By Loretta McNary
We are just a few days from ringing in the New Year. Along with planning the big New Year’s Eve countdown celebration, cooking black eyed peas for good luck, comes with creating the infamous New Year’s resolutions.
Webster defines resolution as a firm decision to do or not to do something; the quality of being determined or resolute. Coincidentally, Webster defines goals as the object of a person’s ambition or effort, an aim or desired result. For this article, resolutions and goals are interchangeable.
Every year, we promise ourselves that “this year “will be the year we finally achieve our goals, and we will not give up on our resolutions. What if I told you that the problem isn’t you, it’s the way we approach resolutions and setting our goals, overall?
What if – the manner we typically set resolutions based on what we think we should be doing, rather than what we truly desire gives us a disadvantage. Normally we focus on what we want to lose (weight, habits, bad relationships) rather than what we want to gain (joy, fulfillment, love). And so, we go through the year, lugging around a list of obligations that feel more like a burden than a blessing. No wonder we stop trying to achieve those resolutions by February!
Imagine the endless possibilities, if we reframed our resolutions as an invitation to fall in love with our lives? What if we ditched the “I should” and “I must” mentality and instead focused on creating habits and experiences that bring us pure joy? Envision setting goals that make your heart sing and encourages others to do the same.
Take me, for example. Last year, I resolved to “get in shape” – a vague goal if I ever heard one. But this year, I am reframing my physical goal as “dance with wild abandon” at least twice a week. Suddenly, exercise becomes a source of joy, not drudgery. I can’t wait to put on my favorite song and lose myself moving to the beat. Or consider the classic “eat healthier” resolution. What if, instead, we vow to “savor a healthy homemade meal with loved ones once a week”? Now achieving this goal, benefits everyone around us.
Suddenly, healthy eating becomes an excuse for connection and pleasure, rather than deprivation. By reframing our resolutions in this way, we shift our focus from what we lack to what we really desire. We give ourselves permission to dream again, and to enjoy the journey. And when we stumble (because, let’s face it, we will), we’ll be more likely to forgive ourselves and keep moving forward, rather than throwing in the towel. So, as we approach the new year, I urge you to throw out the old resolutions’ blueprint and start fresh. Remember, ask yourself, what do I really want to feel and accomplish? What impact would I like to make in my family and community?
It is important to believe that setting and achieving goals is a journey, not a destination. Let’s start celebrating your progress and accomplishments along the way, no matter how small, baby steps count too. Also, don’t be too tough on yourself if you encounter setbacks or make mistakes. As an alternative, learn from them and use them as opportunities for growth.
This last step is critical for growth and sustainability; surround yourself with people who support and encourage you. Having a positive and motivated community around you can make a huge difference in your journey to achieving your goals. Here is my greatest advice when it comes to achieving goals, be patient, determined and persistent. Be unstoppable.
Achieving your goals takes time and effort, but with the right mindset and approach, you can reach your full potential and accomplish great things. I believe in you!
Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year!
Loretta McNary is the Lifestyles contributor to the desotocountynews.com website and social media channels. You will be seeing her columns on a weekly basis here on the website and be sure to catch “The Loretta McNary Show” on her channels, including YouTube, Facebook, her website, and others.