Monday, January 3, 2011

Turning Impossible Into Possible, Part 1


With the New Year here, I - like most everyone - think about the past and the future.  What did I like about 2010?  What do I want to change to make 2011 better.  I started making a mental list of resolutions for this year.  At #10, I knew that it wasn't going to happen.  Great resolutions but totally unrealistic.  If change is truly going to happen, this is not the way.  So, I started doing some research.  Webster!  Of course, the first place to start.
resolution:  a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner
These definition seemed so "Hollywood" to me.  Can't you just hear it, "I made a decision and suddenly my karma was better!"  Seriously!!!  I know that if any good comes from my life, it is because of the work of the Holy Spirit, not something that I decide to change. 

So, if resolution isn't the answer.  What is? 

I started thinking about the word "goals".  Enter Webster!
goal - the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behavior intended to achieve it; "the ends justify the means"
Plan...terminates behavior....I am liking this!  So I started googling how to have success in your goals. 

I found the article "Resolution Solutions:  6 Great Ways to Make Your Goals Stick"  by Joan Esherick.  Eureka!  The first sentences pulled me in...
I will go on a diet.

I will get my spending habits under control.
I will be more patient with my kids.
I will be a better wife, daughter, sister, friend.
I will exercise regularly.
I will pray more.

Sound familiar? If so, you're one of more than a million Americans who made New Year's resolutions this year. And by about March, if you're like most, you've either given up on your resolutions or you're about ready to quit. How do I know? I've been a New Year's resolution dropout myself.

It certainly wasn't because of a lack of desire; I wanted to change. Motivation wasn't the issue, either; I was highly motivated (at least in January). I couldn't identify the problem until I stumbled upon some old training objectives I'd set 20 years earlier while working in student ministry. I was amazed at how similar my ministry goals were to New Year's resolutions. As I read through my files, I realized my difficulty in keeping resolutions was less a matter of desire, discipline, or motivation, and more a misunderstanding of how to set goals effectively.
This week, I am going to write about the suggestions in this article, my own goals, and steps that I am making to keep this from being another "New Year dropout!"

Read Part 2

Until then...What are your Goals for 2011?



2 comments :

  1. I worked on my goals today, but I'm not finished. One thing I'm trying to do this year is be super realistic about what I can accomplish. I have a tendency to think I can do way more that I actually can! Planning goals is no place for perfectionism in my opinion. I'd rather set reasonable goals and look back at the end of the year and see that I'd accomplished them than set unrealistic goals that go unmet. Great post and I look forward to this series.

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  2. My main goal this year is to love more. God, myself, my children, family and friends, and others. Included in this is purposing to get up at 530 Monday-Friday to spend time with God and to get a workout in before it's time to get up and get the boys ready for the day. This of course means that I need to get to bed at a decent hour and budget my time better during the day to get things accomplished. I'm also trying to work on my words especially with my children. Showing them more grace and using my words to help and uplift them more than hurt and put down. I'm praying more for the people around me than I am for myself (including setting side one day a week to fast for the salvation of my children). And I'm looking for regular ways to serve the community. I took the boys to serve at a homeless shelter last week and it was such a moving experience that we will be doing it on a regular basis.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.