Here we are, right around the corner from a new year! Times seems to go by faster and faster with every turn of the calendar page. How are you feeling about the upcoming new year? Excited? Expectant? Ho-hum?
No matter what you’re feeling, odds are you, like millions of others, have heaped a butt ton of new expectations on yourself. You’re going to eat healthier; be more present; enjoy life more; lose weight, blah, blah, blah. A newer, better version of you is just around the bend, right?
I’ve been there too. Every year I declare this year will be different. This year, I will do x,y, and z and every year, I let myself down.
This world tries to convince you, on a daily basis, that who you are, what you are, where you are isn’t enough, isn’t good enough, rich enough, young enough, isn’t thin enough, smart enough, healthy enough, on and on it goes. Until suddenly, you begin believing it too.
Thoughts of negativity ramble through your mind. You look in the mirror and you see someone who isn’t any of the things the world tells you-you need to be.
So, every January 1st, you sit yourself down, have a nice stern discussion about everything you’re not and how you’re going to DO all of these “things” so you can be better, thinner, smarter, healthier, younger, etc.
Then, you may stick with this new you plan a week, a month, maybe longer but the odds are stacked against you.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
According to 2016 Statistic Brain Research Institute, most folks will fall off their new resolution plan before the end of the first six months.
|Length of Resolutions||Data|
|Resolution maintained through first week||75 %|
|Past two weeks||71 %|
|Past one month||64 %|
|Past six months||46 %|
In fact, only about 8% of us will be successful in our resolutions.
|New Years Resolution Statistics||Data|
|Percent of Americans who usually make New Year’s Resolutions||45 %|
|Percent of Americans who infrequently make New Year’s Resolutions||17 %|
|Percent of Americans who absolutely never make New Year’s Resolutions||38 %|
|Percent of people who are successful in achieving their resolution||8 %|
|Percent who have infrequent success||49 %|
|Percent who never succeed and fail on their resolution each year||24 %|
So where does that leave you?
Exactly the same as you were before this new year nonsense started. Left holding the same baggage, the same thoughts, the same diet, the same old same, everything is the same. UGH!
It Doesn’t Have to Be the Same
One of the more difficult tasks you and I face is figuring out how to shut out who and what the world tells us we have to be and do.
There is definitely no shortage of what the world tells us is wrong. How often do you hear commercials about products that will help you lose weight, make you look younger, give you financial freedom, help you buy a new car…and on and on it goes.
Pretty soon you are completely convinced what you have, how you look, who you are is NOT okay.
Americans spend billions of dollars a year on these nonsensical products to give us the life we are told we need to have, nay the life we deserve!
What are they really saying? YOU ARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH! What you look like is not good enough; what you have is not good enough.
The truth is, THEY ARE WRONG!
Where does it all end? Where do you draw the line?
The truth is, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!
You are beautifully and wonderfully made.
Do you have some baggage? Probably
Do you overindulge? Sometimes
Do you want to be healthy? Sure
What all of those commercials, TV shows, etc don’t tell you is that no matter where you are, what you look like, or what you do or don’t have is that YOU are SPECIAL.
There’s not another YOU in the world.
What you look like, what you wear, what you have, none of those things matter.
They are fleeting, at best.
Your True Value doesn’t lie with things (weight, wrinkles, cars, etc) your true value lies within you!
There’s a verse that tells you who you are, Psalm 139: 13-16. This verse is your beginning.
When you read it, insert your name where ever you see the words me, my or I. Where you see the word you insert God.
Here is the verse as I read it for myself as an example:
For God formed Robyn’s inward parts; God knitted Robyn together in Robyn’s mother’s womb. Robyn praises God, for Robyn is fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful is God’s works; Robyn’s soul knows it very well. Robyn’s frame was not hidden from God, when Robyn was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. God’s eyes saw Robyn’s unformed substance; in God’s book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for Robyn, when as yet there was none of them.
Your Turn: Read it out loud inserting your name and God’s name. It takes on a whole new meaning when you make it personal. Go ahead. Try it.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
You were made to be just who you are. That doesn’t mean you can’t change. It doesn’t mean you cannot strive to be more, do more. What it does mean is there is nothing wrong with you. God made you, this world doesn’t get to define you or shape you. You get to make those choices.
Choices for a better you; choices for a happier you.
When you make a resolution, you’re typically looking for something to be different, that something is meant to make you a happier you.
Perhaps the failure of resolutions is not so much in the what as much as it’s in the how.
You can set yourself up to succeed. Success comes through choices. Perhaps the first choice should be TO BE HAPPY.
Truly happy. Happy with who you are right now, where you are right now.
Resolutions goals are things you typically believe will make you happy, er happier.
You do want to be happy, right?
Happy is a choice you make every day.
In an article, Choosing To Be Happy; Strategies for Happiness: 7 Steps to Becoming a Happier Person, Tom Valeo writes about being happy. I’m here to tell you, you can start with right now in making all of those
resolutions goals come true:
# 1: Don’t Worry, Choose Happy – Choose to make happiness a top goal
#2: Cultivate Gratitude – This involves listing a few things that make you grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair and promotes happiness.
#3: Foster Forgiveness – This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment
#4: Counteract Negative Thoughts and Feelings – You can learn to recognize and challenge thoughts you have about being inadequate and helpless.
#5: Remember, Money Can’t Buy Happiness – Regardless of what we achieve in the pursuit of stuff, it’s never going to bring about an enduring state of happiness.
#6: Foster Friendship – There are few better antidotes to unhappiness than close friendships with people who care about you
#7: Engage in Meaningful Activities – This is a state in which your mind becomes thoroughly absorbed in a meaningful task that challenges your abilities. To get more out of life, we need to put more into it
Perhaps we are choosing the wrong things as our
resolutions goals and that is why we rarely succeed.
You see, it isn’t that you’re a failure. You’re not! I’m not.
True happiness doesn’t come from what we give up or change or resolve to give up or change. True happiness comes from what we DO within our own minds and lives.
True happiness comes from within, not from without.
Which of these 7 strategies will you choose to start your new year off with a positive bang?