New Year Resolutions.
That phrase makes me groan.
It brings to mind things like
“This year I am going to pray EVERY day”
“This year I am going to read the scriptures EVERY day”
“I am going to loose ALL the weight I gained over six pregnancies”
“This year, I WILL be published.” (which, not to offend those who set this goal, is rather silly since we can’t control who says yes to our manuscript – though we can definitely try to get there.)
Some time ago I gave up on resolutions. It seemed that the goals made on New Years were doomed to fail or to make us feel guilty for our many flaws.
So, I avoided them altogether.
But, aren’t we encouraged to set goals, to reach for new heights, to better ourselves?
The answer of course, is
So, this year I thought a bit about these resolutions and I had an epiphany.
Setting goals that require perfection are ridiculous. If I’m not in a habit of reading and praying every day (or just really forgetful and distract easily), I can’t expect to be (or suddenly remember everything), simply by setting a goal. (some people may be able to do that, but I sure can’t) Setting goals that are beyond our control, or far too lofty, fall into the ridiculous category as well. Besides, making resolutions we are bound to fail makes us feel lousy.
So, I thought about what I wanted to accomplish this year and my difficulties in getting there. Ultimately I would love to be 100 % in reading my scriptures and praying every day.
But, I’m human.
which means, I forget. I get SO busy that I just plain forget.
Even if I set a goal to do it EVERY day, I know I’ll still forget, inevitably, some day in the year I’ll be SO busy it will slip my mind. And then
What I decided to do instead, is to set a small goal – with wiggle room even – that doesn’t require perfection, but will serve as a constant reminder to do the other things.
My resolution this year is to:
read the Ensign every month, cover to cover.
It’s just a magazine. Not hard to read. But the articles are such that will remind me to read and to pray. So, by working on my very reachable resolution, I will come closer to the other, loftier, resolutions. And maybe, some day I will be 100%.
Some of other resolutions to the above cases could be: send out 5 query letters (resolution met – go send out some more)or loose five pounds (and if you loose more, then AWESOME! but at least you met your resolution).
And you argue, but all the quotes say:
“Failure is the road to success” or “if you don’t set lofty goals you won’t attain them”
this is true, but I dare to argue:
You can also set yourself up for failure!
and if you do that
Discouragement can and does set in.
Yes, set your lofty goals
but give yourselves stepping stones to get there!
And don’t expect it to happen in a year
or even ten.
Just keep stepping along those stones and pretty soon, before you realize it, you’ll have reached
the top of the mountain.
I believe it is the little things along the way, the short goals we make and achieve as we strive for the lofty ones, that create character and turn the weak into the mighty.
So, this year I am changing my stance on resolutions and….
I resolve to be a better person at the end of the year than I was at the beginning. I’m going to read my Ensign every month, and have a candle light dinner once a week with my husband, and enjoy all the little goals (like sending out queries) I set and achieve along the way.