Do you rebel against resolutions? Or do you implement them as a mandatory marker for January 1st? As the New Year dawns on us, we often note our failures from the past year rather than celebrate our big and small victories. For example, we tell ourselves that to be successful and happy in 2016, we should attempt the following:
- Lose 20 pounds
- Exercise every day
- Stop smoking
- Eat healthier
- Drink less
While there may be some merit to these goals, both for our physical and mental wellbeing, ultimately, it is one more way of punishing ourselves for not living up to expectations. Inevitably, resolutions are notorious for often failing regardless of our intentions.
Because no one wants to be punished—especially not by themselves. When a day on a calendar is telling us that we should refrain from this or that, we cannot help but resent it. We rebel. Not to mention, we experience the added failure of one more goal that went unmet. We disappoint ourselves and setting a new goal for the future becomes that much more challenging. It is not until our hearts our truly set on accomplishing a goal, whether that comes May 30th or July 8th or December 31st, that we can work towards honest success.
Rather than write out your resolutions for the year, of what you think you should do, what do you want to gain from this year? What are your dreams instead of your limitations? How can you add joy to your life rather than set parameters and constraints?
Do you hope for any of the following?
- Strengthen your marriage
- Learn some new information
- Travel to a new place, whether that’s a new restaurant, town, or country
- Laugh a little more
- Explore your faith and spirituality
This year, I am hoping for the following:
- Publish a new book
- Read more: both nonfiction and fiction
- Strengthen my friendships: spend more time just having fun
- Explore a new country that I’ve never visited before
- Begin a doctoral program
- Continue speaking around the country
This list can be limitless—which is the exact opposite of a resolution list. Be generous and good to yourself this year. Give yourself credit for all that you do and know that whether you meet the goals that you set or not—know that you are enough.