By Mike Smith
Happy new year!! happy new year!!
It’s a New Year and that means it’s resolution time for most people. Some of the resolutions I’ve seen on Facebook are: I’m going to lose 25 lbs this year, save $5000, take a vacation, get into a masters program, and so many more!
I love resolutions. They’re fun and exciting, what we envision our ideal self could look like. However, I’ve personally found them challenging to live out. Usually there’s little motivation to change after the novelty of the new year wears. Sometimes they can be influenced from wrong perspectives. Google has billions of reasons why resolutions fail.
I’ve decided to shift my thinking to lifestyle changes. Although the process to lifestyle changes isn’t exactly the sexiest, it almost always guarantees measurable results. A lifestyle can be managed, but a resolution without a plan is more like a hopeful wish. Planning or shifting New Year resolutions into lifestyle changes can actually be simple and fun! Here’s four steps I would start with:
Time of Reflection:
Make time to look at old resolutions, goals, and dreams. How have you done in those areas? Are these still things that you want to accomplish? What new things would you like to do or try if your interests have changed? During the time of reflection it’s important to celebrate things that worked out and to also give yourself grace for things that didn’t work out. So go ahead and pat yourself on the back after this. Whew.
Time of Dreaming:
This is my favorite part. So please let your ideas flow freely. If you’re having trouble dreaming things up, my Pastor Keith Battle breaks life down into these sections: Fitness, Finances, Family, Career or Field, Friendships, Fun, Faith, etc. Try to think of at least one thing you’d like to see in those areas in 2017.
Time of Planning:
Planning may be the lengthiest, but most telling and rewarding step. Planning is key to lifestyle changes because it is being extremely intentional with how time in your life is lived. Honestly planning wasn’t my thing, I hated it. I loved doing what I felt and when I felt like doing it. I was forced into it a little when Danae gave me a passion planner. It caused me to take a serious look at planning. (Even if the reason was to not misuse a gift. Lol jk jk) Planning unlocked a whole new world for me. I’m not the best at it, but I’ve seen positive results from the very first week of planning. I can’t imagine doing life without planning now.
During the time of planning, it’s helpful to divide the year into four three month sections: Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, Jul-Sep, Oct-Dec. Each section of the year roughly covers about 90 days. Take 3-5 of the things you’ve dreamed up and schedule them into your life. A great start to adding structure to your goals is to use S.M.A.R.T. goals. For more info on S.M.A.R.T. goals check this link.
Time of Making it Happen:
Seeing your ideas, dreams, and plans start to take off will give you life. Live out what you planned up. Be forgiving. Have fun with it. Get creative. Invite friends in on the process. Have accountability. Take things slow. And most importantly there’s no need to compare your story to anyone else’s. You got this!
Lifestyle changes have no expiration date. They can happen extremely fast or take time to develop. Take as much time with each step that you may need. I plan to spend a large portion of the first 90 days reflecting and resting. 2016 was such a year of dreaming and working for me. I look forward to building on that this year.
2017 will be one of the best years yet. I wish you the most amazing year ever! I’d love to hear your thoughts on resolutions and lifestyle changes. What has/hasn’t worked for you?
Mike Smith Jr. is an artist based in the Washington, D.C. area. Mike appreciates all forms of the arts and all things creative. He is a musician and his love for different styles can be heard in his bass playing. Mike is also a hobbyist photographer. When he isn't gigging or playing bass, he loves to travel and capture those moments with his camera. If you'd like to connect with Mike more you can follow him on Facebook.