Welcome to Goal Setting Fridays!
So you can ruminate over the weekend & get a fresh start on Monday!
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Last week, we started this series with
The Power of the Gentle Start.
In last week’s post, I made this declamatory statement:
Resolutions aren’t Goals!
Every January 1st, we start claiming our New Year’s Resolutions:
I’m going to eat better!
I’m going to lose weight!
I’m going to write more!
I’m going to be happy!
And within a few weeks, or days, or even, let’s be honest, hours, we fall back to eating junk, packing on pounds, and ignoring our writing journal. And with that, the idea of being “happy” starts to feel very far away.
Why? Because we (unintentionally!) set ourselves up for failure!
We gave ourselves healthy, positive Resolutions, but as I stated already:
Resolutions aren’t Goals!
In this context, a Resolution is defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something.”
So, that sounds good, right? But think about the the word “Decision”:
A Decision happens in the moment, in the “now".
So how do you carry that Decision from the “now” into the longterm?
How do you find the strength to make that same Decision day after day?
It’s one thing to make that positive choice in the rush of New Year’s celebrations, but what happens in a few days when you’re tired, and hungry, and your old habits just seem so comfortable and safe?
Resolutions can be turned into Goals, and we’ll talk about that next week, but first let’s ask this:
If Resolutions aren’t Goals, what good are they?
On the surface, Resolutions are amazing! They speak to the great passion we all have to create a better life for ourselves.
But the moment we call them Resolutions, we fall back into the bad habits of January-past:
Make it - Break it - Feel bad - Give up until next New Year’s.
But, what if we could transform the way we think about Resolutions?
Instead of Resolutions, what if we called them our
New Year’s Aspirations?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “Aspiration” as “a strong desire to achieve something high or great.”
Right away, we see a change. A Resolution was a “decision”, but an Aspiration is a “desire.”
Desires aren’t limited to a single action. Desires flow through us constantly, pushing us forward from moment to moment.
Read down a little bit in the dictionary, and you'll also find this interesting definition: “the act of breathing and especially of breathing in”.
Now, we all know this is a medical definition of the word, but think of it in our context:
Our Aspirations are literally driven by the act of breathing,
which is an act of life!
This month, I suggest you spend some time thinking about your New Year’s Aspirations!
At this stage, don’t think about how you’ll achieve them or whether or not they’re practical.
Just breathe - in and out - in and out.
First, write a list of all the areas in your life:
- Add your own areas that make sense to you!
If you’re like me, you’ll do this on a large sheet of paper with lots of coloured markers!
I have friends who do this on apps on their phone, or on a fresh Word Doc.
Find the way that works best for you.
And when you think you’ve written enough, step away for a few hours or even a few days.
Take time to breathe in and breathe out.
Then, come back to your list, and add a few more.
Don’t take anything away at this stage.
Dare to dream a little bigger!
Add a few things that will stretch your comfort zone and really excite you.
Spend some time looking at your list, thinking about the things you’ve written, and if you’re like me, praying over those desires for your life.
Next week, we’ll talk about how to turn those Aspirations into Goals.
But for this week, just breathe and dream…
What are some of your New Year’s Aspirations?