I can't tell you the number of years I've charged into the New Year like a sprinter at the Olympics. Metaphorically of course, my top running speed isn't so impressive. I was certain that I'd accomplish every single goal written on those typed, double-spaced pieces of paper. Examples:
1. Give up sweets and lose weight while I was at it.
2. Organize the house, keep it perfectly clean, and donate all unnecessary items.
3. Give up TV for nothing but books and uplifting music.
4. Teach the kids to read, garden, and clean their rooms so they'd be little geniuses by age 3.
5. Be the most put-together wife and housekeeper around.
Every single January, I was incredible. I amazed myself...for three whole weeks. That's about as long as I could manage the Olympian lifestyle. One by one, the wheels of greatness would begin to fall off and despair would take root. It happened ever so gradually. Examples:
1. I ate a cupcake. Well, everybody needs a treat every now and again.
2. There's a pile of laundry sitting on the couch. At least the kitchen's clean!
3. If I hear that song one...more...time...
4. There are Legos under my son's pillow. Good thing we picked tomatoes today.
5. I didn't do my hair. But I'm wearing real pants!
The kicker about resolutions is that they encourage us to run from ourselves, to pretend to be something that we're currently not. Resolutions promote exciting promises like, "You're a better you in 2016!" "Forget about the past, the new you is unstoppable!" "If you just stay disciplined, all your dreams will come true!"
And so, I would run fast and hard for three weeks, then get tired. Don't you know, my old self would catch up to me every single time!? Goals are wonderful and a yearly vision is important, but at some point, we all face the same three questions:
Why are we doing what we're doing?
What keeps getting in the way of us accomplishing our goals?
Are the goals aimed at honoring God's call on our lives in the first place?
It's all about the motive. The reason we end up failing at resolutions is because we eventually have to deal with the spiritual and emotional baggage that comes with change. At weeks three or four or five, we have to face the real truth about ourselves. Here's the truth about me:
1. Weight loss is hard because I'm tempted to snack when I'm stressed or tired. I really have to rely on God's strength to choose healthy foods.
2. I'm not always organized because I'm creative and easily distracted. I pray for discipline. A lot.
3. Having adult voices in the background while I'm home with little ones keeps me sane.
4. I can only teach as much as my kids are willing to listen and learn. What they want and what I want are sometimes two different things.
5. If something falls to the wayside, it should be my expectations of a "perfect" house instead of quality time with the kids. They should win. Every time.
I'm wondering about your "why's". Maybe you're ready to face your own motives and make a list? I promise it's not as scary as it sounds.
Happy 2016 my friends,
Questions to Consider:
Believer. Wife. Mom. Writer. Marriage and Family Therapist. Accidental Speaker. Crossfitter and Total Book Nerd.
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