Lose weight. Spend less money. Join a gym. Write the great American novel. All these things reside in our wish-I-would-finally-make-it-happen-basket or what’s better known as New Year’s resolutions. We believe we’re supposed to make them. It’s a tradition on January 1. Friends, family and co-workers ask about them. So why do we make the effort to write down what we’re not really determined to do? Maybe it’s because resolutions give us:
- hope that maybe this year will be different than the last
- direction as we embark on the new year
- a feeling of belonging since everybody else is making them
- the chance to change something
We always kick off the year with gusto, but with each day we lose the o, the t, the s, the u, and then g, and our aspirations land by the side of the highway in our don’t-want-to-do-it pile. Those desires that materialized with enthusiasm now have become defeating and discouraging. The University of Scranton research concluded that just 8 percent of people achieve their New Year’s goals. Are you typically part of that 8%? Our good intentions acquiesce to other “to-do” lists more pressing and demanding.
Let me offer a little encouragement and insight. First, I don’t refer to them as resolutions but rather goals. A goal is something you aim toward. If we didn’t set goals, then we would never have a target, somewhere to focus, and never be further down the road than last year. New Year’s goals give us parameters, something to work toward, or a roadmap to direct our path. Even if we make a list of five objectives-but only accomplish one-at least we’ve achieved something.
Second, keep your list short and attainable. Don’t jot down a multitude of things that require attention and effort because you won’t be able to concentrate on any of them adequately, and therefore, making all difficult to reach. Make sure your objectives are realistic and reasonable. For example, you probably wouldn’t write down “compete on Dancing with the Stars” when you’re not a famous star or a professional dancer. But you might hang on your refrigerator a reminder to eat healthier.
As 2018 slowly fades into 2019, I’ll probably write my usual goals of losing weight, exercising more, and increasing my time with God. I know I won’t be victorious in all areas the majority of the time, but when 2019 comes to an end, I will be further down the road and reached the next mile marker.
May 2019 be your year of progression toward at least one of your targets of change or success. Happy New Year!
About Shelley Pulliam
Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at six in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me on social media. https://www.instagram.com/shelleypulliam/