Happy New Yada, Yada, Yada
It is that time of the year, the New Year! This is when gyms get a little more crowded... for a little while. It is when sales of fresh produce increase... until Valentine's Day when chocolate sales soar. And when self-help books start flying off the shelf… and start collecting dust on bookcases everywhere. We all fall victim to the intoxicating fever of renewal during the New Year. We all set goals. We all fail at those goals. The New Year is like the mother of all Mondays. It is when we say: I am going to do it! And then what happens? We fall off. Why do we fall off? As with any time of the year, we fall off when we hit a roadblock, or do not experience a consistent streak of winning. We feel disappointed and we stop. But this disappointment is different because it represents all of what we psyched ourselves up to accomplish in the year.
If any of the aforementioned pertains to you, then this article is for you! This time you are going to do it! This time you will meet your goals. And here is how we are going to make it happen. We are going to embrace three concepts.
Concept #1: You will hit a roadblock. You will mess up. You will make mistakes.
You may even mess up on purpose. You will not win every single day at meeting your goals. There will be a day, some days, or many days when your plans are foiled. You may at times be stalled or stuck in a holding pattern. One, some, or all of the above can happen. And guess what? It is okay! It does not mean that you are a failure or that you will not meet your goals. It does not mean that you are not worthy of getting what you want out of your life.
Now that I have normalized the messing up process, what’s a girl to do? Reframe the moment by finding the blessing in your so-called mistake. For example, if the mistake led you to lose $150, then reframe it and say, better to make that $150 mistake now because it can cost $150,000 later. If you feel stuck, start reviewing your plan again. Find the things that inspired you. If you are in a holding pattern that is beyond your control, make a list of other items you can accomplish in the meanwhile. This way you will still be and feel productive.
Concept #2: The Wagon
Have you ever said, “I fell off the wagon”? Most people say this when sabotaging a diet. The problem is not falling off the wagon. The problem is going to extreme measures. The problem after that is you cannot realistically sustain those extreme measures. So instead of eating sensibly and exercising, you now say well “I’m just going to eat cabbage and grapefruit for the next thirty days”. By day 5, when you have nonstop flatulence from the cabbage and cystic acne from the acidic nature of grapefruit, you just quit all together.
But what's wrong with the wagon though? Nothing! You just fell off of it. It's okay. It's a bumpy ride. This is not an easy journey. You will, from time to time, fall off the wagon. Get. Back. On. The. Wagon. It is waiting for you. You messed up. So what. Ish happens. Get back on track. In doing so you will evaluate how you fell off. Did you lose your balance, not have a tight enough grip on the handles? I am speaking metaphorically of course. You will gain so much more and be proud of yourself.
Concept #3: Winning the race
My favorite word is “persevere”. To persevere is to persist in anything undertaken, maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles or discouragement; continue steadfastly.
In my community we are taught that the race is not to the swift, but to those who endure to the end. I tell my clients that I much prefer to be in the race, and lose the race, than to be sitting in the bleachers watching the race. So you never mind winning the race, just finish the race! The God that created you designed a finish line tailored only for you. The lane He outlined for you is your journey and no one else's. You are in competition with no one. Why? Because God only made one you!
In our resolutions, let us resolve to embrace the journey and know that there will be challenges. You might stumble but you will never fail if you keep in mind that if you may fall 8 times just to get up on the 9th.
Have questions? I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Janine Muhammad is the Executive Director of Center For Strong Families, Inc.