I am not, traditionally speaking, a fan of New Years Resolutions. I have always questioned the reliability of my (and others) commitment to change or growth for the sake of a holiday. Yes I am a bit cynical, but hear me out, real change comes because we are inspired for ourselves to be better. Maybe through some higher calling, like Mother Teresas "call with in the call", or maybe a health or relationship scare - pain can be a great motivator. Either way, change or growth is almost never sustainable if we do it for something or somebody else.
So... why am I writing about New Years Resolutions if I am not a believer? Because I still believe in change and growth, and it is helpful to have a starting point. The 1st of January is as good a day as any. Also, New Years resolutions need no explanation, we all know what it means. But what does the word "Resolution" really mean? a new or changed habit? No, it means that one is firmly determined to do something or decided on a course of action. Notice the language here, it is strong and decisive, unwavering and motivated. When was that last time you felt that way? Or maybe the better question is when was that last time you were motived to be like that? Can you imagine what could be done, and who you could become if you lived this way? I think this is why New Years Resolutions, as a concept, are so attractive.
But what if you don't live up to your goals? Resolutions, at times, can become demotivating and scary, so "Better not make one" right? I mean what will people think of you? What WILL People think? It is difficult to get that ridiculous thought out of our heads isn't it? We put so much damn value on the value others have for us. This has to stop if we really want growth and change. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying the opinions of others should be wholly disregarded, only that their opinions should be relegated to simply that, opinions, not measures of our personal value.
What value is the opinion of others if they criticize you for trying to get better? This is rhetorical, there is ZERO value, but it does give you a window into them. You see, when we live our lives authentically and people judge us for it, then we get a window into how narrowly they see they world. Who cares about the views of narrow minded people? But, if you are starting to notice how others judge, then you can step into compassion for these people, lest you become one of them. In other words, do not waist your mental energy narrowly judging others for narrowly judging because that is how they live their lives, narrowly. Insert golden rule, Luke 6:31 "do to others as you would have them do to you".
So what does this have to do with goal setting? If framed through this perspective, this view frees you to try and fail what ever goals you may have without shame, guilt, or the judgement of others because you bear no concern for their approval. You are free to screw it all up and try again, or to "fail forward" as John Maxwell would say. You see, nobody gets it right the first time, so don't expect that of your self. Remember, though you may fail along your many attempts to succeed, the only great failure is the attempts never made. So set your aim on the area within your own heart and mind that you desire change and growth. Notice I said, "your own heart and mind", this on purpose, as this is the only thing truly in your control. So aim intentionally, fire repeatedly, and go get it.
PS: There is no shame in getting help, we are literally designed genetically to be in community and support of one another. So if you need it, drop your pride, and please reach out! As Jack Johnson says, "We're all as lonely as we wanted to be."