What’s Your New Year’s Resolution?
As 2014 winds down and 2015 fast approaches (by the time you guys read this it’ll probably be 2015 already!), we’re confronted with the dreaded New Year’s resolution.
Why are they so dreaded though? They shouldn’t be! I mean, our New Year’s resolutions are supposed to be goals to work towards during the rest of the year. They’re the first sentence in the book of a new year. What are you going to write?
That’s how I’ve always looked at them anyway. It seems like most of the world looks at them a bit differently. New Year’s resolutions seem to be sources of stress, and eventually guilt, for everyone, but particularly for women in sobriety.
This brings me back to the question of why? Why do we freak out over what to focus on in the new year? Why do beat ourselves up if we don’t reach a certain weight or go to the gym a certain number of times per week? It seems kind of silly if you ask me!
With that in mind, I’ve come up with some tips for practical, realistic, and healthy New Year’s resolutions. I hope they help you wonderful ladies make yours!
While thinking about how to best make a healthy New Year’s resolution, I kept coming back to this idea. How can we tell if we’re succeeding at our goal, if our goal isn’t specific and measureable?
It’s great to say “I want to reach out to more people,” but what does that look like? How will you reach out to more people? What constitutes “more people?” Ten, twenty, fifty, a hundred people?
Be specific! It’ll pay off when we’re able to measure how much progress we’ve made over the year!
Plus, making a specific and measurable resolution may even help us to avoid unhealthy ones. It’s easy to say “I want to lose weight,” but when we get specific, we can see that losing weight isn’t as important as building friendships or getting outside our comfort zones!
This goes hand-in-hand with being specific. Make a realistic New Year’s resolution! After all, it’s great to say “this year I’m going to make $10 million,” but how realistic is that?
We set ourselves up for failure when we make unrealistic goals, both as New Year’s resolutions and in general. So, let’s avoid that! Instead of trying to make $10 million, let’s set our sights on getting a raise.
What’s that you say? Oh, yeah, be specific! Let’s say, “I’d like to get a 10% raise during the new year.” Sounds good to me!
Pray & Meditate Before Making a Resolution
This isn’t so much for New Year’s resolutions, but for everything! When we pray and meditate, our thoughts and actions are healthier. When we seek out God’s will, instead of our own, our thoughts and actions are selfless. When we seek to give, rather than receive, we get back so much more!
Prayer and meditation are key to making healthy choices. Why not ask what God wants us to do in 2015? Right away, that’ll eliminate some obvious and unhealthy resolutions like losing weight. Would God rather we lose weight or help another woman? I’m guessing the answer is help another woman!
Don’t Include Weight
This is probably the hardest suggestion to incorporate into any New Year’s resolution. It is for me, anyway!
It seems like our culture is constantly telling us to lose weight and be skinnier. So, it makes sense that a popular, probably the most popular, New Year’s resolution is to lose weight.
And there’s nothing wrong with wanting to shed a few pounds. But when we make this our primary focus, our end-all goal for entire year, well, then we run into trouble. Especially as women in recovery from substance abuse and harmful behavior!
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
I can’t stress this enough. Don’t beat yourself up about not sticking to a New Year’s resolution! Oh, it’s March and you only reached out to five people? Don’t sweat it! You have the entire year.
Now, there’s a fine line between not beating yourself up and slipping into apathy or avoidance. There is for me, anyway. I’m an alcoholic who tends to think in extremes. I’m either all in or all out. I’m either beating myself up or not caring at all.
I need to find a medium. We, as women growing in the image and likeness of our creator, need to find a medium. That’s a whole other conversation, though!
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re struggling to accomplish your New Year’s resolution. Remember, it’s just a resolution. It’s not do or die. It’s not the end of the world if we don’t accomplish everything we want to.
It’s the attempt that’s important. It’s the fact that we’ve striving to be better today than we were yesterday that’s important!