Monday, December 30, 2013

An Unconventional Resolution

The New Year is fast approaching, and I have no idea where 2013 went. Like, seriously. No idea. It was an amazing whirlwind of a year filled with so many exciting things! The biggest being that I moved my family from Indiana to South Carolina (still reeling from that one). The smallest is that I started a blog that has been much more successful than I thought it would be-- thanks to all of you!

Like most goal-oriented, competitive people, I made resolutions at the beginning of last year, mostly pertaining to my physical health. I made some that are common: Lose weight, run a 5k, lose weight and lose weight-- come on, we all know that's how it is. Then some not-so-common (at least for most women): Squat 200 lbs, deadlift 200 lbs, do a pull up, and increase my sprint speed. Did I fulfill all of my resolutions? All but one: the pull up. Not. Even. Close. It was totally my fault. I didn't focus enough on them. For a period of time I kind of gave up even trying to work my way up to them. I just flat out failed. Though I'm trying not to focus on that one unfulfilled resolution, I can't help it. I am a perfectionist. Usually, if I set my mind to doing something, I do it and I do it well. Failure is NOT an option in my mind! That being the case, I'm sure you can imagine the strain New Year's resolutions could place on a person like me. You want them to be challenging enough, but not so hard you'll never reach them. Trying to be realistic while still setting the bar high enough is not easy.

I believe strongly in setting goals. Whether they're minor goals, like waking up and making a mental list of things you need to accomplish that day, or major like your New Year's resolutions or year-end business goals. Goals motivate the goal-oriented and keep the free-spirited focused. They are beneficial for everyone; however, my obsessiveness over this one failed resolution has me re-thinking my approach this year.

By definition, a resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something, and a goal is a person's desired result. When I considered that, I decided that my resolutions should help me reach my goals. My resolutions should not actually BE goals. So often we make specific goal-like resolutions but what is actually driving us to reach those goals? Goals are ever-changing, while resolutions are...well...resolute! We make these very specific resolutions at the start of a new year, and we hog-tie ourselves to them not allowing room for changing circumstances or new life adventures, so then we just give them up. A resolution should be something that can move with the ebb and flow of life. Something that, no matter the change in our goals throughout the year, continually drives us to end the year better than we started.

I have some specific goals in mind already for 2014. My physical ones are much the same as last year's: Lose more fat (getting away from the scale mentality), squat 300 lbs (we'll see how that goes), deadlift 300 lbs (again, we'll see how that goes), do a pull-up for real this time, increase my sprint speed, and do a 5 minute plank. I have other personal goals as well. I also make weekly and daily goals throughout the year. So, if my resolution should be something I determine to do that will help me reach my goals what should that resolution be? It was actually a tough question. It had to be something that would encompass everything from my physical goals to my personal goals. After a few weeks of dwelling on this, it finally hit me...

Laura's Unconventional New Year's Resolution: To become stronger spiritually, mentally, and physically.

Strength is the word of the year! I am resolute in my desire to be a stronger person-- strong in character, strong in faith, strong in mind and in body.

You might think it's too broad, or "Well, shouldn't that be the intention every year?" Perhaps, but I like the idea of using a broader resolution to drive me towards accomplishing my goals. When I want to give up focusing on my pull ups (like I did this year), my resolution to be stronger will motivate me to keep going. When life circumstances force a change in my goals, I won't have to give up my resolution. It will continue to keep me focused and determined.

So, what are your goals this year? I encourage you to make a list, and then look over those goals and figure out what is the one thing you know will drive you to accomplish those goals and let THAT be your resolution!

Thank you for making this year so great! The community and support I receive from you all motivates me more than you'll every know! Happy New Year to you and yours, and may this be your best year ever!!

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