February Milestones, Not New Year’s Resolutions

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How many people set New Year’s Resolutions?

I sure did. Here’s some of mine: read a new book every week, tell my family I love them every day, be on time to work, make a budget and stick to it, among others.

How is everyone doing with said resolutions?

Well, I tell my family I love them often. I work at 8 every morning, which is entirely too early for me, but I do my best to get out the door on time. But for the most part, my New Years resolutions have gone largely ignored in my life. The Journal of Clinical Psychology says that 1 in 3 people have already abandoned their New Year’s goals after a month, so I guess I’m not alone in this one.

The idea of a blank slate a chance for change is always welcome. Our lives can get so boring and monotonous, or we may feel stuck in our ways with no motivation to change. Then New Year’s comes around, and it’s exciting and different. Suddenly we feel like we can change everything we like least about ourselves. But imagine deciding to run a marathon because you drank a 5 Hour Energy. New Year’s resolutions are setting us up for disappointment from the moment our pens touch paper.

notebook with colorful writingSet Milestones

Learn to set milestones to mark your progress in life instead of resolutions. Too often our goals are broad and very far away. Instead, pick something definite and close that you can work towards. Maybe your goal is to work out 5 days a week. Try to go on a brisk walk one day for your first week. How fast you increase depends on you, but by making progress something measurable and attainable, you will keep your motivation up! Good job you!

Make Yourself Accountable

Too often we make progress a solitary journey. Open up! By telling others your milestones and your progress, you can inspire them and more importantly, it holds you accountable to someone else. I can’t get up and run in the mornings, unless I know that I will have people waiting for me. So when the alarm goes off, I have the motivation to drag myself up and get started. With more private progress, even having someone ask you how you are doing can be enough.

Embrace Failure

Failure is good. I repeat, FAILURE IS GOOD. It means you tried. It means that for a moment you put forth the effort, and sometimes that’s all you can do at the beginning. Success and change come later, but they will come. We must try and try again, until we reach success. Failure becomes a learning experience, a chance to test again our resolve to get up and go again.

We are told by the world that “Perfection is required, and failure is unacceptable.” Well actually, failure is required and perfection is unattainable. We are too flawed, too human, to be changed all at once. Christ advanced grace by grace, and He is, as always, the perfect example. He prepared and proved Himself for 30 years, almost His entire life. We have our whole lives to move in line with His example, so there’s no need to change all at once.

Instead of a resolution, resolve to change one day at a time. Instead of a New Year’s blank slate, have a New Day’s blank slate. Each day is new chance to do more than you did yesterday, to get up and try again. You could work out. Maybe you could call your friend you’ve been meaning to call. You could tell your family you love them. I think I will work on that some more.