Reflections on things that matter.
It’s the New Year! I for one, have made a resolution to write on this blog more frequently, so here’s to a year of CONSISTENCY!
Speaking of resolutions, the New Year normally splits people into 3 camps: People who make New Year’s resolutions, people who HATE New Year’s resolution, and people who just never think about resolutions. Until recently, I was in the second camp. I. Hated. New Years. It has been just another time when I look back and see everything I have failed. I’m not any skinnier, any healthier, any wealthier, any happier, etc.
It is from this attitude that I hated resolutions. Heck, I hated goals. I hated plans. I felt like every single time I made plans, they failed. Like, EPIC failed. I’m the girl who quit her job to move overseas, only to find out 3 WEEKS BEFORE I WAS SUPPOSED TO LEAVE that the the British Home Office had lost my Visa paperwork. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit salty about plan-making and goal-setting since then.
But just before the New Year, I started reading a book that shifted my mentality. The book is called 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller. Admittedly, I was pretty cynical heading into this book, but some things he said in the book checked my cynicism.
The main thing that checked me was a statistic. Did you know that 97% of Americans don’t set goals? At all. But the 3% that do are the ones who are considered successful in life. They make more money, have healthier bodies, and generally have happier, more fulfilled lives. The phrase Dan Miller used to describe the rest of us arrested my attention. He called us “victims of circumstances.” When I heard that, I literally said out loud, “but, I AM a victim of my circumstances…aren’t I?”
It was then that I realized that I have become a fatalist. Everything I do is at the mercy of circumstance and the ever-mysterious “will of God.” I’ve become someone who thought there was nothing I could ever do to fix my life except to beg God to have pity on me. My cynicism was rooted in self-pity.
A second thing Dan Miller said that made me feel like making plans and setting goals wasn’t for suckers was essentially that what I thought of as “goal-setting” was wrong. You see, many people set goals, but most don’t make practical plans of action to achieve those goals. This has to do with WRITING THINGS DOWN. This made me think of one of my dear friends, who for the past year has been doing something called bullet journaling. I may or may not write about my adventures in bullet journaling later on in the year, but as soon as I realized that I want a way to physically see my goals, plans of action, and progress, and that bullet journaling may just be that way.
But the most important thing I think I learned about myself in this new found desire to set goals and make plans is that for the past few years, I’ve been a victim of a crippling fear of failure, disappointment, and rejection. I have been afraid to fail because disappointment hurts, but that fear is also rooted in the belief that if God doesn’t allow me to succeed, it was because he doesn’t love me. I didn’t realize that those fears were a part of my thinking until I read this book.
So if you are like me, and you’ve fallen into the #antigoals mode because you just can’t stand the disappointment of failure, you aren’t alone, but you also may not be as stuck as you think. Here’s to 2017 goals!
Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the vision…make it plain…”