The excellent young writer Stephany Reihing has been writing guest posts for various blogs, as part of her New Year’s Resolutions, and we’re lucky to have her posting here, on tweaking those resolutions in the middle of the year. I saw her blog a few weeks ago when she first wrote about this habit, and I loved it, and asked her to come post here for my own crew. Thank you, Stephany!
Tweaking New Year’s Resolutions
I am a big fan of goals. I set yearly, monthly, weekly, and even daily intentions. I make to-do lists on a daily basis to make sure I am getting done what needs to get done. It keeps me organized and on top of things, which in turn, makes me feel better about myself.
I love setting New Year’s Resolutions. I spend the last part of December reflecting back on my year, what I accomplished and what I failed at, to grasp an accurate picture of what goals I want to set for the upcoming year. Some of the goals are grand, such as training for a big race, and some of the goals are small, such as sending snail mail once a month.
I love the end of the year. It’s such a fun time of reflection, even when it feels like I didn’t accomplish much. I love thinking ahead, looking at the big pictures and the small pictures, as I set intentions for the next year.
I can be fairly ambitious and adventurous with goal-setting at the beginning of the year. I have twelve, blemish-free months ahead of me where the whole world seems to be open in front of me. I want to achieve big things and do amazing feats! While I do make sure I set measurable, achievable goals for myself… I still can get ahead of myself and set goals that are a bit too big for me at this moment in time. And sometimes, I set goals that are important to me in January that don’t mean all that much to me come the summer.
That’s when the concept of tweaking your goals comes into play. I am a firm believer that no goal is set in stone. We are a people of fluidity, of changing habits and wants and needs. What we want at the beginning of the year doesn’t always hold true at the middle or end of it. Things change. We go through changes in our jobs, relationships, families, habits, likes, finances, etc. I am a fan of taking a look at the resolutions I set at the beginning of the year and figuring out which ones I want to keep striving for and which ones I set with good intentions, but it just doesn’t mean all that much to me anymore.
I believe goals should be challenging but they should also be fun. They should be things you want to achieve. They should require hard work and some measure of sacrifice, but they should also make you happy to achieve them. And when goals aren’t making you happy? When looking at them makes you want to turn away and cringe? That’s when it’s time to do some deep soul-searching, figure out why you set this goal in the first place, and whether or not you really want to achieve it.
I know New Year’s Resolutions can get a bad rap, because of the very reason that we don’t know what we want and how we’ll change throughout the year. And this is why I am such a fan of tweaking those resolutions. You are the creator of them and you can change them if you feel it’s the right thing to do. No goal is set in stone. They are fluid, just like we are.
I am a goal-setter by nature and I will always be so. I love taking my time to set big goals and small goals, and then going after them. But I also understand that I am more than my goals. Even if I don’t end up achieving most of my yearly resolutions, that doesn’t mean my year was a bad one. It just means that my year was. It was a year. It could have been a good year, where I did a whole bunch of things I never even thought to put on a resolutions list. It could have been a bad year, full of hard things where checking off resolutions wasn’t that important to me. Goals are fun to set and chase after, but life is meant to be lived as it is. I never want to get so caught up into goal-setting that I forget the most important part of life is to live it. Happily. Messily. Uniquely.
So. How about it? If you made resolutions some months ago, are they still resolutions you’re interested in? If not, toss them or change them. If so, start again! September is the new January.