Five (5) Tips for Keeping Your Resolutions
- Know what you are saying and mean what you say. What makes a resolution significant? The key word is “decision.” The verb tense of the word resolution is, resolve. Resolve means to come to a definite and earnest decision about something; to decide to do something different. Doing something different requires a change of behavior, which takes place after you change or make up your mind. A resolution requires a changed mind to lead the body to changed action. In essence, it means YOU HAVE GOT TO DO DIFFERENTLY THAN YOU HAVE BEEN DOING. (Romans 12:2) There’s no way else to get there. To think otherwise constitutes insanity.
- Understand your reason for your resolution. If it does not align with your creed then it may need to be adjusted. Thus, you need to understand your deepest reason for your decision. What is the Deeper Meaning? What is your creed? Marian Williamson wrote a poem several years ago entitled Our Deepest Fear. It begs the question, “What is your deepest fear?”
The essence of the answer is this; most of us are afraid to fail. As a result, oftentimes, we do not attempt to do the things we long to do because we are afraid that, if we fail at them, we will be “failures.” Thus, we bury those longings deep down in our hearts hoping they will go away and be forgotten. But they will neither go away nor be forgotten because they constitute the meaning of you.
You must be wise enough to discern the difference between that which you have a passion for and that which you feel passionate about. While feelings come and go, that for which you have passion is what you have been called to do. It has been placed on you, whether you like it or not. These are your deeper roots. Your change commitment must be based on your deeper roots, for these cannot be taken away.
They will not be picked up by the wind or strange things and be carried off. Nor will they be muffled out because they sprung up out of the shallow ground. They will grow healthy, strong and blossom. (Matthew 13:1-9) The truth is, failure is often relative. On most occasions, we fail to meet our own expectations. And, if we fail in life, it is only because we gave up. Overcoming the obstacles thrown at you to prevent you from reaching your goals is often how you find success.
- Set your plan and objectives: It has often been said, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” (Proverbs 29:18) Without setting objectives to achieve, you often will rationalize, justify, or simply not try to press yourself beyond what your mental self-imposed limitations say you can do. After watching Michael Phelps win eight (8) gold medals in the summer Olympics held in Beijing, China in 2008, and watching his interview, I realized greatness does not come by repeating past performances or achieving previous achievements. Greatness comes when a person surpasses previous successes, achievements, and accolades.
Greatness is not achieved by only repeating what you’ve done before. That is not great. Greatness takes place when you achieve something you’ve never achieved, never experienced, and never literally seen. When this happens, something new has taken place; something that has never happened before. And so you will never be able to reach beyond yourself if you do not set objectives that stretch you and are just beyond what you have ever done. Another familiar saying comes to mind, “Shoot for the stars, and you might reach the moon.”
- Tell somebody! It is all about accountability. Telling someone helps you remain accountable to your plan. In a sense telling someone lets the secret out. When you say your plan out loud, you hear it as well as those you tell, and you are a witness to your own testimony. This should convict you, because, if you do not do or at least attempt to do what you say, you dishonor your own word. It’s also important to tell someone who you trust will hold you to your word by “calling you out” and asking you how you are doing with accomplishing your plan. This person does not need to harass you. (S)he simply needs to remind you of your promise. You will need to keep it.
- Do not give up! If you do not reach your goals, or if you fall off the wagon, get back up and start again or take up where you left off. Achieving your goals is not about never falling, it is about getting up, and what you do after you get up. I once worked out with a friend who set a substantial goal to compete in a fitness competition by the end of the year. She worked out diligently for four (4) months, but then stopped going regularly and her BMI (Body Mass Index) increased, which is not favorable. She became discouraged. But I told her she need not feel discouraged because she had achieved far more during this year than she did during the previous one. She had lost more inches and weight. She was able to fit clothes she could not before.
Although she may not have reached the stars, she got very close to the moon. Again, success is more about overcoming than it is winning. As long as you live on this earth, life will continue to happen. It can happen to you and toss you to and fro. Or you can see your vision, set your course, and head down the path grappling with the obstacles in your way while remaining focused on getting to where you set out to go and realizing your vision. It is not a short race. It is not a quick scheme.
There are no shortcuts. But it is a journey. There are three hundred and sixty-five (365) days in the year. Take every single one of them and move along the path you want, especially if it is the way that is best for you. If it is not, take a moment to step back, refocus and start over at step one. Blessings and Peace to you, and, May your soul prospers, as your body is prospering in 2012! (3 John 1:2)