Saturday, January 28, 2017

Revised Resolutions

by Jewel Leann Williams

I keep swearing off resolutions, and then after all of the talk and reading about them during January, I feel guilty and plant myself a little crop of resolutions, feel better, and then ignore them for the rest of the year and feel guilty all over again.

This year threatened to be more of the same, but I read a few things that rescued me.

First, this:

This advice from President Thomas S. Monson is very simple, and yet, as most advice from the Prophet is, profound. For me, it speaks to my overachieving, way-too-high-expectations-of-myself soul, whispering to just chill out. (I'm sure that's what President Monson would say. "Just chill out, little sister." Ok maybe not. But still...)

I keep seeing goals with these "Write XXX words a day," "Do XXX pushups" "Save XXX dollars" and I always, ALWAYS fall short.  Apparently, those numbers are MORE than my current best self.

So my goals are: "Write MORE. Even if it's a little. Doesn't matter how much."  "Exercise MORE. Even if it's just going up the stupid stairs at work even when your bum knee aches." "Look for ways to save money. Even if it's a little, even if it's a jar with nickels and dimes in it."

This brings to mind advice from my favorite President forever, President Gordon B. Hinckley. He said this quite often in his talks, and I remember how encouraging it was to hear:

I used the meme I found with the cane because this is my favorite way to remember President Hinckley. Wise and loving but oh so spunky and with just the right touch of silliness.
He usually followed it up with things like:  a little kinder, a little more generous, a little stronger.... those are worthy--and attainable--goals.

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf told a story in the January 2017 Ensign about watching archers and the way they took aim; if they missed, they didn't throw down the bow, never to pick it up again. They refocused their aim and tried again. Mastering the bow takes practice--years of intentional practice, of listening to experts, of learning new ways to do things, and yes, making mistakes and learning from them.

So my goal is to find ways to re-aim. To be a little better. No more guilt trips because I didn't hit some arbitrarily imposed number of pages, of dollars, of pounds. Just, a little better.

Yup, I know all the stuff out there about defining your goals or you won't reach them, yada yada yada. I'm sure I'm going against all the conventional wisdom, but I'm a rebel. I rebel. :) (Couldn't help it)

I'm going to try a little harder to be a little better. My method of "resolving" is also my way of trying to be a little kinder to myself.


  1. I don't do resolutions, I just try to be the best me I can be

  2. Last week I realized I was really tired of feeling guilty about all the things I should be doing but don't because I feel like I don't have time. So, since my littlest is in preschool now, I dedicated the mornings she was in preschool to doing that stuff I felt guilty about. I visited a friend in the hospital. I went visiting teaching. I took a friend out shopping (who doesn't have a car). I pretty much said, "Okay, God. These are the things I know you want me to do. You want me to serve. So I'm going to forget about the laundry and the projects at home I feel like I need to do and just do what you want me to. I'll trust you."

    And you know what? By the end of the week I'd done all those previously-guilt-inducing things AND I'd also had the time and energy to do all that other stuff I needed to do. And I said, "Okay, God. Point taken. My vision is lacking. You got this. I don't know why I ever thought otherwise." ;-)

    1. If I did all the things I feel guilty about, I'd get through about 1 percent of the list before I died of exhaustion :)



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