It is that time of year again when we all say to ourselves, this year I’m going to… days later we even forget that we told ourselves that.
Just a reminder to those of you that made this resolution last year, you only have five days to read the entire Bible, or lose those pesky 50 lbs. Good luck with that.
It seems to happen year after year. We set a resolution and then we just say oh it’s too hard. Oh, I completely forgot, or I just did not have the ambition to do it.
There has to be an easier way to stay on track, right? Well, I think I may have found it. I have been doing this for the past 3 years and so far, really every single goal I made I have achieved. I won’t get into the fine details of what my goals were. I’m really not here to talk about me…ok that would be a lie.
But let’s just imagine for a minute if you really could get the goals you made to yourself done. Where would that put you in the game of life? What would be the number one goal you want to achieve this year.
Most people fail at resolutions it is a proven fact. Why do we fail? The number one reason we fail is that we set too high of a goal. One that cannot be reached without some sort of divine intervention and when that divine intervention does not come, we give up quicker than you can say “RESOLUTION.”
Don’t waste your time with resolutions this year.
They NEVER work.
I have found success in focusing on something far better: resolve.
While the words are similar, the difference is that a resolution is something you make; resolve is something you have. Call it semantics, but I think the distinction is important.
This year, a lot of people will make resolutions and then immediately break them. Why? Because they’re not really resolving to do anything different. They’re just wishing.
Here’s the bottom line:
Without a stronger resolve, you have no hope of accomplishing your resolutions.
In other words, you need to commit. You need to choose into an intentional process that will make you better. Not a set of audacious goals you’ll never meet.
Goal-setting, while admirable, is essentially pointless. Goals, in and of themselves, aren’t sustainable. They tell you where you want to go, not how you’re going to get there.
What you need are new habits, a new way of living that will bring different results.
It’s time to commit to being the type of person you’ve always dreamed of being. And that begins with creating new disciplines. Here are three important one’s worth mastering, if you want to be better this year (at writing, making art, or anything else):
- Set aside a time to practice. Be it early morning, during lunch, or late at night, it’s important to have a special time to spend with your craft. Although I at first hated it, I’ve now grown quite fond of my 5:00 am writing times. There’s something peaceful about the solitude of working while the rest of the world is asleep.
- Show up. When I say I’m going to write, I often procrastinate and run out of time. I give excuses and justifications and end up creating nothing. I hate this. So, I have refused to allow myself an “out” any longer. I must write every day, no matter what, even if for only 15 minutes. The crazy thing is this is where some of my best work comes from — concentrated blocks of forced productivity.
- Give yourself grace. This goes hand-in-hand with the last one. A natural byproduct of discipline is dread. When you start showing up to do the work, you may grow fearful of the desk. I know I have struggled with this, feeling like my work in never good enough. In times like these, remember to have fun. Remind yourself why you go through the painful parts because there is joy waiting for you at the finish line.
Sure, there are other strategies for setting and achieving your goals this year, but those three are enough to get you started.
Most days, if you can remember to set aside time to practice, to actually show up and do the work, and to give yourself grace when you fall short, you are going to be just fine.
What about you? What habits are you trying to work on this new year?