Revolution (noun) \ˌre-və-ˈlü-shən – a sudden, extreme, or complete change in the way people live, work, etc.; the overthrow of a system.
I suck at New Year’s resolutions. Don’t get me wrong; I’m pretty decent at setting professional goals and breaking my neck (literally, it feels like sometimes) to meet them. But when it comes to “resolving” to make changes in my life personally (i.e., them 50lbs I need to drop or being a better *insert role here*), I often allow life to wreck havoc on my intentions after about 30 days into the New Year.
I suspect I’m not alone.
So I’ve decided that we should rethink this whole thing. Overthrow the old system! Of course, we want to be better on December 31, 2014 than we are today. Better moms. Better dads. Better people. But this recent article by James Clear for Entrepreneur Magazine got me thinking about how I go about reaching my goals in a whole new way.
Read it later. Here’s the cliff notes version of it: Commit to the process and not the goal.
Doesn’t sound too revelatory, right?
That is, until you realize how much emphasis is placed on outcomes and end goals during this time of year. And how no one really digs into the commitment that’s required to do what’s necessary every single day to meet said goals. No one talks about the revolt that often has to take place in your mind and heart in order to get from point A to point B.
I see it in my daughter even at two. Ms. Independent herself. When she’s learning how to do something, she has such a singular focus on the outcome. She wants to put on her jacket or her shoes SO BAD that she forgets all the steps she needs to take to accomplish these things. And guess what? She ends up crying and screaming in frustration.
“Take your time, Sweetheart. Put one arm in this hole. Lift the jacket part onto your back. Put the other arm in the other hole. Zipper. Hood. See?”
But as I’ve said so many times in this column, our children are so very often tiny mirrors. The answers to much of our own frustrations can be found in the parental guidance we give them. I kind of think this is one of many ways God “parents” us. He fathers us as we father them. He mothers us as we mother them.
Those 50lbs I need to lose and the healthier lifestyle I need to have to combat the dreaded
Fibromyalgia? “Take your time, Sweetheart. Every day is a new day. Eat well for breakfast. Then Lunch. Then Dinner. Take a walk. Do some Yoga. Go swimming. Get moving. Today. Then the next day. Then, the next.”
That book I need to finish writing? “Take your time, Sweetheart. Put one word, in front of another word, in front of another word, and so on.”
Mr. Clear sums it up like this: “If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results? For example, if you were a basketball coach and you ignored your goal to win a championship and focused only on what your team does at practice each day, would you still get results? I think you would.”
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the word REVOLUTION is born from the words “revolt” or “revolve.” Or, that “evolve” is also embedded in the word. We must actively revolt against our present way of thinking and getting things done—overthrow the old systems, if you will—if it isn’t working for us. Sometimes, that process will mean revolving (go around and around a center point) around an issue until we get it together. And that’s okay too.
Our evolution as parents and people is frequently embedded in our personal revolutions. Those personal 360-degree life changes. The rebellions we orchestrate against our personal status quos. And all of this comes about…not necessarily by focusing obsessively on the end goal…but by doing our very best each and every single day God gives us.
Yeah, bump a resolution. I’m down for a 2014 revolution. How ‘bout you?
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This post is the latest in Tracey Michae’l Lewis-Giggetts’ “Faith & Motherhood” series.
Tracey Michae'l is a writer and educator based out of the Philadelphia area. She is a wife to William and a mother to a beautiful two-year old little girl. You can find her on the web at www.traceymlewis.com.