I'm 25 years old. I've lived for 25 years. But guess what: I have never fully accomplished a "New Years Resolution". It's incredibly frustrating that every year I say "this is the year I will do it", only to fail miserably just as I did the year before.
We have a problem. We tend to have no self-control. Sure, some people do, but most of us don't. We set goals- good, ambitious goals- but we only stick to them for a month or so. We make excuses today, tomorrow, and the next day as to why it's ok to break our commitments "just this once". But "just this once" turns into "one last time", and "one last time" turns into un-achieved dreams and un-reached goals. In turn, un-achieved dreams and un-reached goals become an unsatisfied life and a disappointing existence. Our little compromises have a big impact.
I have a lot that I would like to accomplish this year. I said that last year.
I want this year to be different. I said that last year too.
So what can I do to make my goals stick this time? Honestly, I'm not sure. I don't know all the "secrets to success", if there really is such a thing. But I do know there are a few things that may aid in my attempts to reach the goals that I haven't been able to attain in past years.
Plead for Self-control
The first and most important thing I need is commitment- resolve. I know that if I utilize self-control, I will be on track for success.
Self-control is Biblical- it's actually a fruit of the Spirit. Unfortunately, patience and self-control are two fruits that I severely lack. I know the Lord can cultivate those fruits in me, and I know that I need to ask Him to give me those things.
God wants us to be self-controlled because He knows that we need it in order to become the people He calls us to be- people who love without selfishness, people who don't lash out in anger, people who take good care of their spiritual and physical health, and people who don't give in to temptation. Success in these things come from having self-control.
Since self-control comes from God, I need to carve out time to go before Him and ask Him to grant me those fruits. I have faith that He will answer that plea.
Take an E-course
I recently found a free E-course by Ruth over at Living Well, Spending Less. Ruth is a well-known blogger who has created a course and work book that focuses on helping us live out a great year. Ruth's course teaches how to be a good goal setter and goal achiever. The course offers videos and "homework" that are designed to help us dig deeper to figure out what really matters and what we really want to make happen in the coming year.
I am really excited to start Ruth's course and I think that she will be a great person to take a course from. She is very successful, yet seems down-to-earth. But whether you take her course or a different one, I recommend finding an E-course that is geared towards helping you set and attain your goals, dreams, and resolutions this year. What could it hurt?
Start a Planner
I love the idea of weekly and monthly planners. They are so organized. They make me feel like I am being more productive just by owning one. Unfortunately though, having one on my bookshelf or somewhere under my bed doesn't help me achieve anything at all. I actually have to use a planner in order to reap it's benefits. Go figure...
I tend to go through phases with my planner. I will use it for a week or so, feel better about myself, and then get lazy and stop using it again. Ooopps.
This year, I ordered a planner online. It wasn't super expensive (I can't afford that), but it is a little nicer than the one's I usually but. It offers daily, monthly, and yearly goals and "to-do" lists, and I am hoping to really utilize those features.
If you want to accomplish your resolutions this year, start and use a planner.
Get Some Sleep
No matter how hard you work to accomplish your goals, you will fall off the wagon if you don't get enough sleep.
You cannot and will not get where you want to go if you are too tired to function. If you are lacking sleep, you will get overwhelmed and frustrated, and you will eventually give up. Sleep deprivation and ambitious resolutions just don't mix.
Find Your Exit Buddy
Remember in Finding Nemo when Crush the turtle asks of the younger turtles "do you have your exit buddy"? Well, that's exactly what we should do- find our buddy.
We cannot achieve goals nearly as easily on our own. We need people on board. We need to include our spouse, our best friend, our mom- whoever- on this journey of ours. Ask for accountability. Ask for encouragement. Ask your buddy to be there for you.
We can do this, guys! Let's make this year different. Forget about last year. Focus on each day as it comes.
Do you have any tips for accomplishing resolutions? Comment below.