Happy New Year. A new beginning. As the calendar turns from December to January millions of us all over the world feel compelled to make ourselves promises we will never keep. Oh, I know. Some of you have constitutions of steel. You make up your mind to do something, you go the distance. I say, good for you (with only a touch of respectful sarcasm).
For the rest of us mere mortals, we can only wish we could drop the pounds we swore we’d lose as quickly as our sworn on a bible resolutions.
I admit I fell into the trap a time or two. This year I will… Fill in the blanks. Before the second week of January, I’d rationalize why I hadn’t stuck to my diet. Or cleaned out my closet. Or started writing my new book.
By the end of the month, I was still in rationalization mode—with a great big helping of guilt added on to make me feel twice as bad. I’d failed. Again.
Goals are great. Important. We need something to strive for. We need a purpose in life—large, small, or somewhere in between. However, when what we want seems unattainable, more often than not, we quit.
My solution? I started to give myself smaller goals. Instead of saying I have to lose twenty-five pounds this year, I say, this month I’ll lose five pounds. Or three. Then a few more the next month. And so on. By the end of the year if I only lose five pounds? Great. A check on the positive side.
As a writer, I try not to make a goal for how many books I want to produce in a year. My purpose is to finish one, then the next. Then the next. So, no matter how many I write, I always feel a sense of accomplishment. Instead of beating myself up because I only finished three instead of the four I resolved to write, I can pat myself on the back. Yay! I finished three books.
My point is simple. For this year, and every year to come, give yourself a break. And the best way to make your goals doable? Find something you love and strive to be better. Whether you write books or sew quilts. Or cook. Or read. Or knit.
I guess I do have a resolution for January, February, and all the months and years to come. For myself—and for all of you. Be kind to yourself. Forgive yourself when you make a mistake. And try to understand, we aren’t perfect. We never will be. But, we can try to be better. A little at a time.
Every day. Every month. Every New Year.