Are New Year's resolutions often a letdown? The idea that your whole life changes because a day on a calendar arrives is beyond mind-blowing to me.
How many years have you ended up disappointed by January 15th or February 1st? The anticipation of a new year and the resolutions we set can sometimes leave us disappointed. We've all been there, striving to achieve ambitious goals, only to falter and feel disheartened.
Yet, what if we changed our perspective on these resolutions? All of these amazing goals that you have currently set are no doubt, outcomes, results. Instead of fixating on specific outcomes like losing weight or saving money, let's consider a different approach.
Re-envisioning Goals: Shifting from Resolutions
Take all of those goals that you've set, and shift them to be a picture of an ideal version of yourself. You have already done so much work to set goals and resolutions. Don't trash them, just shift them.
The late Reverend Rowton closed a service with this quote, "Good, Better, Best. Let me never rest, until my good is better and my better is best." That hit me to my core. It was truth and every fiber of my being knew it.
It's about progress, not perfection.
Crafting Your Best-Self Vision: Goal Rethinking
Now, let's bridge the gap between these visions and reality. What actionable steps can we take today to move closer to our best selves?
Take a moment and consider the things that you can do, and the actions you can take that will help you reach those goals you set before. What are the things that you can begin doing today to get you to your best self?
Make a list of everything that comes to mind.
Realistic Actions: Aligning Goals with Reality
Now you will pause. Take a mental step back from all the future thinking and forward motion. Enter the space of your current reality. What is really going on in your life, specifically in the areas of the goals you've set?
Now, take the list of actions that you just made, and begin assigning them to the spaces of your life. The ones that will fit realistically in your current reality. Yes, you will be stretching your reality. You will be challenging yourself but in a more achievable way.
If you have never worked out, you probably wouldn't go to the gym and begin deadlifting the same weight as a professional bodybuilder.
The same applies to how you think about, set, and achieve goals. It is good to consider the things of those in higher places and how they operate their days. But it's important to identify the differences and make your goals applicable to your life, instead of trying to change your whole life to make it fit a goal that you set one day in the dead of winter.
Step-by-Step Planning: Executing Your Vision
1. Consider all the big visions and goals you've set.
Shift these ideas from "goals" to "visions". This is your best-self vision.
2. Create an execution list.
Brainstorm a lot, more than what you think you need, of actionable things you can do to move you into your best-self vision.
3. Take a realistic look at your current reality.
Identify the points in your daily life you can stretch and work to add in some space for growth. Don't wipe out your whole day. Just begin to block of spaces to make minor changes.
4. Identify the goals.
Take your execution list, and your best-self vision. Set it up next to your current reality, and pick one or two, three tops, things that you can begin working on and working into your daily life.
5. Create the plan.
Once you've chosen your two or three ACTIONABLE things from your list, create a plan around them. I like to use this format.
Action - Do this thing, "Move for 30 minutes a day", "Save 10% of my earnings"
Time Frame - Give yourself a specific time frame to do these actions. I would challenge you to start small here. "30 days" "60 days"
Intention - Attach this action to the piece of your vision. Set an intention for why you're doing these things, and taking these actions. The chances are they're not comfortable and you haven't just done them naturally. So connect this to something deeper, more meaningful.
Let go! - Release the pressure of the outcome and let go of worrying about the results. Your focus for achieving these goals is now placed in the action you take, for the limited time you committed to doing it, and then make adjustments after that.
Treat these goals like metrics and analytics. Perform them for the time period you chose, measure your results, and make adjustments to the plan for the next execution list.
Remember, your journey is unique. Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle. Align your goals with your present reality and gradually expand.
Embracing Seasonal Growth: Finding Harmony in Winter Reflection
Finally, embrace the season. Y'all, it's the dead of winter. I fully believe that we are to live in season with creation. Most of creation is hibernating, resting, in solace, reflecting, and strengthening internally. Preparing for the blooms and growth of spring.
So don't try to force some big life change just because January 1 came up on a calendar that the Romans put into place centuries ago. Let your Father who knows everything about you, who has a good plan for you, and who calls you by His holy name guide you in this process.
You're life matters each day you live it. What you do in each moment is eternally important. So seek His will, do the best with what you have, and let your Father strengthen you as you live in obedience to Him.