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It’s that time of year again.  The time when we make resolutions for all the things we want to accomplish during the new year.  We all do it.  Even when we don’t think we are doing it.  The new year makes everything feel fresh and like you get a new start.  However, if you look back over the last decade of resolutions made, how many have you actually accomplished?  If you are like many people, probably not many.  And that is partly because we put too much pressure on ourselves.

Under Pressure

Some people thrive on pressure.  It pushes them and they accomplish great things.  But some people don’t.  It kind of paralyzes them.  Eventually, they feel bad for not achieving their goals and they give up.  I’m guilty of this pattern.  As are so many others.  Take the resolution to “Lose Weight”, for example.  Most people who make this resolution start off with a bang.  But the minute they feel they have “messed up”, the guilt creeps in and they give in to “messing up” more and more.  The next thing they know, the year is coming to a close and they haven’t accomplished their goal. 

So, this year, I am going to try something new, and I invite you to try it along with me. 

Instead of Resolutions, Ask Questions

This year, instead of specific resolutions, I am going to create a habit of asking specific questions that will help me achieve the things I want.  I am not focusing solely on the end goal but on the little moments we can much more easily control.  It’s the equivalent of taking a project and breaking it down in to smaller, more manageable chunks. 

With everything I do this year, I plan on asking:

  1. Will this make me…
    • Happier?
    • Healthier?
    • Wiser?
  2. Will this serve to…
    • Strengthen my family?
    • Strengthen my relationship to God?
    • Make a difference?

If the answer isn’t yes to at least one of those questions, I am going to do my best to not participate. 

How Do the Questions Help

These questions encompass many of the aspects of the goals we try to achieve each year.  The goals/resolutions we set for ourselves each year are usually tied to the deeper feelings we want to experience.  Things like happiness and health.  By asking questions related to the ultimate feelings you are aiming for, you make small steps towards your goal and experience some of those feelings along the way.  If you want to write down specific goals then do.  Having a list of things you want to achieve is great.  But the pressure of HAVING to achieve those things without taking smaller steps towards them can be overwhelming.  So, use this list as a reference and not as the end-all, be-all.

Let’s all try the question route this year and see if we can achieve more this year than we have in the past.  I, for one, am looking forward to comparing the differences.

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