I hate New Year’s resolutions.
Hate is a harsh word but in this instance it’s not harsh enough. My abhorrence of resolutions stems from the reality that I am utterly incapable of keeping them. Can’t do it. I don’t think I’m alone, either – I mean, when was the last time you heard someone in December bragging about successfully making it to the gym 4 times a week for the entire year, or how they spent less & saved more, wrote a novel, and devoted more time with family? Rarely, if ever, because here’s the ugly truth: New Year’s resolutions may begin as the brilliant breakthrough that will take us to new personal heights, but they always mature into a nagging reminder of our failed aspirations.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for having goals but I think our New Year zeal sometimes blinds us to reality. I’m just as guilty as anyone. As someone who considers taking the steps over the escalator a workout, why did I ever think I could suddenly go all Jillian Michaels ab-crunch multiple times a week? Been there, done that - it’s real easy to feel defeated on week two, scuttle the mission and fall back into old habits. Here’s a telling stat: only 8% of resolutions are successfully completed by Americans. Whatever the reason, we’re definitely doing resolutions wrong. Maybe it’s just me, but in my case I think it’s because I’m so zeroed in on that big picture goal I lose sight of the day-to-day accomplishments and improvements.
I have several big goals for 2015, especially business goals (can’t wait to share many of them with you!), but in light of my past failures, I think my biggest goals are not necessarily my most important goals. The big stuff won’t happen if we’re not also tuned into the small stuff, and the small stuff is where we can achieve tangible gains and build the momentum towards the bigger goals. We can experience a setback and not feel so defeated.
So what is the ‘small’ stuff? For me it is to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness each day, He promised if we do so that He will provide everything else we need. It might not always be what we want, but it will be what we need. Like you, I have a hectic life balancing act going on right now, I worry about tomorrow and the day after and the day after that, but today has enough troubles of its own that need to be dealt with. Ignore them and before long the days begin to blend together into one easily forgettable pile of mush. So, I will continue to set long term goals but my real focus will be on the only thing I can change – the here and now. Today. I’m going to engage in the often dirty and messy daily grind of life, with my family, my job, my friends, total strangers. Some days will see great success, others miserable failure. But at least I’ll be in the game.
There’s a quote from Walt Disney that’s been a favorite of mine the past few months:
“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
We’ll keep going down new paths no matter what adversity comes in 2015, and we’ll keep going with a heart of gratitude. Celebrate diversity? No, I’ll celebrate adversity because adversity produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God’s promises are not in vain.
Can’t wait to hit the ground running and see what He has in store this year. See you January 5th!