5 Things to help you achieve and love your New Year Resolutions.
Every year by this time no one talks about New Year Resolutions. It’s a hot topic by the end of December and early January. But quickly the topic fizzles out by February. Keeping New Year Resolutions is an essential part of keeping our word to ourselves. It’s also essential if we want to continue growing at a personal level.
I recently revised my New Year Resolutions. I wrote in early December things that I thought would be so fun and completely out of this world if they ever happened. The thing is, it’s easy to write resolutions down. But keeping New Year’s Resolutions is another thing. As the weeks in January went by, I realized that some of the things I had set out to do, weren’t going to be necessarily useful. They also weren’t motivating me enough.
I went on a lunch date with my husband recently to go over our goals. During our lunch I was able to revise our New Year Resolutions. One evening I also spent some time polishing down the last few details and writing down how I could make everything work in a realistic way.
Then it dawned on me. I was terrified of the year ahead. How was I going to do it and what if I failed?
I stared at my cute little handwritten chart with numbers and all and had to calm myself down.
I did the math to make sure everything would fit with the budget and I knew we could do it all, but I also felt extremely tired just looking at it. My goals were going to require me to stretch myself and make sacrifices. To give up some things and say no to other things as well. Some of my goals were the type of grown up things that would help our family in the future and not necessarily make us happy in the present moment.
That night I went to bed with a prayer for help and I spent some time reading articles for answers on how to approach the year with joy rather than looking at another year wishing for all the hard things ahead to be over.
It took me a few days to find the answers to what I was feeling, but here is what helped me get back to feeling motivated rather than anxious about the work I had set out for myself in the future.
- You may not always achieve everything you set out to do, but what matters is that you are trying and working towards your goals.
Some goals may need to be postponed, other goals we may realize at times aren’t as important as we thought they would be.
Some things can be achieved at a later date, year, or time in life. What matters is that we are working towards something. The reason sometimes we are not getting where we want to go is not stemming from our lack of discipline and from a lack of effort. Sometimes we need to just press pause on some items that have been thinking about doing.
2. Don’t get so caught up into what you don’t have and are trying to achieve that you forget to look at how far you have come.
A few days after the evening I spent sad about all my super hard new year goals, I listened to my husband as he mentioned what we had accomplished in a year.
I listened quietly as he joyfully went down memory lane when I remembered how scared I felt right around the time we were about to start our past goals. Then it hit me, I couldn’t wait at the time to be done with all the stress of not knowing how things would work out. All I could wish for, was for the day that things would be exactly the way they were… well right about now. And where was I when that moment came? Too worried about what the future had to hold for me. Yet my past future was happening now.
I realized I was not going to let the future stress me out . Now was the time to rejoice and be happy about the work we did in the past and just take the time to savor it a little bit so no time to stress.
3. Remember how capable you are.
Sometimes it’s others that need to remind us what we have accomplished. Sometimes we need to find those reasons ourselves. We all had to learn how to walk, talk, read, survive at some point. Things that are now ordinary to us used to be a huge achievement when we were little. Whether we have had to achieve an education, survive a traumatic event, work on a difficult problem, everyone has achieved hard things. Other times because in the midst of us trying to be humble, we can undermine what we are capable of and forget that we have done hard things before.
We need to remember that just like we have done it before, we can do it again. We can stretch farther and accomplish more. We are capable of growing and being better. After all God created us and we have truly unlimited potential. I often quote to myself when life gets tough, “ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” We can do a lot.
4. Have Courage to Act
Be brave, believe in yourself. Have faith to act.
I love these two quotes below. I keep them written next to my daily to do lists because they remind me how to keep having strength to work towards my goals on the days that I feel the most discouraged.
“Be of good cheer and fear not, I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you.”
“The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.” President Russell M. Nelson.
5. Stop planning, just do it.
Sometimes we can plan things until we are blue in the face. We can ask others who did it how they did it. We can even have a perfect manual of instruction and stats that show us the plan and path of how others achieved exactly what we want to achieve.
There is an element in our brains where we tend to almost struggle to believe something until we have lived it and done it and felt it on our own skin. But sometimes that requires us to just jump and go.
We may not have a perfect plan or script. We just need to trust and persevere and go. It’s the only element missing in our formula. Hence the saying, don’t overthink, you are thinking too much about it.
We will probably mess up a long the way, and be awkward, and things will be different unnatural to us, and scary. We can think about walking or we can try and walk. The first time we will doit it won’t be pretty looking. Rather awkward actually. But through practice and perseverance we will get there.
There is a story in the Book Of Mormon where Nephi was asked by His father Lehi to go retrieve the Brass Plates in Jerusalem. It took his brothers many failed attempts, and Nephi two attempts to finally find a way to get them. Until they finally did it.
So try and do it, have courage, plan for set backs, believe in yourself, and remember you have done many hard things before, you can do hard things now too.