Happy 2022 Everyone! As we bring 2021 to a close, it’s natural to think about the coming year and how we want the new year to be better than the previous year. New year’s resolutions are a thing because, as humans, we have an emotional need to start fresh and the new year allows us to do just that. There are numerous articles and studies conducted on this topic.
Social media feeds and mainstream media news cycles begin to mention new year’s resolutions starting in December and will continue on well into January. Across the world, people resolve to do better and to improve their lives with some possibly even try to help improve the lives of others. Energy is always high around this tradition which has been in place for thousands of years. Striving to improve is a great thing for individuals and society as a whole. To be honest, as a society we should probably adopt the improvement mindset more than once a year.
The problem is most people are not able to stick with their new year’s resolutions. A quick google search shows just how common it is for us to give up on our goals that we were so energized around just a few weeks earlier.
There are many reasons that people give up on their efforts, but the one that I see most often is people giving up because things are not going as they want. In other words, it isn’t going to plan, it isn’t as they imagined. In short, it isn’t perfect.
News flash, you are going to struggle.
Anything worth achieving is going to be difficult. If it's not going to be difficult, then why resolve to achieve the goal?
You are going to have bad days on your journey of self-improvement and growth. The journey is not going to go as you had envisioned. I know you know that, but you need to hear that over and over again. Most people quit because of the frustration that comes with the struggles that arise on the journey.
Part of the problem is this mindset that things have to be perfect.
Social media reinforces this mindset because the overwhelming majority of what we see online is the best version of what people have to offer. I call these posts: “Facebook Fabulous” “Pinterest Perfect” “Instagram Ideal”.
What we usually do not see posted are the struggles they had along the way.
As you strive for perfection, I caution you in using the mindset of achieving perfection. Perfect in who’s view? Perfect as determined by what standard? You’ve heard this before, but again, you need to be reminded and hear it over and over again. It's easy to lose sight of the struggle behind the shared achievements as you scroll your various feeds and hear the stories of others and their successes.
Don’t misunderstand, I am not saying that you shouldn’t strive for the best version of yourself. I want you to understand that making progress toward your goals isn’t going to be perfect. Progress isn’t always pretty, or neat, or clean.
Progress is going to have hiccups. Progress is messy. Progress is hard.
As you face the struggles and obstacles on your journey, here is what I urge you to think about instead. Progress will get you where you want to be, just not right now. Progress means you did better than the previous day or week, but you still have work to do. Progress takes time. Progress isn’t always linear. Progress toward your goals is the day-to-day work of your journey.
I wish you all the best in your 2022 journey. Progress is going to help you to become the #betteryou that you are envisioning. Please keep going, even when things are not going the way that you thought, remember that you are making progress toward your goals. This mindset will help you to not become so frustrated that you end up quitting all together.
Think. Achieve. Succeed.
A lifelong learner that is committed to asking questions to seek greater understandings.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are
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