Sunday, January 02, 2011
Sunday Wisdom: Starting the New Year Right
Whatever the resolutions you make, none of them will ever happen if you don’t first, write them down, and second, give them regular check-ups.
Finding the right resolutions for ourselves can help us stick with and complete those resolutions. A resolution is really nothing more than a goal we set for ourselves. Sometimes they are easy, but most of the time they are difficult.
The reason? We set goals that are nearly impossible for us to ever achieve. Instead of goals, perhaps we seek dreams. Of course we’d like to wake up one day and find ourselves the perfect weight. Who wouldn’t like to have an unlimited supply of money? And when we get right down to the core of our desires, most people would like to have the freedom to use their time the way they want, when they want, and with no forced limitations.
We may not be able to have any of that ever given to us, but if we are willing to work toward our goals, and do so consistently, there isn’t much we can’t become, if we really want to. If you want to become thin, curb your habits of eating chocolates and add more movement to your daily routine. If you want to become wealthy, stop spending so much of your income, learn to invest, and maximize your education to bring in more money each month. If you want to be more spiritual, schedule time to read your scriptures, attend the temple, or provide service for others. Get the picture?
“Set your goals—without goals you can't measure your progress,” Elder Marvin J. Ashton taught. “But don't become frustrated if the victories don't come quickly or easily. Remind yourself that striving can be more important than arriving. If you are striving for excellence—if you are trying your best day by day with the wisest use of your time and energy to reach realistic goals—you are a success, and you can feel proud of your accomplishments."
I once read this quote: “The greatest quality on earth is the willingness to become.” There are many things each of us would like to become, but the only way it will ever happen is for us to get started. Elder Richard G. Scott says, “To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done.”
No matter where the focus of your goals might be, you must do something different from what you’ve ever done if you hope to achieve great things. So, this year, do something different. Pick an area or two of your life you want to change, give yourself two or three very specific goals, set a time to have those goals accomplished, and write it all down!
Then schedule a resolution check-up 30 days from now. Evaluate your progress. Discover what’s working, and repair what’s not.
If you’ve hit your goal, celebrate! Then choose a new goal and start again–no one ever said it HAD to be January to begin. Rather than worrying about the start of a new year, let’s think instead of starting toward a new YOU.
That’s the kind of resolution I can live with.