New Year’s resolutions will mean different things for different people. Some don’t make new year’s resolutions. Others do and quickly feel guilty that they are not going as planned. Yet others are highly motivated and optimistic about heading in new directions and their resolutions will become impactful turning points in their lives. Regardless of which category you fall into, here are three important things to consider when you think about goals and resolutions:
1) You were meant for big things!
The world is full of voices telling you to dream small, fear failure, and believe that we don’t have what it takes; when we listen to these voices, we rob ourselves of accomplishments and our full potential. You are capable of far more than you can imagine. Do not give power to the naysayers that try to limit you; when it comes to your life and the goals you want to accomplish, other people have the power to speak, but you have the greater power of being able to act. Dream big and surprise yourself.
2) Celebrate small victories.
While dreaming big and without limits, it is simultaneously important to celebrate even the smallest of victories along the journey. Go ahead: start a business, return to school, run a marathon….but remember to give yourself credit and celebrate the steps along the way even if they seem trivial. Be proud when you can only run a mile…but are still making the choice to tie up your running shoes and hit the pavement. Give yourself credit when you fill out the college application and send it in…regardless of the response that you get, you have actively taken steps to invest in your future. Be encouraged when you have done the research or consulted with a professional about how you tackle the task of becoming a business owner; there are things to celebrate far before the doors to your dream business open for the first time. Whatever your goal, focus on each step as a success. This is so important because we tend to set goals as a final destination and only see success in crossing the finish line. This makes us susceptible to losing motivation and self-confidence. Remember that you are successful long before you have “succeeded”. Allow yourself the perspective to be confident and find the pleasure that comes from the slow, steady movement toward your goal. Learn from every detail and remember that the process of investing in yourself and others is incredibly worthwhile.
3) Be open to divine interruptions and unexpected detours
Do not expect that the end destination will always be the same as the one you set out to reach. For many years in my life, I believed that if I started in a certain direction it was absolutely imperative that I finished that particular endeavor in order to save face and not be seen as a quitter or a failure. One of the biggest, and most difficult, lessons that I have learned is that sometimes we are called to start down a particular path because it is the road that leads to just the right detour for our lives. If you begin something with a particular goal in mind, be willing to learn enough about yourself to notice when finishing it, is not what is right for you. There is courage and wisdom in saying that we are not meant to do something that we have started. Not every opportunity is the right fit for us and sometimes even good goals are worth saying “no” to. When you begin something that doesn’t work out, it may mean that you need to work harder. It is equally as possible that you have eliminated a particular possibility from your path and that you have been given the gift of being one step closer to finding the actual goals that will bring you the most satisfaction in life. Never view attempting something new as a failure.
So whether you are a “New-Year-Resolutioner” or someone who sets goals in their own unique way, you have a whole new year ahead for grand adventures. Whatever your goal-making style, I pray that you would be encouraged, believe in yourself, and find joy in 2018!!