As 2016 approached I started hearing many people talk about their “New Year’s Resolution”. You probably can quote the most often spoken one “I have to eat all this now, because once January 1 arrives I have to change my diet and start exercising”.
This immediately sends red flags bursting in my head. Why do you have wait to begin? Why add 10 more pounds now which will only depress you more in a few days? How is overeating today going to help you change your eating habits on a specific calendar date?
No, I don’t say these things out loud. But I do ask myself these questions as I look to my own plans for the New year.
Depending on what report you read, statistics show that 80-95% of New Year’s resolutions fail.
When a resolution is made, it is often a large goal: lose 50 pounds, exercise daily, quit smoking, etc. The problem is that while is the goal may be attainable, we often look on it as a one step completion.
This one step completion makes me think of a jigsaw puzzle, expecting to open the box and dump the contents onto the table as a complete picture. It isn’t! To work this jigsaw puzzle you have to put all the pieces together in the appropriate place – ONE PIECE AT A TIME. When I work a puzzle I first sort out and find all the outer edges, then find what pieces I can internally that will match, I seek out color and design, and move forward, one puzzle piece after another.
The same process it takes to complete a jigsaw puzzle is required to complete a new resolution – one piece at a time. If I desire to lose 50 pounds this year, I need to work on the first 5 pounds, then another, and another. If I desire to run a marathon at the end of the year, I have to get off the couch and start to walk, try a 5k, then start running the 5k, then move on.
Think back to the days your child was learning to walk. First the baby started to roll over, then tried to crawl and continued until scrambling all around the room. Later the baby tried to pull up on things, then moved along holding onto furniture until finally those first steps away and fall. The baby does not give up, but instead pulls up and tries again until finally walked across the room to you.
We become so hurried and want everything NOW that we forget about those baby steps. It takes baby steps to makes changes. Celebrate each successful step! And when you fall, you will fall, get up and try it again.
Start dates and goals are necessary to move forward, but that is not enough. We need accountability and a plan. We need more than a desire, we need commitment.
No, I haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution. I am making a list of goals and reviewing them for attainability. I am picking the one or two I am willing to commit to and breaking down the goal into small steps which I can achieve and am willing to work on.
What are you committed to in 2016? What plans are you making to accomplish the goal?