The New Year has arrived at last! All over the world, goals have been set and resolutions have begun in abundance. I have tried many kinds of resolutions over the years and have realized, (for me, at least) resolutions can feel impossible to maintain when the duration spans an entire year. In the past, I’ve resolved to lose weight only to have it find me again. I’ve resolved to spend more time writing only to spend more time surfing online. I’ve resolved to give up coffee and found myself drinking Coke, Jolt and Mountain Dew instead, defeating the purpose altogether. For this year, I have resolved to do something different. My resolutions will include exercising, writing, organizing and reading. The difference between this year and those of the past?
I will only hold myself to these resolutions for one week.
For a single seven day period I intend to accomplish each of my goals. If I succeed, I will know the goals are possible. Next, I will set the same goals for another week… then another… You get the gist. It seems almost too easy but if I fail one week, I can always try again the next. If all goes according to plan, I will never feel as if I’ve failed at my goals for the year. I may not be able to write or exercise every day for 365 days, but I can exercise a couple of times in seven days. I can write a few times a week and the following week try for more. If I only exercise one day in seven, it counts. If I only write for a single hour on Sunday, it counts.
As the weeks continue, I hope to see progress. If I can do more, I will. If not, as long as something is achieved, I’ll call it a win. What will this do in the long run? Momentum. If my plan is a success, the weekly goals will no longer be struggles. My resolutions will become habits. More importantly: What won’t I receive as a result of reducing a year to seven days?
To dedicate a year cutting away sweets, I may feel defeat one fateful morning when I wake to the lingering taste of chocolate-covered ice-cream drumsticks on my lips. Memories of the night before come back at that point and I will recall a fevered dream as I attacked my favorite box of nutty-buddy ice-cream drumsticks like a ravenous hyena. The evening will have been long and the moon high at the point when I sat up in bed, stomach growling for the last time as I tossed and turned, remembering the sweet treasure calling to me from the freezer and…
But let’s not dwell on past, um… possible failures.
If such a moment comes, rather than give up because I stumbled and fell on a marathon race to year’s end, I can accept the need to have more sweets in my diet for that one day out of seven. It can be accepted as a minor setback and when one week does not meet my goals, I can return to the starting line the following week, shaking off any discouragement and breathing deep, as I prepare to give it my all for another seven days. One week. Seven days. I may struggle with a marathon of 365, but a sprint of 7 feels like fun.
I hope everyone has a great new year filled with joy and prosperity. I will tackle 2017 with only two numbers in mind. One and Seven. One week. Seven days. The starting line is up ahead. Another week awaits.
Ready, set, and…. Go!