With the new year soon upon us, it’s time once more for making resolutions most of us won’t keep. It’s been said as many as 90% of all New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by February.
Obviously proclaiming a resolution isn’t enough. Without resolve, any resolution is little more than a wish. And it’s that lack of resolve that separates many of us from the lives we want.
That’s precisely why 90% of all New Year’s resolutions never see reality. Every moment we each have a choice. We can choose to move closer to our goals and dreams, or we can choose something else. It doesn’t matter what that something else is. Lack of results for any reason is still lack of results.
We’ll never live the life we want until we take action. The most transformative actions are the small ones in the small moments that fill each and every day. We need to have enough resolve to make the right choice in each of those small moments.
Actually, we need make the right choice only once. There’s no need to deliberate in each and every moment of choosing. We can choose wisely once and then exercise the resolve to follow through with that choice thereafter.
For many that follow-through is the weak link in the chain. Why do we lack the resolve to follow through on our choices? Or put another way, why are we so content with lives so very much beneath our potential?
I’ve pondered that question for some time now. Year after year I continue to be just a single as when I came home from my mission more than two decades ago. And that’s just the most important of my goals and dreams. Apparently some of my other dreams elude me as well. OK, fine — most of my other dreams remained unrealized.
Why? I’m too easily satisfied. I don’t have the resolve to achieve more because in the small moments — the moments when I need to follow through on my decisions to move closer to my goals and dreams — I find myself sufficiently satisfied. After all, why exert yourself through the pain of sacrifice when the reward presently before you is good enough?
Raise the bar
The answer, then, is setting a higher standard. What in the past has passed for good enough must now never be good enough. I need to demand more from myself before I’m satisfied.
Adopting a new standard will require new ways of thinking. I must remember what the future will bring if I don’t raise the bar. Do I want more of the same life I’ve had? That’s what I’ll get unless I change. The same choices made over and over again always lead to the same reality.
If we want a new reality, then we must adopt a new way of thinking. We must think differently about our own standards of acceptability in our own performance. What level of performance really is good enough?
If we don’t have the results that move us closer to our goals and dreams, then we’re settling for something less. We need to raise the bar before feeling satisfied. We must pursue the path to meet that bar. And we must do it come what may.
Find the balance
Raising the bar and pursuing its corresponding path will certainly take resolve. Yet we must have balance in our approach. We don’t want to become so obsessed with achievement that we miss the joy along our journey.
We can find that balance in faith. We don’t journey alone. Christ loves us so much He simply couldn’t be uninterested in helping us. By partnering with the Lord, we can make the right choices in the right moments and enjoy our journey along our chosen path.
If we keep raising the bar, sooner or later we’ll find our limit. We can’t go any further because we have nothing more to take us any further. At that point, we can accept our limitations and rest confident the Lord will make up the difference so long as we do our best within our limitations. The past is the past; we cannot change it. We can only resolve to do better as we raise the bar and then keep trying to keep that resolve for the higher standard.
As we give our all to Him, the Lord will give His all to us. That will make all the difference because He is the difference. Partnering with Him in our journey will help us make our lives more than they ever could be otherwise. And that will bring us more joy in our journey.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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