A recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog used this quote – “I think in terms of the day’s resolutions, not the year’s.” (Henry Moore)
Moore’s advice is good on several levels. Many who make big New Year’s Resolutions are soon overwhelmed by the those same statements of good intentions. They tend to be frustrated by focusing upon the seeming enormity of accomplishing the whole resolution, rather than breaking the whole thing down and finding a small portion of it that can be accomplished immediately – today. It is much better to see the whole resolution as a set of steps that must be accomplished in order to reach the goal and choosing to take one of those steps today. What’s your resolution for today?
Breaking up the whole into manageable and achievable pieces goes hand-in-hand with time management. There must be time set aside specifically to accomplish the step that you have chosen to take today. It won’t happen just because you identified it as the step that you want to take. Perhaps it won’t happen at all. Maybe you bit off a bigger piece of the overall job than you can handle in a day. That’s OK, so long as you recognize that fact, stay focused on accomplishing something today and plan the unfinished piece for tomorrow or some future effort. Just accomplish something today that you can mark as “done” in your overall plan to reach your goal. What’s your resolution for today?
Sometimes our resolutions are poorly defined or maybe just poorly worded. Resolving to “be a better person on 2019” is certainly too nebulous to be acted upon or measured for success. It might be better to break down that well-meaning, but poorly stated resolution, into specific actions that you wish to take and which can be measured. Perhaps being a better person means interacting with others differently, with less pre-judgement, more acceptance of differences or just more compassion and caring. Maybe it means going out of your way, in a manner that you are aware of, to greet others, to smile and to sincerely ask how they are doing and then to really LISTEN to their response. A truly better person may find things in their response that offer opportunities to help or comfort or support. At the end of the day, you can look back and measure the opportunities that you had as you encountered others and reflect on your behavior during those encounters. Were you demonstrating that you’ve become a better person? Would they agree with that assessment? What’s your resolution for today?
Perhaps you’ve resolved to become a healthier person by losing weight and exercising more. Obviously, both of those larger goals are measurable. They are also daunting when viewed as a whole. Both are subject to being divided into smaller, daily goals. Each meal or snack during a day becomes a measurable sub-goal. Things like portion sizes and food choices will make a measurable difference over time. Choosing to take the first step towards better fitness by joining a gym is a good first step and one that provides an endless set of next-step opportunities as you actually go to the gym and work out. Maybe the steps before that choice involved doing some research into the options that are available. Make getting started on that research today’s resolution and keep making progress. What’s your resolution for today?
For some, finding their way back to God may be something that they wish to accomplish this year. There are many reasons that people wander away from God; too many to cover here. A good number of them have nothing to do with faith and everything to do with religion; or at least religion as it was being practiced, when they stopped going to church and wandered into the wilderness, away from God. A good first step in this case is to acknowledge that it’s not that you don’t believe in God; it’s just that you didn’t buy into how religion was being practiced at your last church. Don’t let that disappointment or disagreement stand between you and God. Realize that your relationship with God is personal and not dependent upon your membership in any particular religious group/denomination. The first step is to get back to prayer and your personal relationship with God. Resolve to take the first step back to God today by praying. What’s your resolution for today?
Maybe you resolved to get back to church after being away for a long time. Once you have reestablished that link with God, you can ask for His help to guide you to a group or church that better supports your needs. There are lots and lots of churches with programs and environments today that are more nurturing and supportive than you may remember from your last church. They are often filled with people just like you and provide a setting in which you can celebrate your faith together. So, go try a few. See which ones feel welcoming and right for you. Maybe you need to break that evaluation down into the things that you think make a difference to you in a church. Do that! Make you list and then start going to try out the churches in your area. Don’t worry about denominations or affiliations, just look for alignment with your beliefs and a welcoming and supportive environment. What’s your resolution for today?
So, amuse yourself with New Year’s Resolutions; but actually get something accomplished by looking at what you can do today.
What’s your resolution for today?