Glitter and Goals
I love New Year’s celebrations. Everything is so shiny, noisy, and exciting! It’s the one time of the year when it’s totally acceptable to bathe everything in glitter and confetti, hang from the rafters on brightly colored streamers, shoot off fireworks at indecent hours of the night, and run around making as much noise as possible with obnoxious little party horns—and everyone else is cool with it. How great is that?!
It’s hard not to get excited about a cleanly-wiped slate, a fresh chance to start over, and a future brimming with unlimited possibilities! When that glistening, gargantuan ball drops in Madison Square Garden, it signifies to us all that the world is again at our fingertips; reminds us that the future is ours for the taking; and dumps newly-minted motivation into our lives to make changes.
It’s even more exciting to know, as Christians, we don’t have to wait a whole year to let go of our ever-culminating failures and frustrations and start over again. If we live completely immersed in Christ, we are new creatures everyday and have an unlimited supply of fresh starts constantly at our disposal. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says it so well: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (KJV).
This revitalizing promise deserves a daily, continual celebration in each of our hearts, so feel free to begin every morning with confetti and streamers if you feel the urge! For those of us who do feel the need to set some resolutions in stone for the New Year, here are some practical tips to assist you in developing your goals:
Don’t set unrealistic goals. Losing a significant percentage of your body mass, speaking fluent Cantonese, and learning how to play a violin concerto in one year isn’t going to happen. A realistic and healthy goal for weight loss is about one to two pounds per week, and the more effort you put in to learning a new skill over time, the better you will get.
Don’t surround yourself with temptation. Having a house full of chocolate isn’t going to help you stay on track if you plan on losing weight, and going to the mall everyday will not help your newly-revised budget. Give away most of your holiday sweets, but save some to indulge in every now and then, and work a set “splurge” amount into your budget for occasional shopping treats.
Don’t set too many resolutions. Focusing on one goal will guarantee greater success. The simpler and more focused your goal, the easier it will be to attain.
Don’t go in blind. Would you get in your car and drive if you didn’t know where you were going? If you’re trying to lose weight, think about exercise and diet. Don’t go to extremes by eating lettuce and running 20 miles a week. Set a plan that fits your schedule and goals that are realistic and achievable—such as going for a walk three times a week. Schedule in a “buffer” week after New Year’s to adjust to eating better and getting on track.