So I have a problem when it comes to participating in mass activities, thoughts, and feelings. I have many examples of this, among them:
Taking part in lent (never have, doubt I ever will).
Saying things I am thankful for every day of November on Facebook.
Here comes the big confession: Feeling holiday cheer for any sort of reason that “I’m supposed to.” I don’t know what it is. This goes for almost all holidays, not just The Big C.
I’m plenty stubborn, but that is somehow not the reason for this difficulty. I guess it just feels ingenuine to me. Like “Oh, NOW is when I’m supposed to have all these feelings of thankfulness for what I have been blessed with, or adoration for my Savior being born, or great respect for the ones who died for my country.”
I’m no Scrooge, I have plenty of festiveness and cheer running through my veins. I love celebrating holidays for the commercial reasons. I will put that change in your bucket with more gusto than you’ve ever seen. I will volunteer and shop and eat and partake in traditions like a boss. I will decorate and listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” until everyone around is sick of both her and me. I just cannot force feelings upon myself simply because I am supposed to.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful and stuff. Some form of “Thank-you” is pretty far up there on my most-said list (and trust me, I say a lot of words). I give so much praise to my God for sending His Son, I do. I just can’t seem to get with the program of being in some sort of mood on a given day. It’s a problem.
New Years both escapes and follows this trend of mine. I LOVE New Years. I think it’s so magical and that there is something special about celebrating accomplishments and memories of the past year, and ringing in the fresh beginning of another one. It almost makes me giddy.
The problem is with the resolutions. I feel like it’s similar to lent. I have never felt the need to declare things I will do differently, when said declaration almost never seems to hold up for
I’ve decided I’m going to give it a go this year. I am changing the pace though. My husband (who is all up in the business world, he and business are besties) recently told me about the “SMART pattern” for setting goals, and I’ve decided that this is the key for successful New Years resolutions. I’ve also defined my resolutions in the examples instead of boring you with a list. YOU’RE WELCOME.
S: Specific. Make the resolutions clearly defined and not vague. Bad: “I’m going to try to be on my phone less.” Good: “I’m going to put my phone away when I am out with Bryan, in the passenger seat of a car with anyone (there is a contingency for road trips, because, let’s be real here), and when we are hanging out in an intentional group setting (double dates, at someone’s house for dinner, etc).”
M: Measurable. Have definitive numbers or other measurable units in place to keep the resolution in check. Bad: “We’re going to save for a house this year.” Good: “Let’s make a plan to have ‘this specific amount’ saved to put down on a house this year, break it down into monthly savings, and keep track of it carefully.”
A: Attainable. Let’s not get crazy up in here. Bad: “I’m going to compete in a Half-Ironman this year.” (HAHAHAHAHAHA!) Good: “I’m going to do the ‘run’ portion of one of the sprint/olympic triathlons I plan to compete in without stopping for a break.”
R: Relevant. Make the resolution something that is already on your radar. If you pull something out of left field that you know you don’t care about that much, then it won’t be accomplished and it’s pretty pointless. I think this applies well to group goals. Don’t get suckered into a group resolution that you don’t care about that much. You’ll either give up because you don’t care about enough, or be miserable trying to stubbornly prove the point that you can do this. Bad: “I plan to read 10 books on business this year.” (If I want to be bored and sad) Good: “I plan to read 20 books this year.”
T: Time-Based. Give yourself deadlines for your resolutions. Don’t just make them willy nilly and hope they get done before next year. Bad: “This will be the year I hit my weight goal.” Good: “I am going to get down to a size 6(<- Specific. This is a two-for.) by the time my brother’s wedding rolls around (June 28th, I’m a bridesmaid) through my triathlon training and weight lifting.”
So there you go. I’ll let you know how it’s going through the year, and whether my disdain for these things grows or shrinks. For now I’ll just work on being thankful and full of praise all year round :).
What do you guys think of my Resolution Strategy, and what is your own?