Resolutions: To Make or Not to Make?

About.com had an article which listed the Top Ten New Year’s resolutions:  

  1. Spend more time with family and friends.
  2. Fit in fitness.
  3. Tame the bulge.
  4. Quit smoking.
  5. Enjoy life more.
  6. Quit drinking.
  7. Get out of debt.
  8. Learn something new.
  9. Help others.
  10. Get organized.

Not a bad list to use as an outline.  I’ve taken a few of them myself and added some details by which to measure my success.  For example, my version of #10:

Get organized: Rise at 6:00 a.m.and complete my shower/dress/makeup/hair by 7:00 a.m. (I work at home and it’s a huge temptation to remain in my robe all morning!) Spend 1+ hours in Bible study and prayer, followed by  2-3 hours research/writing. Post a new blog by noon at least 3 days/week. Go to work at my secular job after lunch.”

So how did I do?  Well, today is my first day on the march of resolve — and I did pretty well.  I got out of bed at 6:15 and was showered and dressed by 6:30.  I didn’t do my hair or makeup since I am determined not to leave the house today.  I couldn’t go straight to my quiet time because my study/writing spot is in the bedroom and my  husband was still fast asleep. So I put in an hour of secular work, then went back for my quiet time.  I’m still working on this blog  — and it’s way after lunch — but I’ll have it posted in a few minutes!

So, all in all, not a bad day for that resolution. Not perfect, I know, but then I don’t expect to hit it perfectly every time.  I think that’s where most people fail in their resolutions: they set stringent goals and then give up on them the first time they break one. I’m sure guilty of doing that in the past!

Set goals by all means, but set realistic ones. And if you fall off the path of resolve, forgive yourself, get back up, and start marching again. 

And be sure to celebrate your small successes. I didn’t meet the time parameters in my resolution today, but I did achieve all my objectives (at least they will be met once I get this thing posted!).  So I’m going to celebrate with a hot cup of coffee and a few minutes of news and weather– then it’s on to the next item!

After all, what’s the goal of New Year’s Resolutions? Is it to be perfect?  No, resolutions are simply meant to give you focus as you work toward becoming a better person.  And that happens one baby-step at a time!

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As Ben Franklin said:

Be always at war with your vices,

at peace with your neighbors, and

let each new year find you a better man [or woman].