and who you want to become. If you don’t set goals, your mind will become stagnant. Goal setting is good stewardship of your right-brain imagination. It’s also great for your prayer life.”
If you add daily prayer to your life and include your goals in those prayers, you will begin to see changes. In fact, you will notice changes in all aspects of your life. God gets all the glory for the achievements in my life. I look forward to adding my goals into my prayer life. It is so wonderfully exciting to anticipate what He will make happen.
I will be including a short list of some of my goals in today’s blog. While this can be a little frightening, it is an important step toward achievement. I know some of mine will sound silly and maybe even impossible, but by sharing them, I feel a stronger desire to reach them. I plan to add to my list of goals throughout each year, not only each January. I encourage you to shift your focus this year from resolutions to heart felt life changing goals. Then take them to God and see what changes.
- Celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary
- Celebrate an anniversary in Rio
- Take each child on a mission trip
- Go on a mission trip with the whole family
- Finish reading the Bible
- Celebrate our grandchildren's graduation
- Get a college degree
- Help 1,000 people love their bodies without changing them
- Create a Women’s support group to end body hate that grows nationwide
- Start a mentoring group for high school girls
- Raise $50,000 for Alzheimer’s research in one year
- Help us become debt free by 55
- Dead lift 350 pounds
- Be able to do 10 unassisted pull ups
- Attend a superbowl
- Learn to play an instrument (Piano)
- Learn to sing
- Sing with the worship team at church
- Visit Germany at least a dozen times
- Learn to drive our boat in and out of water