Re-evaluate, Re-focus, Re-commit
New Year’s Resolutions. I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions. I love the planning and the list making and the prioritizing and the few weeks of motivation I get from my shiny new goals. I hate the guilt I feel when I don’t stick with them. Last December I decided I wasn’t making any resolutions this year. Then Jon Acuff started “Finish Year” and challenged his readers to join in. We were going to actually finish our goals this year. For once, in the year 2013, we would actually stick to our resolutions for the whole year!!!
I bought in. I was motivated. I made resolutions. Just three, simple goals that I felt like I could stick to for the whole year. Goal 1: Lose 50 lbs. by my 30th birthday. Well, I turned 30 earlier this month and since January 1 I think I’ve actually gained a couple pounds. Sooooo….
Goal 2: Run 3 races this year. Here’s the thing about Goal 2. I wasn’t going to run these races till this fall, after I’d lost 50 lbs. BUT, since I kinda dropped the ball on Goal 1, Goal 2 is kinda washed down the drain with it.
Goal 3: Read 50 books this year. Piece. Of. Cake. I LOVE to read. Reading is like breathing to me. It’s natural. I need it. This goal should be a joy to actually stick to. And it was…until I had camp for the month of June and I spent a solid 4 weeks with 100+ children and came home completely exhausted and didn’t read one single page. And then I realized half the year was gone and I was a little behind and if I was going to catch up I’d have to read a lot of books and it became overwhelming and reading wasn’t fun anymore…it became an obligation instead of a pleasure.
For me, the cost of losing my love of reading was greater than the cost of failure. I would rather read 40 books this year and keep the enjoyment than to force myself to fly through books one right after the other in order to reach my goal of reading 50 books. I knew it was time to re-evaluate my Finish Year goals.
I marked Goal 3 off completely. I don’t have a number of books I’m trying to read. Instead I want try to make reading my first choice for entertainment when I have a few moments of down time rather than staring at tv or computer screens. I might actually hit my original goal of 50 (especially since I was quite ill last week and spent the better part of four days laying on the couch, kindle in hand), but if I don’t it doesn’t really matter – I will still accomplish my intended purpose for that goal which was to read more and watch tv less.
I marked Goal 2 off completely. I blew it. Plain and simple. I HAVE to lose weight before I start running again. And since I bombed that goal, it’s too late for this one. I might run one race. Maybe even two later this year. But three isn’t going to happen. And I’m ok with that for now. Somedays I miss the running and I want to get back into a regular routine of it. But then I remember how much I hate and dread running and think there’s no way I’ll ever go back to that. Especially when I walk outside and it’s approximately 2000 degrees with 400% humidity. Instead I’m going to focus on exercising for the health benefits and not just on running.
As for goal number 1 – I still want to lose the weight. It’s obviously not going to happen by my 30th birthday, but it can still happen this year. So my new goal is to lose 50 lbs (plus the few extra I’ve gained) by Christmas.
In addition to modifying the goals I didn’t accomplish, there have been several writing projects and opportunities come up in the last couple months. I didn’t have any writing goals at the beginning of this year (other than to continue to blog regularly). So I’m allowing myself to acknowledge those writing accomplishments. They weren’t “New Year’s Resolutions” but they were still long term goals that I worked hard to complete. Allowing myself to acknowledge the work and the accomplishment helps me realize I haven’t been a complete, lazy slacker for the entire year.
Yes, I’ve fallen short on some of my original goals. But, lets think about the purpose of goals – they give us direction, something to aim for. They allow us to plan and to start taking steps with purpose rather than just haphazardly skipping through the year with no vision. If half way to your goal you realize your purpose has changed or new opportunities have presented themselves then your goals must change to once again give you proper direction. Purposefully working toward a goal that is no longer beneficial while ignoring a great opportunity that lies down another path is poor management of your time. While it’s always good to strive for completion, finishing a goal for finishing’s sake isn’t always the best use of your time and effort.
So for the rest of Finish Year, I’m going to focus on a few new writing goals. I’m going to choose reading as my first option for entertainment (unless So You Think You Can Dance is on). I’m going to lose weight. I’m going to work every day on developing good habits and a good routine for Mikayla (and myself!) so that we can have time to focus on “school” and her muscle building exercises and lengthening her 7 second attention span rather than just aimlessly floating through the day.
Question: How are you doing on your New Year’s Resolutions for this year? Have you stuck with them all along? Or is it time to re-evaluate?