Let's talk for a minute about New Year's Resolutions. We all have things that we want to do in life, however, there is always something that you feel is in your way. You don't have enough time, school or work is too much for you, you have children to worry about...the list goes on. Today is the second day of the new year, and I saved this post for the second day, because I want you to know that it doesn't have to be the very first day of the year in order to start something or keep it going. This is something that you do day in and day out. It's not a resolution...it's a way of life.
In order to turn your goals into a way of life, there are a few things that you should know about them. They won't be easy, they won't come without trials, but they will be worth it. Here are a few things that I have learned about new year's resolutions.
1) If you have a goal, make a plan for it. Without a plan, it's hard to accomplish much of anything. Let's say that you really want to make some homemade bread, but you have no recipe for it. That homemade bread will be disastrous without a recipe, just like your goal will be a disaster without a plan. For every goal that you set, write out a few sentences of how you plan to accomplish that goal. For example, I have a goal that I want to study more. My plan for doing this is that every Sunday night, I plan to sit down and look at what assignments I have for the week and what I need to make a priority. Next, I plan to make myself study 2-3 hours per day without interruptions. Without this plan, I would surely resort back to my old ways very quickly.
2) Don't go it alone. If you really want to accomplish something, make sure that you include others in your goals. If you want to lose weight, get a workout buddy that will keep you accountable at the gym and in what you eat. See, if we go it alone and mess up, we'll just tell ourselves that we will do better next time. However, really quickly, we'll just resort to our old ways, and the goals will go by the wayside. However, if you're accountable to someone, we are generally don't like to admit when we've messed up, so you won't want to mess up. Plus, you have someone to encourage you along the way. Just like that, your goals have a much better chance of succeeding.
3) Don't give up. Did you know that it takes three weeks to make something a habit? It also takes less than three weeks for most people to give up on their new year's resolutions. Whatever you do, don't give up on your goals. If you're trying to lose weight, remember that it is healthiest to lose only 1-2 pounds per week. In three weeks, you're looking at maybe losing 3-6 pounds if you do everything perfectly. If it is your goal to make more healthy home-cooked meals, don't worry if you sometimes mess up and have to get take-out. The idea here is to keep trying, and the longer you do it, the more of a habit it will become. Once it becomes a habit, you'll be more on top of it, and you'll mess up less frequently. This brings me to my next point.
4) Don't beat yourself up for messing up. One of the biggest excuses I hear is this: "well, I already messed up a little, so I might as well just go for it all now." (especially when it comes to diets!). Don't give up if you mess up, and don't beat yourself up for it. You are human. Let me say that again. You are human. We are imperfect, and nothing is ever going to change that. You are inevitably going to mess up at some point, but the point is that you are trying, and you'll simply do better next time. The mess up should drive you to try even harder, and you'll be that much closer to success.
Each year I try to make myself some goals for the new year, and I wanted to share some of them with you (talk about accountability!).
1) Read through the Bible in a year.
2) Prepare healthy food at the beginning of the week for myself to eat all week.
3) Make sure I do some form of exercise at least 5 days per week.
4) Study more and better.
5) Don't let school take away from time with the people I love.
On top of having these goals, I also have a whole page of details on how I plan to make these goals happen. What goals do you have for the new year?
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