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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Three Things to Do Before Making Your New Year's Resolutions

We’re often so busy bemoaning our failures that we fail to notice our successes.

The last few years of my life would sound over the top in a telenovela. Oh, yes, if I think about it, I have failed in many ways, and quite spectacularly, too.

The other day I had an epiphany:  given the outrageous way Life has Happened to me, I ought to be crouching at the bottom of the closet, hiding among the coats, gibbering. No, I haven’t met all my goals. But I’m not locked in the bathroom howling, either. I started looking at what I had actually managed to accomplish, and saw that is something to be proud of, worthy of note and congratulations.  I’d be willing to bet you’ve accomplished things, too, even if you haven’t accomplished everything you wanted to. Before you make your New Year’s resolutions, please do three things that will make you feel stronger and set you up for success in 2016.

Stop. That’s the first step. Just stop. It’s easy to beat yourself up for your failure to meet your goals. Stop doing that for just one moment.

Second, reflect on what you have accomplished. Take note of each step you have taken towards your goals. You wrote three poems? Great! You finally cleaned out your sock drawer? Super! You didn’t gain any weight? Fabulous! You actually bought a bike? Wonderful! Even if it’s just a little step, if it advances your progress, notice it.

Third, take pride in your accomplishments. You might not have reached your goals, but you have made progress! Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back. You may not have reached your goals for 2015, but you made progress and progress is something to celebrate.

What if you didn’t do a blessed thing towards accomplishing any of your goals? Dropped out of NaNo at 0 words? Gained ten pounds? Still smoking? That sock drawer is exploding? Think about this:  you have survived the year, and you have the courage and determination to try again. That in itself is something to be proud of.

There is no true failure until you stop trying.

Realizing what you have accomplished, what you have faced and what you have conquered will help you realize that you aren’t a failure at all, and give you a solid basis to set new goals and make those New Year’s resolutions.

Here’s to your success!  

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1 comment:

  1. Failing means that we tried! How many rejection letters before we finally get published? Was it worth it? Totally. And once it's done, we focus on the accomplishment, so why not keep our eyes on the prize all along.