Like I said last year, resolutions aren’t bad. I just don’t think they are the wisest things to rely upon. There’s nothing magical about January 1st. In fact, starting new habits on that day can undermine their success. After all, it is a holiday. And holidays are the perfect excuse for procrastination. Boom. Automatic failure before even beginning. So I tricked myself this year. I started my habit-changing early. I still have resolutions, but not starting on January 1:
- I often make a weight-loss resolution – and I think probably 80% of Americans who make resolutions would include at least one diet or exercise goal in them. This year, instead of lose this many pound or join this fitness club, I have a simple challenge: walk.
- Realistic goal – I’m not expecting to go from my NaNoWriMo “BIC” attitude to jogging marathons. I’m not even expecting to walk marathons. I just want to walk.
- Evaluative goal – I have to work up to the time I’ve set to start, but I’ve set a certain amount of minutes that I plan to walk every day.
- Short Term goal – I plan to walk daily for the entire year, but the details of the exercise will change as I reach the initial challenge. I expect to reach my time goal during the month of January without any trouble at all. And that challenge will change and get harder starting in February.
- Adding a Bible Study plan is the second most-added resolution to my list. The Lord has shown me in the last decade just how important feasting on His word is. Several years ago, I was out of practice for regular Bible-reading. I resolved to read a certain amount of minutes daily. Even on days when I was overwhelmed, if I didn’t read early, I wouldn’t go to sleep until I completed my daily reading goal. Like taking vitamins and brushing my teeth, spending time in God’s word became a habit. And the more I read, the more I enjoyed learning about Him and spending time with Him in prayer. The last couple of years, I didn’t use the same plan. Last year, I tried doing a Bible Study and prayer time first thing in the morning. Best laid plans … I’m just not a morning person. I don’t mind getting up early, but I get up when I need to get up, not before. At least not with any regularity. So this year, I’m going back to my original plan. Even have the sections that I want to study set up.
- Speaking of morning wake-up, that is my third goal. It starts with going to bed at night, which is tough because late-night/early-morning is my favorite writing time. Being realistic here, I aim to get to bed before midnight. That should make my rising at least 3 hours earlier than it has been over the holidays.
So I started my walking plan a few days after Christmas. My Bible Study plan started a couple of days before. My wake-up goal begins tonight – I hope. Well, two out of three goals are better than none!
Your turn: What are your resolutions for 2014?