Have you ever kept a New Year's Resolution?
It is around this time--mid February--when people begin to lose their stamina to keep those resolution a mere forty days ago! According to Google, about 92% will fail to keep their resolutions! Now, there are not many categories in which I find myself in the minority. I mean, I am a photographer, but who isn't these days? Seriously, today I told one person that I'm a photographer. Their response was, "Wow, you're a photographer too?" Enough said. Another passion of mine that is widely shared is my ability to sing. Apparently only 2% of the human race are actually unable to match pitch to complete a song. Finally, I dream of being a successful business owner... along with over half the country. BUT there is one category I know I will always be in the MINORITY.
I am a solid New Year's Resolutioner.
As I so humbly explain why I believe this is true, you may want to go grab a Sprite and some bacon real fast cause this is going to make you cringe.
About ten years ago when January 1st rolled around I decided that soft drinks were bad for me and I have not had one since. Five Januarys ago I decided to also cut out any pork related food from my diet. Yes, the past five years I haven't eaten ham, pepperonis, BBQ, sausage, ribs, and you'd best believe there has been no more bacon. Then, in December 2012, I will never forget that I was scrolling through Pinterest when I saw this idea... It is a never ending project where you write down what you do EVERYDAY for a year and EVERYDAY the next year...And so on. The objective is to see from year to year how things change throughout your life! My family has grown accustom to my projects, scissors in hand and masses of paper leaving our kitchen table barely visible. Well, I start cutting.... I keep cutting..... I wake up the next day and continue cutting.... Finally, after cutting and decorating 365 pages, I announce to my family my brilliant plan.
As I should have expected, they were making bets on how long I would last. But of course this only made me even more determined to do it. Have I mentioned I'm very determined? My mother likes to call it "stubbornness," by I'm determined she's wrong. :)
Anyways, since 2012 I've written down my daily activity...By the year 2015, they made books for this type of thing and I have kept my calendar journal without missing single a day.
Because I am so enthralled with the idea of goals and dreams being met, I want to blog about what I believe gave me my success in my resolutions over the years!
1. Make goals!
100% of people who don't make goals never achieve them. Don't wait for the change you want to just eventually happen, because it won't.
2. Make a realistic goal.
Though many of us would love to shed 15lbs in two weeks, we can't buy into this American mindset that suggests everything has a quick fix. Some things are just going to be hard; they require sweat and willpower. But you've got to decide if it's worth it! This brings us to number three...
3. Make your goals center around your passion!
Lets say I made a goal to become a great tennis player this year.. That would be a nice goal, but I already know I have no drive to get better at tennis. However, I have worked for years in photography as a teenager with no pay just because I LOVE it! Also, I've worked my entire life to train my voice to be a better singer because nobody could get me to be quiet. Tennis is cool, but I know there is no way I'd want it bad enough to put in the hours it would take to become a better tennis player!
4. Set a time limit.
Saying "I'll never eat sweets again" is impossible for everyone! One of my resolutions for 2017 was to have no sweets in the month of January. I met that goal because I had an end date in sight! There is no way I could go the rest of my life without a Molten Lava from Chilis. I'm sorry, but that's where I put my foot down.
5. Set yourself up for success!
I do this by telling every person I know what my goals are! When I tell other people and it's common knowledge, people ask me about my progress! If I'm going without sweets then they know not to offer me cake! Accountability and support are so important!
6. Don't be weak if you ruin the streak!
There have been multiple times where I accidentally drank sprite thinking it was water or a bite of soup with hidden little bacon bits!! Some of you might be saying, "HA, you DIDN'T go all those years without it after all!" To which I reply, you can't let the defeats define the feat. Simply put, just spit the pork out and keep on going!
7. It's not too late!
Some of you may be reading this and specific goals may be coming to your mind!! That's great! But DO NOT think that because January is over that you are too late. January 1st, 2017 is dead, gone, and over.. But the rest of this year is a chance for change. The only way you're too late is if your always a day away. "I'll start tomorrow" never changed anything or anyone.
8. You decide!
Excuses are your biggest challenge. You are your biggest rival! I simply decided one day to stop drinking soft drinks and STUCK TO IT! Nobody has ever tried to force-feed me bacon or rip up my 5-year calendar. The only person that could possibly stand in my way is me. The only way you can fail is if you decide to fail. Choose to succeed! Choose to make the changes! You can do anything, but those who don't believe that will never see the truth in it.
9. Don't Forget.
Laziness sets in when you forget why it mattered to you. Don't forget!! Whether you journal about it, talk to friends about it, leave yourself notes or change your phone background--Don't let the end goal out of your sight! You wouldn't have set the goal if it wasn't worth meeting!
10. Religion doesn't pair well with Resolutions
Many, many people set resolutions to read their Bibles more, to break bad habits, to be completely surrendered to their faith.. Of course, as fallen humans, those never last long and we are all just left feeling guilty. But it's not about measuring up! It's about longing and looking forward to time with the Lord. I had resolutions where I said I would never miss my quiet time all year...But my precious time with God became an ought to, when its actually a get to! For anyone who knows the God I do in all His wonder, glory and holiness, you know that He is not a burden! He's not an obligation, but to know Him is the is the biggest opportunity in a persons life. Let us aim to know Him more, not add our Savior to the to-do lists.
I would love to hear about your goals that you have for this year or the goals you're starting today! It's so much better to do it together!