This begins the second week in February. How many of you made a New Year’s Resolution only to realize you have already given up or forgotten about it? I recently read that 75% of all resolutions made on New Year’s don’t make it past the first week. Why is that? Could it be because we took on more than we could do? I believe resolutions are like meals. I grew up hearing the phrase “our eyes are bigger than our stomachs”. This is so true. Think about the last time you visited a buffet restaurant. You heaped your plate with all the items that looked so good, I don’t know about you, but I have never been able to eat an entire plate heaped with food no matter how good it looked or tasted.
New Year’s Resolutions…Instead take time to dream
We do something similar with a resolution. We pick something that has given us the most trouble, or something about ourselves we like the least. Then we gather all the ways we feel we need to change to fix this. To accomplish this we would need to be super human. We would need to be perfect.
Instead of revisiting your New Year’s resolution again, stop and try something different. Take a moment to close your eyes and picture your life the way you would like it to be.
- Where would you live?
- What would you do each day?
- Where would you like to work, or even what kind of work would you like to do.
Dream for just a few minutes. Don’t worry if it seems impractical to you at the moment, just go with it.
- How did you see your life?
- Was it much different from how you are living it today?
- Is this something you would really like?
This is your goal, not a resolution, a goal. What is the difference? A resolution is a promise to yourself that you will do something, or not do something, when you slip up you see it as failure and quit. A goal, on the other hand, is something you will work towards, taking small baby steps along the way.
Your dreams can come true
Last year, I sat down and did just this. I dreamed a little dream. My dream was simple.
- I wanted to live my values.
- I wanted to live closer to family, closer to nature.
- I wanted to own less so I would have more time for things which were more important to me (not having to clean out the closet yet again).
- I wanted to give my health more attention.
- I wanted to feel more connected to life and others.
- I wanted to find work that not only I could enjoy, but would have meaning for me and hopefully be something that would benefit others as well.
After I knew what I wanted my life to look like it was time to begin listing what wasn’t working at that moment. I took baby steps in my de-cluttering, allowing myself the time to do it as I was ready. When I was ready to make a move, I didn’t set a deadline, instead I put the word out for what I was looking for. You will be surprised at the number of people who will tell you what they have seen. From there I checked each out looking at each place through eyes that were viewing the spaces from the list of needs I had set.
What do you really need in your dreams?
As for work, it’s coming slowly. First I needed to know just how much I would need to earn to live the life I wanted. When you have a dollar amount in front of you work will take on a different meaning. For me, the move and the elimination of expenses I didn’t need or didn’t fit with my values brought my monthly total expenses to $570 per month. This includes my shelter costs, food, gas for when I need to use my car, insurances, and my internet connection. I then included an extra $100 for savings and incidental expenses I may run into, like a birthday present I may want to purchase for someone.
There I had it, the total I wanted to earn each month was $670 per month. Then I broke that down by week ($167.50) and even by day (just under $24 a day). You will never know how much is enough until you do this, I didn’t.
I didn’t give up anything I loved to come up with these figures. I still have vases of flowers around my home in the warmer months but I pick these, usually with my grand children, from the open fields around my home (these are better as well as they are not sprayed with pesticides). I knew I wanted access to the internet and wasn’t willing to sacrifice this to cut expenses. You can do this as well. It’s not about giving up what you love, it’s about having enough of what you need and love. Had I set a resolution, I would have most likely given up, because my resolutions were always about giving something up, when I slipped I saw failure and quit.
I dreamed a better life, my life was about having enough of everything I needed. I took baby steps to see that dream come true and because it was a goal (a dream of a better life) I was after I didn’t give up when I had a bad day or didn’t see the progress. The dream was too important to give up on. Try it and see how much more successful you will be by the end of the year. What is your heart longing and dreaming for?