Ah. New Years’ Resolutions. Everyone fills their list with lofty and hefty goals… often times, too many hefty goals. The end result is complete burnout before the month of January even ends. Did you know that the second Friday in January is actually called “Quitters Day”?! According to Inc.com, a whopping 91% of us won’t achieve our Resolutions!1
This could be a depressing thought, but on the positive side, you know this now - before Quitters Day.
That may sound like a joke… or is it? The real silver lining in this, however, is knowing the obvious. New Year Resolutions don’t work if approached haphazardly. You need a plan.
Just this morning, I was listening to a podcast on great leaders. Part of the discussion was reflecting on how great leaders know that success begets success. Every small win is gasoline for the next win. Which makes total sense when you consider the time span from New Years Day to Quitters Day.
Think about it: Let’s say you set a goal to lose weight. You are going to eat right and exercise. 2 weeks later you are starving, sore and don’t look a whole heck of a lot different than you did on January 1st. Where is the gasoline to keep that fire lit?
The same could be said for your finances: You are going to get your financial house in order. 2 weeks later you are overwhelmed, frustrated by technology, and still don’t know how to climb the mountain ahead.
We could sit here and peel off resolutions one at a time, whether they are oriented toward your health or family, your spiritual growth, finances… it doesn’t seem to matter. The same outcome could apply to any of them. Most people develop New Year Resolutions to address multiple areas in their life. Zero to hero—why not?
Just think, you could: Wake up each day spending time with our Lord. Then you could have a good, sweaty workout. Afterwards, you could fix a healthy breakfast for your family, leaving everyone with a smile on their face and a song in their heart while not rushing out the door. You lead your team at work to achieve greatness and fill everyone’s pocketbooks. After work, you come home with tons of energy to give everything to your family and be the good Samaritan to help the neighbor lady with her lawn. After cleaning up from a nutrient-rich supper around the dinner table, you make one on one time for your spouse to hear about his/her day. Last, you spend your evening studying on vocation, reading from your favorite, inspirational author and writing in your gratitude journal about the day’s many victories just before 8 hours of shut eye to prime you do it all again.
It wore me out just writing all of that down. I might need to take a really hard look at the expectations you set for yourself on your resolution list.
So instead, why not try to set a realistic goal - to get real in 2024. What about just being intentional?
Maybe you really do need to focus on your health or your wealth. Maybe you need to spend more time with Jesus or your family. Maybe you need to simply remember to live in gratitude. Maybe you need to do it all. The thing to note is that you can’t do it in two weeks and you certainly can’t do it all at once.
Remember those wise words about great leaders—they know success begets success.
What one small thing could you be intentional about to find a little gasoline for your tank?
Maybe it is sandwiching your day with 15 minutes of meditation in prayer in the morning and 5 minutes of writing in your gratitude journal at night. Maybe it is getting up and doing just 1 pushup tomorrow or 2 minutes of jump rope. Perhaps it is taking 10 minutes at lunch to write your spouse or children a short love letter. Or perhaps it is simply putting a box on the counter this month to start collecting all your tax documents and bills, so that next month you can simply group them all in an organized format. If you are feeling really brave, perhaps you call your advisor to set up an automatic savings from your bank account—make it minuscule if you need to. The point is to get some gasoline in your tank so you keep advancing.
Benjamin Franklin offered some profound wisdom that can truly apply to all areas of life: Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.
Start small, be intentional, and win big!