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Given Up on Your New Years Resolutions? It’s Okay. A Little Encouragement to Get Back on Track.

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

How are your goals going? Did you set any this year? I imagine that 2020 left many of us wondering if we have any influence over the direction of our lives at all. We may have been unable to stop job loss, financial loss, fear, relational division, or a chaotic country. Many of us felt pretty disempowered. I know I have felt that way. If you managed to hold onto your hope and a sense of dominion over your own life direction, then maybe - just maybe - you set some goals.

So, if you did indeed set goals, first off, props. Second, are they going well? I don’t know how long on average most people stick with their goals after New Years, but if I had to guess, I would imagine that the majority of us don’t make it past February.

Why is that?

Well, I would like to present two possible reasons.

1. We set A LOT of goals and we can’t manage that much change at one time. I have a growth journal that has 12 growth categories. TWELVE. Can you imagine trying to make 12 changes at one time?

2. We failed early on. We missed a day of exercise, or Bible reading, or didn’t stick to the budget.

If I could add a third, it would be that you have kids. Oh kids.

Any who, I would like to talk about the second.

Have you ever heard the sentiment, ”If you are not going to do right then don’t do it at all?” Most of us have. However, I have not applied that little proverb in a proper context. I applied it in every context and in every situation.

There are times when applied, it is a very good thing. Like, when you apologize, apologize with a genuine heart, otherwise, you might as well not apologized at all. It has very little meaning if you apologize with an insincere heart. However, there are times when you apply this all-or-nothing thinking that it might not actually benefit you.

For example if your goal is to clean the bathroom, you think you must clean the WHOLE bathroom. I would like to propose that if you clean just the toilet, is it not better than cleaning nothing at all? Doing 80% of the dishes is better than doing none of them. Texting 2 people back is better than texting none. It is better to make progress on your goal even if you don’t nail it. How often do you approach your goals like having to clean a whole bathroom?

There are many times that partial completeness is better than nothing at all.

I will admit, I am already behind on my goals but I know that any effort I put towards them will benefit me. Maybe you have already thought of this and I am not sharing anything new, but why do so many of us quit then?

I believe it is because we think it is either is all-or-nothing and when we do not do “all”, we feel defeated and quit. Keep going friend. Progress is what life is. We never arrive.

I want you to ask yourself a few questions.

1. Do I have an all-or-nothing thinking pattern?

2. How can I get back on track with my goals?

3. How can I let go of feelings of shame or failure when I fall short and appreciate my progress instead?

I hope you are encouraged friend. Your strides are important. Your start is important. Your progress is important. Life is about growth, anyways, and growth comes with failure, challenges, and setbacks. I believe in you. You got this.

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