The first of the year is a time of new beginnings. It’s time for many people to set resolutions to make the change for the future they want. This year, make it your goal for your resolutions to be successful by following a few simple strategies. (Have you read DailyPS’ free eBook on Making 2020 Your Best Year Yet? Here’s the link.)
Why Set Goals?
Nobody wants to stay exactly where they are at this moment in time forever. Life is full of opportunity that is waiting for you. Setting goals provides a destination to work towards. However, while many of us make New Year resolutions, as many as 25% will quit within the first two weeks, and by February, 80% will have stopped working towards their resolution. Of those resolutions, many are making the same ones that have been made in years past.
John Maxwell says, “People change when they hurt enough that they have to, learn enough that they want to, and receive enough that they are able to.”
The 8 Sections of Your Life
It’s impossible to “check life’s problems at the door” and continue through your day as though nothing is wrong. Many parts of our lives bleed into other parts. Imagine a pie divided into eight equal slices. Each slice of this pie represents a part of your life. The parts of your life include:
- Home Environment
- Intimate Relationship
When you bite into a pie, and you taste a rotten piece, you know the whole pie is bad. The same is true with life. When one area of life is out of balance, it affects all the other sections of life.
There will be times in life when different areas feel like they are out of control. In these instances, what you decide to do changes your life. Your resolution is to get each area of your life healthy.
How to Create Change
The first key to change is to recognize and name what needs to be changed. The second key to change is deciding on how to change. Realizing that, regardless of the results, you have the power to create change by how you choose to handle it.
For the areas not going as you would like, you must recognize you have a choice. You can:
- Avoid the situation.
- Ignore the situation.
- Change the situation.
I have a lot of Christmas decorations. During most of the year, the Christmas totes are stored in the upper part of the garage. This year, I had an idea to keep the empty totes in the bottom part of the garage to save the steps of putting them away and getting them down again in a month. Now, my garage is crowded and I can barely open my car door (yes, I park in my garage). As I grumbled getting into the car one morning, I realized I have control over this situation for I can:
- Avoid the totes by parking outside on the driveway.
- Ignore the situation and continue to struggle to get into/out of the car.
- Change the situation by taking the time and energy to move the totes upstairs.
No matter which decision I make, the choice is mine. By doing nothing, I am making a decision to not change. This year, which area of your life will you make it your resolution to change?
Set Simple Goals
A few years back, I heard a sermon by Levi Lusko about goal setting. What he said has impacted me and my approach to setting goals. To be successful, set small goals. Levi Lusko presented the idea of goal setting with exercise as this: If you want to set a goal for New Years, don’t set it so high you fail. Don’t go from not exercising to the goal of exercising 5 days a week for an hour a day. Surely you will fail. Instead, set your goal ridiculously simple so you are sure to succeed. Set your goal for 1 pushup a day. Then, after you have done one, if you want to do a second one, you have surpassed your original goal. When you see success, you will increase your goal to reach the next level.
The Season of Change
The third key is understanding that change requires two components: time and cost. An acorn is planted in the ground. It takes several weeks for the roots to be established. Then it takes several more weeks before the shoots are seen. It will be years before there is a full grown oak tree.
Your personal growth and development is like an acorn. The changes you are making start within you and will remain unnoticed at first. Change requires time before you see the results in your life.
Change will always cost you something. It may be your time, money, friends, pride, etc. In order to bring about the change you desire, you have to decide what you are willing to pay.
Change is never easy. In fact, it’s very difficult which is why so many give up and remain in the same situation, unwilling to take the necessary steps required for change.
The last key to successful change is gratitude. Gratitude will keep you on the right track. It will cause you to be thankful for the little victories, for the continued perseverance, and for the challenges. Remember, childbirth is painful but from that pain comes beauty.
You will not change without meeting resistance or temptation in some form. James reminds us:
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4
Where there is comfort, there is no change and where there is change, there is no comfort.
Find joy in your discomfort, not discouragement, and have faith that it is changing you and leading you to a new and better future. This year, make it your goal to make the resolution for change.
Set Your Goals
As you plan your goals for 2020, ask yourself:
- What areas do I want to change?
- Why do I want to change?
- What is my plan?
- Is my goal simple?
- How will I celebrate small victories?
- Who will support me?
Change is possible. Who you are today is not who you will be tomorrow. Embrace the challenge and move towards your new future.