Thursday, January 1, 2015

Why It's OK to Make (the Same) Resolutions Yet Again



January 1st:  a day a resolutions.  Often, a day to dust off last year's resolutions and begin anew.  This "wash, rinse, repeat" method of goal-setting tends to bring guilt to some, and to make others throw up their hands and say, "Forget it!" To any of you who wish the focus on resolutions would just go away, might I suggest a different perspective?

". . . by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. . ." (Alma 37:6)



Small steps, repeated daily, make me who I am.  Sometimes I tend to underestimate the power of routine.  I discount the simple steps, and look for something more to make me who I want to be. 
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If I focus on where I am not, and refuse to just start moving in the direction I want to go, I will never get there.  However, if I consistently take one small step after another, I will find that those steps add up.


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In 2013, I ran a 10K race for the first time ever.  Last year, I ran two 10Ks.  I've already signed up for two to be held in 2015, and plan to add in at least one more.  However, in the month of December I hardly ran at all. My next 10K  race is in a couple of weeks.  I'm woefully unprepared for it.  

Like those who feel guilt over the thought of resolutions, I still fight with myself mentally regarding my accomplishments.  Am I a real runner?  NO, and yes. No, because I don't look like a runner, I'm not fast, I haven't run much lately, and I've never run a marathon (and, truth be told, I don't even want to run 26.2 miles in one stretch!) Yes, because. . . well, I've run.  

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Am I where I want to be?  Not yet.  Not even close.  And, I'm pretty sure that I ran less in December 2013 than I did in December 2012.  At this point, I could tell myself, "See?  You'll never become a real runner!" or I could remember that I am more of a runner than I used to be.  There is no magic finish line, no race that will transform me into a real runner.  But each little step accumulated over time is another drop in my real runner bucket.  

Running one step is not difficult.  Consistently running day after day is a challenge, but instead of beating myself up for days missed, I need to focus on the positive, pick myself up, and just start again.  

So, while my 2015 resolutions look eerily like my _____(pick a year, any year) resolutions, I'm OK with that.  I'm learning to be patient with myself.  I'm learning to look not so much for a finish line, but to recognize the blessings of the small steps along the way. Unless I reach perfection in the next 12 months (and please don't imagine that I think that is possible!), my 2016 resolutions will look like this year's resolutions.  And that's OK.  

Setting resolutions allows me to recommit myself to those things that are important to me.  Is my physical health as great as it can be? Is there room for improvement in my spiritual health?  In my relationships with others?  In prioritizing my time?  Every year, as I set resolutions to improve, I am acknowledging the importance of those things in my life.  I am planning to do a little better.  And by each small and simple thing, I become more of who I really, truly am.  

Thankful thought:  I'm thankful that the small things count.  


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3 comments:

  1. …I like the theme of perseverance in this post. The quote of 'dusting off' brought to mind my own favorite form of that principle. I don't recall the original source, but the expression is quite simple, 'get knocked down 10 times, get up 11'
    One of my resolutions this year is to explore the (extended/expanded) application of the practice of 'identification', which for me, is to try and 'see the world as the other person is experiencing it'.
    I believe that one of the best things about (trying to) identify with the other person is that it does not require one to become the other person (at least in terms of particular knowledge or attitudes or opinions), it simply charges us to try and 'know how it feels to experience...'

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  2. You have such a wonderful attitude and this was just what I needed to read today. Thank you!

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  3. Persistence always pays off!

    My goals for the year are "recycled," too.

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!