Resolutions are notorious for being broken nearly as soon as they are made. How do we create notions of improvement without the limitation of impending failure? I've discovered a few guildlines as I thought of the upcoming year's potential myself:
- Think small. Small doesn't mean limiting achievement, it means maximizing success. When expectations are too gradiose, then the shortcoming may be accompanied by disappointment and unmotivation to press on. Perhaps this is why we often wait until the next year to re-resolute after the intial one failed. So, think small and celebrate the joy of achievement.
- Get specific. I could say, "eat healthier." Or, I could say, "replace one conventional food item (name it- milk, eggs, lettuce etc) with an organic/local alternative." Which one would you be more willing to apply? Precisely, the second statement. We often use terms of comparison (better, more, less, -(i)er etc) to set goals but then stumble in clearly understanding how to apply such ambiguious statements.
- Determine an extensive timeframe (ie realistic). New Year may happen overnight, but change doesn't. The focus is too often on the result and not on the process. The process, by the way, is practice. If we determine that we will practice a new characteristic or behavior rather than accomplish it, then we're more likely to see it stick. Let's go back to the food example of desiring to
eat healthierreplace conventional item (defined) with organic/local. I could now say, "replace milk with an organic option for the entirity of this month." The following month, I may keep the milk change and add ...say..eggs. The four weeks gives me the chance to adjust purchasing and usage of the product. In other words, I've given myself the opportunity to practice the behavior before moving on to something more complex or something else entirely.
As I thought further upon this tradition of reflection and resolution, I'm reminded of Jesus and how He can wipe our sins clean. Continually I must humble myself to reflect upon my sin and ask for forgiveness. From there I am reaffirmed and encouraged to seek and walk with Him. Of all the goals or resolutions I may desire to set for myself for the upcoming year, the greatest of all is this understanding. An excellent resource for spiritual reflection and resolution can be consulted in this article: Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year
Do you set goals for the new year? How do you determine yours?
p.s. With the start of 2012 is also the restart for the Reviving Homemaking Etsy Shop! I think giveaway is in order for that, yeah? Watch for the relaunch and giveaway later this week!!! :)