Here’s to a good start to your new year.
Before I get too far with my own words, let me recommend that you go to Don Miller’s blog and read his post on why our resolutions don’t work. He will also give you some great practical advice on making resolutions that you will have a better chance keeping.
Go there and then come right back. I have some ideas to share which might also be of help. Now, go say hello to Don then see you back here in 5.
Did you find Don Miller’s words to be helpful? I’m guessing you did.
Now let me get down to business in sharing a few ideas of my own. My title for this blog post is your first hint.
“What’s New with your New Year?”
Before you get down to the same old list of resolutions you made for the last 10 years……”losing weight, getting more exercise, watching less TV, etc.etc.” Before you revisit those resolutions, think of something NEW. When is the last time you volunteered time to a new worthy cause or activity? Look for a new venue in which to spend some of your money, time and energy……something different, something new. You are never too old to find something new to do. Nothing fails quite so fast as stale old resolutions. You might find that that old resolution of losing a few pounds can find some new inspiration from a purposeful focus on something new, novel and fresh.
Say it out loud.
Next thing I recommend is that you tell somebody what you are up to. Experts in goal setting tell us that we increase our chances of following through if we share our goal out loud with someone else. For one thing, you are creating a kind of accountability feature to your goal. When you share with someone else what you are purposing, you are also giving them permission to ask you how things are going in attaining your goals.
But there is another idea embedded in telling someone what you are up to and it is more important than you might think. When you say the words out loud to someone, your brain registers a more specific attachment to the goal than if you had only written it on paper. Saying power leads to staying power.
Write ‘Em Down
Having said that, let me hasten to say that writing down your goals is extremely valuable. Write them down on paper or your Kindle or IPad etc. Make sure this list is in a place where you will see it regularly. If you are like me, you will have the goals in a hard copy format and in electronic form as well. Post one on the bathroom mirror where you shave, comb, brush every morning.
Review the list Several times a Day
Life comes at us fast. Things scream at us as if they are urgent and we can get distracted from our primary focus. Revisit your list of goals at least 3 times a day. If you are old enough, you perhaps remember the old Dr. Pepper bottles which had on them the phrase, “The Real Pepper Upper”. But there was also three numbers on the bottle. 10, 2 and 4. The idea was to promote the product as a great late morning, early afternoon and late afternoon “picker-upper”. I like the idea of 10 2 and 4 as an ideal way of remembering to review your goals. I would suggest that an early morning and late evening review would serve as great book ends to the process. For several years now, I have used 10, 2 and 4 as reminders to take a few minutes on those hours to pray about people and situations I want to keep centered in my life.
Finally I would add these few practical ideas to the mix.
Make your purposes, goals and resolutions specific.
Set some short term outcomes so you can experience success early and often. Put them on a timeline and when you meet that objective, celebrate.
When you have setbacks or disappointments don’t beat yourself up over it. Instead, channel your energy toward getting back on track.
May God’s Blessing be Yours in Abundance