Like every other blogger on the face of the planet, I’m going to write about resolutions. New Year’s Resolutions. Yeah, those things that you know you’ll never actually follow through on because you’ve been there every year, and every year you look back and see a year littered with failure. This has led some people to vow that they will never make another New Year’s Resolution as long as they live. These failures make others try even harder, or get more specific about their goals, or resolve to do something so simple that they are ensured success. There are many roads to success, right? Well, each of these responses to a new year rolling around have validity.
There is something to be learned from our failures. I tell my clients that if they aren’t failing lifts now and then, they aren’t trying hard enough. And failing shows us where we are weak…therefore, we can learn what we need to work on. Once we know what needs fixing, we can fix it. We can improve. We can get stronger.
I think it is a big mistake to fear failure. If we fear failure, we never really try in the first place. Sure, we might give a half-hearted effort just to impress our friends, but deep down if we are focused on failing, we know we WILL fail, and it becomes so big in our minds that we fail to try…and then fail. Go figure.
There is great opportunity for growth when we realize that failure is a part of the process. It shouldn’t be the ONLY part of the process, however. But accept that it will happen. It’s freeing.
One definition of resolution is ‘firmness of purpose’. I think that is a fantastic mindset to have when you want to make changes in your life. Having a firm purpose means that you have thought long and hard about what you want. This is a good thing!
I used to shoot archery when I was a kid. I had to have laser-like focus on the bullseye if I wanted any chance of hitting the target. When I first started shooting, my eye would be distracted by any little movement. But I practiced nearly every day. I kept training my eye to see nothing else but that X in the middle of the target. If I saw anything else, my shot would be off. After years of practice, I could shoot the feathers off the arrows that were already in the bullseye. My arrows would be bunched so tightly that I could pull them all out at once by wrapping my hand around all the arrows at the same time.
Resolutions are like that. You have to keep at it. Practice every day. At first, you won’t do very well. But you will get better. Don’t let those failures stop you. Learn from them. Do better with your next effort. Hone your purpose. Hone your focus. It takes time.
Building on Successes and Failures
Buying a gym membership or a set of weights for use at home is a success. Sleeping in so you can’t get out for that morning run is a failure. Buying vegetables at the grocery is a success. Shopping while hungry and buying a gallon of ice cream is a failure.
You can turn each of these situations into a learning experience and build on those experiences. You bought the membership, so now you can go to the gym. Go. You slept in and missed your workout. This means you can make adjustments to your schedule, or buy a second alarm! But you have a choice of what you can adjust or fix. Do it. Start again. Don’t give up. Learn! Don’t shop hungry. Prepare ahead. Make the small choices that will make a difference in the future.
Don’t be afraid to make resolutions. In reality, they are just one more step in learning from past mistakes. If you are learning from those mistakes, you don’t have to be doomed to repeat them. Let those resolutions propel you forward. Keep being awesome. Keep learning. Keep trying!