By Rick Moore
How much weight will you lose this year? How much money will you save? How often will you exercise? Some new year’s resolutions are shared and some are only internalized. Meeting your goals usually depends on how badly you want to achieve them and what sacrifices you are willing to make. Here are some guidelines which can help you set your resolutions and keep them.
Never let past failures deter you from setting goals. A person who never fails will never aspire to greatness. Better to aim for the stars and hit the moon than to never aim at all. If a pole vaulter never knocks down the pole he is vaulting over, he will never know how high he can truly jump. It’s only after he has failed trying the same thing many times that he can begin to know the limits of his potential. Never, never, never quit.
Defer gratification. Walking through a bookstore you may notice a rack of books with pictures of perfectly sculpted bodies, most of which are selling the “secrets” of having a great physique. Often, directly on the other side of the same shelf will be an entire selection of books with covers ranging from chocolate cakes to hot fudge sundaes. It may seem hypocritical for the same store to sell books that make you gain weight next to books that cause you to lose weight. But the truth is, we all love ourselves in different ways. One way to love yourself is to say, “Self, I’ve had a rough day and I deserve that extra large milkshake on the way home from work.” Another way to love yourself is to say, “Self, I deserve to have a good healthy body and I’m going to take an extra hour to exercise.” Both are forms of loving yourself, but the second defers gratification and rewards you in the future.
Distinguish between goals and plans. Are you better off to say you will lose 5 pounds and do so, or is it better to say you will lose 10 pounds and lose 7? Many would say it’s better to say 10 and lose 7, unless of course you happened to have made a large bet you would lose 10 pounds. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word resolution means “a firm decision to do or not do something.” A resolution is more than a goal. It is a plan. My goal may be to lose 30 pounds this year, but if my plan is to lose 5 pounds this month, then come heck or high water, I’m going to lose 5 pounds… no excuses. Therefore, plan your work and then work your plan.
It is true that life may throw some surprises your way causing you to adjust your plans, but this is where your worldview comes into play. Some turn to philosophers such as Nietzsche and find comfort in his words, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I personally find comfort in the words from Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The name of the church I attend is “Destiny,” which is a reminder that there is a masterplan for my life. But like remodeling a house from a set of blueprints, life’s plans can be hard to understand and even harder to implement. Whether you are planning on minor changes to your life this year or a complete overhaul, I wish you all a Happy New Year!
Rick Moore is Communications Pastor for Destiny Worship Center in Miramar Beach.
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