There is nothing like a fresh start, a chance to begin again, an opportunity to make changes. Tomorrow we celebrate 2015, take a good look at the past and then, with the sticking of midnight, we put another year behind us. New Years Day we will dream of what’s to come, aspire to new plans and make some resolutions:
“I’m going to work harder, eat smarter, play more, lighten up, work out, loose weight…”
New Year’s Resolutions give us a good feeling–like we have regained control. Goals rejuvenate our ambition, like a fire under the feet, motivating us to run harder. It’s all good… right?
I’m not so sure any more.
I used to love setting ambitious goals. Every year I would take the time to plan my schedule and task list around the dream I pressured myself to create. We used to have a tradition of writing our new year’s resolutions on paper and sealing them up until the following New Year’s Eve party. It was fun to see what could be accomplished in a year if we set our mind to it, but, honestly, it was also discouraging to realize that we hadn’t really gone after some of the goals. The real confidence killer is to be reminded of dreams that were completely forgotten in less than a year!
It is said that “feelings follow action” but how often we let our feelings hold back our actions.
It’s kind of a catch 22: we set long-term goals to motivate our present day, but with so much time available to accomplish that goal, today’s motivation isn’t very significant.
“I’ll start tomorrow.”
How do you eat an elephant?
Wait, I don’t WANT to eat an elephant! Not even one bite at a time. I’ve been overwhelmed with task lists and busy schedules for too long. I want to enjoy my life and my relationships. I want to LIVE my dreams. I don’t want to be stressed and striving for them only to be disappointed in myself when I don’t achieve them!
There’s got to be a better answer.
Perhaps Todd Herman is onto something with his 90 day year. Shorter-termed goals is a brilliant concept. Why? First of all, because our ambition only lasts as long as our confidence does. Most of us can do anything in short sprints. Small successes build our confidence. If our confidence is strong our feelings are less apt to rule our lives. Secondly, we can better focus on God’s will instead of our own.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
This New Year’s Eve, let us not be disappointed or discouraged. Instead, let us appreciate all that we have learned and experienced in 2015. And as we prepare for the new year, let us trust that, though we do not know what our future holds, we do know Who holds our future and He will direct our steps.
I have simplified my new years resolutions this year: to guard my heart, strengthen my body and enjoy my life. This year I choose to be stronger than my feelings or anything else that could kill my confidence to BE who I was designed to be. Would you join me in consciously seeking the will of God, one day at a time, and putting our confidence in what He knows instead of what we do or do not do.
If His plan is for us to eat an elephant, then let’s not focus on the elephant, or the way we eat the individual portions, because then the emphasis–and all the stress that goes with it–is on our actions. If we don’t feel like acting (or eating!), we feel like a failure.
But if our focus is on our faith that God knows what He is doing, then we will seek His will and our confidence will be strengthened.
- If His plans are to prosper us, and we believe Him, then we will work harder.
- If His plans are not to harm us, and we believe Him, then we will eat smarter, play more, lighten up, work out, loose weight…
- If His plans are to give us a hope, and we believe Him, then we will go after the dream He put within us.
- If His plans are to give us a future, and we believe Him, then we will stop stressing and striving and killing not only our confidence (and our beauty!) but our bodies.
Catrina Welch is an inspirational author and speaker whose passion is empowering women and girls to BE and LET BE. Her expertise as a cosmetologist, image consultant and Biblical life-coach, as well as her personal experiences with abandonment and grief make her message relatable to anyone dealing with rejection, betrayal or loss.
Her latest book, CONFIDENT BEAUTY: Reflecting the One Who Made You, with the Images in your Mirror and in your Soul, will soon be available as an audiobook. Autographed copies of all her books are available on her website at www.CatrinaWelch.com