We are all familiar with New Year’s resolutions. As we prepare for a new year, there is a general trend of many of us to set new goals or make resolutions to achieve in the coming year. The concept of setting goals, building a plan to achieve those goals and using the new year to help jump start the process is a healthy and often convenient one to initiate needed change in our lives.
Based on our personal experience and the data from some academics who study this kind of information, the data would reveal that the vast majority of us will abandon, or just plain forget, our goals quickly as we move into a new year. Today’s writing is not about rallying around some collective motivation or new process to more effectively achieve our goals. There is already plenty of information out there to help us all get a little more motivated to achieve our goals.
Today’s writing is about the importance of recognizing progress along the way in order to keep the momentum going. The “world” (feel free to insert your own relevant term) judges or highlights the finish line. Most often it will be us alone in the quiet of the journey that will be in a position to celebrate making progress in the right direction.
As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, a helpful discipline we alone can exercise is the personal “high five” we can give ourselves for making progress on the journey to reach our goals.
There will be a great deal written about the steps to achieving the common goals of losing weight, exercising, reading more or some professional career milestone.
However, the real need to celebrate making progress towards often our most challenging goals, which is rarely written or talked about, is in having a positive impact on those closet to us in our homes and families. Acknowledging the small steps of progress we make in:
- Breaking the cycle of a painful past to bring healing to an important relationship
- Judging less and encouraging more
- Experiencing the lasting joy of serving and giving instead of the short term pleasure of getting our way
- Effectively confronting an important issue rather than avoiding it
- Courageously acknowledging our fears and insecurities while minimizing our concern of judgement or shame
The “world” will celebrate the big achievements in business, politics, entertainment, etc. As we choose to celebrate making progress in the home and with the ones closest to us, we will build the foundation to achieve great things in the marketplace, the community, and our world.
As we make the choice to personally celebrate the small steps of progress we make in close relationships, we will continue to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® for us to bring health into critical relationships in our home and with those closet to us.
As we continue to set goals for ourselves, do not forget that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” (Lao Tzu). Congratulations, in advance, for the steps of progress you will make.