The annual practice of starting the new year with a list of goals can sometimes make us feel like slacker losers who are repeating the same to-do list over and over. If you keep track of your annual goals as I do, you get the gift of an in-your-face reminder of what you did not complete or achieve each year. As we near the end of January we approach the time when we start realizing which resolutions are sticking. Don’t despair if you find yourself in this bucket. Consider giving up on your resolutions and rebooting instead. It’s working for me!
We have a fun family tradition each New Year’s Eve where we create a scrapbook capturing our highlights of the year, our favorite songs and movies, and of course our resolutions for the upcoming year. During this year’s annual ritual, my 9-year old, Dylan, was reviewing our previous years’ scrapbook pages when he started to cry. As he compared each year’s page of resolutions he said, “What does it matter, it’s the same stuff each year! Anything we write on this page will NEVER happen!”
After my husband and I stopped giggling we discussed with the kids a new approach to our tradition. After looking back at our previous years’ scrapbook pages we realized that our son was indeed correct. There were very few resolutions we actually achieved. Now, in all fairness some of the goals were lofty and dreamlike. For example, when my daughter was 8 one of her resolutions was to become a nationally recognize artist by the end of the year. When Dylan was 7 his resolution was to be able to “dunk” in basketball. As I said – lofty and dreamlike.
So, this year, we decided to “reboot” instead of “resolve.” Let’s rest, relax, and remind ourselves what really matters to us. If we didn’t do something we planned on doing, let’s ask ourselves if we really like that goal. Maybe we were so busy doing other amazing things that we never got to that goal. Or, maybe we realize we were spending time on activities we don’t enjoy. Now is the time to remind ourselves of this so we make more time for the things that speak to our soul and make us happy.
So, this year our resolutions page read more like this – “more family time,” “more camping,” “more mom and dad date nights,” “less busyness,” “more skim and paddle boarding,” and “more surfing.” We still had a few resolutions that crept back from previous years. But, we decided we want them there as reminders that we are still interested in them. We didn’t change some of these older resolutions, but we changed our approach to them. They are there because we want to carve out time for them. Maybe this will be the year we do!
The kids all looked back on the things they enjoyed throughout the year and immediately knew the things they wish they did more of. They also picked a few things they want to try. I loved how they wanted to learn and explore new things, we moved from the word “resolve” to the words “try,” and “learn.” We still have goals, but they feel less like a weight and more like an adventure.
I am really looking forward to 2017. It looks like it will be a year spent doing the things we love, learning new things, and exploring ways to grow and open our mindsets. But, first, let’s relax with good friends and family and enjoy some rebooting!
If you reboot this year and realize you want to spend more time sharing your gifts, giving back, and making a difference, consider being a mentor for EVE – Every Voice Educates. At EVE, our mentors can play a variety of roles. Mentors can coach young leaders on how to build their leadership presentation, they can participate in mentor meetings, and they can speak and share their story at our leadership events. Visit our website to learn more at www.everyvoiceeducates.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.