If you have taken 5 or more New Year’s Resolutions from idea to habit or to a lasting life change, stop reading now and carry on UNLESS you know someone who hasn’t. Send it to your trusted friend who struggles with New Year’s Resolutions.
By this point you’re asking, “Brian, why shouldn’t we make a New Year’s Resolution?”
The reasons abound and I’m not sure where to start. . . hmmm. . . OK, I know. Close your eyes for a few minutes and picture in your mind all the ideas you might set as a New Year’s Resolution. Go ahead. No really, I want you to do this right now. This is a blog post and I won’t leave you. I’ll be right here when you get back. Please.
New Year’s Resolutions Mindset
What did you see? If you’re anything like me, you’re human. I saw things that I’ve gave a half-hearted effort to change. Some of them, changes that I only considered. Others are things that others might want from or for me. It really boils down to a list of wants and needs, It’d be nice-es and wouldn’t that be greats.
The first big problem reflected in my thinking is that most of the list is “wants.” Things that I want usually fall far from my big “Why” in life. The inner and outer all encompasing “Why” for my life: seeing change in growth in my family and in people with a mindset that blocks their thriving and achievement of excellence. Something I want in my head that doesn’t align with my “Why” isn’t charged by my heart. When something is in my “Why” it is in my heart and guess what? Yes, it gets done.
Secondly, I struggled with my self-esteem most of my life and it continues today. Some of the things on the list weren’t even about me. They are items from others: what others want from us, what others think would do us good, what would make me look good to others. Go back and review the W.A.Y. S.M.A.R.T. Goals the “Y” in W.A.Y. stands for “yours” goals need to be yours. This ensures that they are in your heart. When they are really yours and owned by you they can be nothing but serving your “Why” because your “Why” drives your entire life.
The third issue is that if you’re reading this far, you got past the first paragraph and you’ve set numerous New Year’s Resolutions that never lived into fruition. So lets look at that from a humorous and sarcastic angle: Hello, lets set a New Year’s Resolution just like everyone else because they have been so fruitful and successful in the past blah blah blah. You get the idea. The “A” in S.M.A.R.T. stands for achievable or attainable and if you haven’t attained a New Year’s Resolution in the past, why in the world would you name this next change for you and your life a New Year’s Resolution. Lets just call it something new like a goal or a first (second or third) step to your new life.
Instead of New Year’s Resolutions
You know what you need to do to make change successful. It is so simple, but I couldn’t do it until I had my “Why” to guide me. Every choice I made while under the power of my addictions what driven by that “Why”. Now that I am free from addiction through recovery, I’ve created a new “Why”, a new direction, a new driving and ruling force in my life. So the first step is to determine your “Why”, why you get up in the morning, why you work, why you do what you do. Make sure it is driven by righteousness and not some addiction or sin. To do that, talk about your why with your family and your close confidants. I just can’t see me as clearly as my family, friends, and mastermind groups.
With clarity in your “Why” go back through that list we made at the beginning and start tossing out the ones that don’t align with your “Why” and the ones that are just wants and the ones that don’t belong to you. You’re going to be left with some really good ideas. Some of them appear to be very difficult or seemingly impossible. . . they’re not. One of them holds the power to profoundly change your life. Like Dave Ramsey says, “You gotta live like no one else today so you can live like no one else tomorrow” –works better if you can hear him say it.
Translate that to the few things left on the list. Which one of those seems so hard, seems like a huge sacrifice, feels too difficult? Take it and make it into a W.A.Y. S.M.A.R.T. Goal. Make the sacrifice today so you can live the life you’re looking for. If you’re still in debt, I suggest, no I implore you to set debt freedom as your top and #1 goal today.
Whatever you choose for your next goal build it up with a W.A.Y. S.M.A.R.T. Goal then share it with your coach, mastermind, accountability group, Bible study. Tell who you need to tell to increase you’re commitment to achieving this goal. It may be big enough to take more than a year and it may have a bunch of steps, smaller goals along the way. Make it something that will significantly change your life and give it the commitment that the change deserves.
When you’re done, in a few months to a few years and you’ve successfully achieved this goal, give it a new name if you want, call it a New Year’s Resolution. Better yet, call it normal. Lather rinse and repeat. Amaze yourself with what you can do through the power of God, righteousness, and the community of people He created for us to experience life with. He put people together in community to experience Him through each other. Put your goal down below in the comments and change your world.