Updated: Oct 13, 2021
How many times have you set a New Year’s resolution, or intention, and by mid-February, mid-March you’ve completely forgotten about it? Right around now, we are starting to realize wholly cow, it’s almost the holidays again! We ask ourselves, where am I on reaching those goals I wanted so badly 9 months ago? About the same place as I was when I started. Ouch!
My friend, don’t fret. You can still get started. Things came up that became more important at that time. Give yourself some grace. Don’t forget about your goals, but remember that you don’t have to wait to recommit yourself.
I would challenge you to believe that you can recommit yourself anytime. Any day. Any meal (if you’re like me and on a health journey, even though I did start in January and stayed committed throughout the year. It’s simply taken me a lot longer than I anticipated, and that’s okay.)
Setting an intention for a new year can be a great thing that empowers us to live life more intentionally, but at the same time, it may be overwhelming. Perhaps we try to make too big of a change all at once, and find this new intention too difficult to stick with.
Over time, this “intention” feels bigger and bigger, until even the thought of it fills you with dread. This growing, negative thought about the intention that you set becomes a disbelief that you’ll be able to achieve it. Henry Ford actually said it this way, “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you’re right.” (Farm Journal of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. May 1949).
Once you start to believe that you can’t, it becomes all too easy to push it off. ‘I tried hard this year. Tomorrow I’ll be better. Next week I’ll be better. Next month. Next year. When I’m 40. 50. 60.’ etc.
My husband’s grandmother is 82 years old, and she recently asked me what workout I’m doing to lose weight, because she wants to go on a diet and “lose her tummy.” This statement made me so infinitely sad, because she has lived such a full life, surrounded by people who absolutely adore her. And all she can think about is the size of her tummy. Her comment dang near broke my heart, because I don’t want anyone to think at the age of 82, ‘If only I were thinner’.
Our intentions are useful for propelling us toward the goals we set, but often they can make us feel bad for how we live along the way. What intention did you set this year? Have you set it before?
I was always terrible at giving myself grace. My inner voice always told me I could have done better, tried harder, and that someone else was way better than me. It wasn’t until this year, having my third bout of PPD, burned out working for someone else to make a dime, and losing myself in motherhood, that I began to see exactly how grace can help people.
Grace is acknowledging that we are not perfect, and giving up perfectionism. We live in a fallen world, tainted by sin. Nothing I do will ever be perfect, no matter how many hours I spend trying to make it so. This knowledge helped me so much, because not only am I never perfect, I can’t expect other people to be, either.
I hope you can find it within yourself to give yourself some grace. No matter where you are at. No matter how long it’s been since you’ve thought about your New Year’s Resolution or Intention or whatever, I want you to give yourself grace and reconcile the fact that you’re not where you want to be with just how far you’ve already come.
Often, we feel we have to go all in, all the time in order to make big things happen. And if we can’t go all in, then why bother trying? As the saying goes, “Go big or go home.”
I would challenge this thought. Going big is exhausting, time consuming, and so overwhelming we usually end up getting nothing done anyway.
Can you commit to going small? Taking one small action, every day, creates a snowball effect of momentum. If you’ve seen me around before, you know I’m a money & money mindset coach. Part of this means I help people uplevel their mindset to experience financial success. (I promise I’m going somewhere with this!)
As you complete small, seemingly meaningless, tasks, you are proving to yourself that you are an action-taker. Eventually, you can do big things, without them feeling like big things.
Let’s take money for example, as that’s what I’m well-versed in. If your intention for the year is to save $10,000, but you’ve never had $50 left in your account by the end of the month before, that’s going to be really, really hard for you. (Not impossible, tho!)
If you say, I will save $100 in January, $200 in February, $300 in March, $400 in April, etc. Those are bite sized intentions that you will probably succeed in reaching! Why? Because each month you are proving to yourself that you can save $100 more than the month before.
Do this and stick with it, and you will have saved $7800 by year-end. Now, this isn’t quite $10k, but you have created momentum by your commitment to saving $100 more each month.
BIG THINGS TAKE TIME, HABIT, EFFORT
The last section touched on this, but I want to take a moment to reflect on it: big things take time. They take effort. They take habits. If you start small, you will build evidence in your brain that you can reach your goals. You can recreate habits in your life that make goal achievement (such as saving money, losing weight, etc) as easy as breathing. Because you’ve set a habit around it. It’s normal now.
Wouldn’t you rather accept that it’s going to take time to lose the 30 pounds you want to lose, save the $30k home down payment, build your retirement fund, than to constantly seek fast-fixes, get rich quick schemes, and waste all your time and energy (and not be able to eat chocolate cake!) and still end up being disappointed?
Consider how much time your goal, intention, resolution is actually going to take. Come to terms with that reality. Once you’ve accepted it, you can move toward it instead of expending energy finding a band-aid solution that won’t last.
Time has passed. It’s almost the holiday season again, and we’re stuck in limbo, feeling anxious over not having achieved our intention yet. Are you tempted to say “Screw it, I’ll wait till next year. Then I will have a fresh start.”? Are you constantly waiting for tomorrow, next week, next month?
I am going to challenge you here, too. Tomorrow will never come, you will never change, unless you make a change. Ask yourself what you can do, what one teeny tiny step can you take now to propel yourself toward the change you want? Reflect on that step. If you feel ready, and are tired of waiting for tomorrow, take the step, mama!
YOUR PERSONAL INVITATION TO FINISH THE YEAR STRONG
In Empowered Motherhood, we are here for you! We want to know what you’re struggling with, how we can support you, what we can pray about for you. I encourage you to join us there and plug in!
To help you finish the year strong, Brenna has put together a beautiful Fall Finish Bundle - but hurry, supply is extremely LIMITED. Only 10 bundles are available this year!
I also want to extend an invitation for you: if you are struggling with overwhelm and guilt over your current financial situation, I encourage you to check out the workbook bundle Roadmap to $1k. I put this together to show you how you can find $1,000 to save each month in your own personal journey - no matter where you’re starting from! I am confident this will help you (check out the review my brutally-honest dad sent me after reading it!), and would love to hear more about your journey. Join us in Empowered Motherhood, or reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
“This bundle is going to help a lot of people. It slightly scares me how many people this book and workbook is going to help!” - Jeff DY.