It’s that time of the year again, when people talk about “New Year’s Resolutions”, as if the turning of the yearly calendar will somehow magically give them the impetus to make changes. Rarely does it work that way, however.
A work colleague of my husband once upon a time trained to be a competitive cyclist, and he said that once one makes the decision to give up in a race – for whatever reason – it makes it all the more difficult to persevere thereafter… once resolve caves, winning it back is harder work than ever before. The same can be said of life, and resolutions. If our daily goals don’t match our long-term goals, those long-term goals will never be reached; if we give up or cave in, we’ll find daily excuses why we can’t reach for the goal “yet”, and we’ll have a growing sense of guilt that makes us less willing to face the challenge.
Resolutions at the beginning of the year are usually related to a desire to better oneself; but resolve is something that’s built on a day-to-day basis, and should be a process. If you set a mental goal – such as going to the gym twice a week – which is not in agreement with your heart’s desires, then it won’t happen; our mind and heart need to get aligned in order for us to reach any target.
So I say, rather than making a resolution, become resolved. Take baby steps to reach a goal; those steps might be to go on a walk once a week, or to take the stairs instead of the lift, or to purchase an exercise bike and put it somewhere in your home that’s a motivating place (e.g. near a window with a nice view), and then resolve to build up your stamina gradually with an initial time limit, stretching it as you feel you want to rise to the challenge. If your goal is to write more, then decide on a specific amount, and take those baby steps – make space in your schedule, or learn how to utilize “limbo” moments toward your goal; carry a notebook and pen, and use them. If your goal is to appreciate those around you more, then begin to focus on the positives, not the negatives; learn to compliment more and criticize less.
Whatever you want to see change in your life, go for it! If you fail today, pick yourself back up, dust off your knees, and try again tomorrow. Anything worth reaching is worth the effort, and every new day is full of opportunities.
Have a wonderful year, and may you look back on 2017 with satisfaction, knowing you’ve grown in positive ways!