It’s that time of year again. Half of your facebook is idealistic 20-year-olds proclaiming that this is the year they’ll lose those twenty pounds, and the other half are naysayers proclaiming resolutions are pointless since no one lives up to them anyway. Anyone leftover are probably parents or teachers commenting with words of encouragement or wisdom.
Of course we can set goals at any time of year, but there’s something about the new year, something about writing January 2nd, 2017 that makes you feel as though everything you couldn’t accomplish on December 30th, 2016, is now possible.
We set goals, obviously, to improve ourselves. Whether it’s reading more or working out or watching less youtube or becoming a better gardener, there is something we can all do to self-improve.
But we live in a culture that values complacency and contentment above challenges and self-improvement. In the past, I’ve fallen victim to that sort of thinking. For the last couple years, I’ve let myself fail at my goals and be happy with that. Last year, I said I wanted to blog more, and if I didn’t, I would be okay anyway.
Guess what happened? I hardly blogged at all.
This year, I’m not doing that. This year, I’m holding myself accountable, and I’m talking about my goals with other people in my life, and they’ll hold me accountable. And if, at this time next year, anything is still left undone, I will be disappointed with myself. I haven’t challenged myself with anything that I can’t do.
You know what? I’m a fantastic writer, and Ive been doing myself a disservice by not blogging. So I will blog, once a week, and at the end of the year I’ll have 52 new blog posts up.
You know what? I have plenty of time in my day that I’m wasting on Netflix or youtube. There’s no reason that I can’t read 100 books, so I will.
You know what? After all that time has been reallocated to reading, there will still be time left I’m wasting. Even when it’s freezing out, there are stairs in my house, I can walk up and down them. There’s no reason I should spend 8 hours of my day sedentary.
You know what? There is plenty of food in my house. There’s no reason I should be eating less then 3 servings of vegetables each day.
This is why we set goals. First, we challenge ourselves to do the things we can do, but aren’t or won’t. And then we push further. There’s more satisfaction in challenge than contentment. At the end of the year, I’ll have something to show for this.