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the mini-resolution


Confession is good for the soul. That said, I have a confession to make.

I am not a New Year’s resolution maker.

(Gasp!) Is the world still standing?

First, and I say this in the kindest way, most of the time I see people (myself included) set all kinds of well intentioned resolutions on January first, and then plummet into a pit of defeat less than a month later because they just couldn’t quite keep it all together. Real life caves in and smashes the hopes and dreams of the resolution.

Secondly, there is so much pressure and expectation placed on ourselves to achieve and succeed at our goals that we either become a slave to our resolutions, or we simply quit.

Now, before you jump to conclusions and assume that I am a complete slacker, let me add a little clarity.

I’m not anti-goal setting. And I’m not really anti-resolution making. In fact, I tend to set goals for myself throughout the year, as needed. For instance, before the beginning of the school year I usually set a few personal goals for myself, as well as for my family. If something in my life feels out of whack at any point in the year, I try to address it and make the proper changes. While I don’t typically make any type of formal January first commitment, I’m not entirely without purpose.

But this year I decided to try something different, and here is why: There are things that I would really like to implement into my life (disciplines, habits, new challenges), but when I looked at the list as a whole I suddenly became paralyzed. I can’t conquer it all at once. Then my sister gave me a brilliant suggestion of setting a goal for each month – the mini-resolution. Instead of trying to cut out sugar, exercise everyday, journal everyday, go vegan, cut out meat etc., etc. all at once, the goal is to choose one thing to work on each month.

And here’s the long-term benefit of the mini-resolution…what we resolve to do in January, we will be more likely to continue doing in February, March, April…all year long. It takes doing something 20 times (or 20 days) to create a new habit. After having mastered one goal over the course of one month, the hope is that this will have become a new way of living. Achievable goals. It’s really about taking that big list of New Year’s resolutions and breaking them up into 12 bite size resolutions, with the hope and expectation that these new habits will be a new way of living.

Here we are, approximately mid-way through January. If you are like me, and not a hard core resolution maker, it is not too late to set some mini-resolutions. They don’t even have to be earth shattering. Trust me. Every season of life brings on its share of limitations and possibilities. If it makes you feel better, one of my goals for 2017 was to fold and put the laundry away the same day I actually did the laundry. Believe me, this was a necessary and challenging goal.

As you make your monthly resolutions, remember to take it one day at a time. Maybe start with asking God for guidance. Seek him first, and then set your plans. We can do this!

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Proverbs 16:3

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