When New Year’s Goals Become Hard To Keep

by | Jan 9, 2020 | Encouragement

Happy New Year, friend! I hope this post finds you experiencing a wonderful 2020 so far! Did you set some new year’s goals or resolutions? Have you decided to make some changes or tweak a few things in your life? Are you set on learning a new skill or accomplishing something specific in 2020?

How’s it all going so far?

A week into our new year is a perfect time to evaluate and check our progress, isn’t it?

When New Year's Goals Become Hard to Keep

Personally, right out of the 2020 gate I set a big new year’s goal. In taking charge of my overall health this year, and I wanted a jump start of sorts. (Go big or go home, right??) My son gave me the idea of a walking/running challenge for January, and it sounded like a great idea. So, I set it.

My first goal of 2020 is to intentionally walk/run 75 miles in January.

Not my every day, normal walking from appointment to appointment or errand to errand, but a deliberate effort of daily walking and running. (Most likely on our treadmill, because in Iowa this time of year it’s a bit dark and cold for this girl to be running outside at 5 a.m.)

Needless to say, this is huge for me. In my younger days I found a love for running. And, even though I returned to running late last summer, I didn’t pursue it as long as I had hoped. Life got full this fall, and with each passing week, running took a backseat and eventually became nonexistent.

So, with a new year came a new opportunity to set a new goal.

I, like with most of us with new year’s goals, started off strong. Getting on the treadmill for the first few days was exhilarating. Three miles of mixed walking and running sped by rather quickly. I logged my miles daily and subtracted them from the total. I was feeling healthy and accomplished!

But, then came yesterday.

Waking up yesterday morning, the last thing I wanted to do was to get out of bed, let alone get busy on the treadmill. I was tired, and I desired to stay snuggled warm between the covers.

My thoughts, however, quickly turned to my new year’s goal. Ugh. Begrudgingly, I threw off the covers, changed into my workout clothes, and pointed myself to the treadmill. I so didn’t want to get on that thing!

And, the truth is, it didn’t get any easier after I pushed the start button. Seven days in a row of running and walking became alarmingly real as my leg muscles boldly screamed and defiantly objected to another morning of torture. They, too, wanted to retreat to the warmth and softness of the bed they left just minutes prior.

I thought about giving up and giving in.

My body wanted to give in to the screams and objections coming from my legs. To use the “I’m tired” excuse and the “I’ll-just-quit-today-and-do-more-tomorrow” reasoning. But, my mind knew better. If I gave in on day eight, I likely wouldn’t follow through on day nine.

So, I kept going.

It was the hardest day so far. But, in that moment I knew I had to keep going. To show myself that I could do this and push through when it get’s hard. I prayed for God’s help and strength, and was never so glad to cross the three-mile mark and hit the red stop button!

What do you do when new year’s goals become hard to keep?

Do you take a break? Do you decide to keep going? Is this when you ask for help and accountability? Or do you throw in the towel?

I think I’ve done it all in past years. But this year I’m deciding to keep going. I invite you to do the same.

I can’t tell you what to do in your specific goal and situation, but I can give you some suggestions for when it’s hard to keep your new year’s goals:

  • Ask yourself some questions when you feel like giving up or giving in…
    “If I give up or give in, how will I feel about that decision a week, a month, a year from now?”
    “How will I feel after I press through and do what I don’t feel like doing in this moment?”
  • If your situation changes (you get sick or life gets crazy), pause your goal and set a date to pick it back up again.
  • Ask your spouse or friend or co-worker to help keep you accountable with your goal.
  • Seek God’s help, strength, and guidance.
  • Journal your journey, your accomplishments, any setbacks, your plans to keep going.
  • Set small achievable goals and celebrate them when accomplished (my goal is three miles a day and I have a mini celebration in my head each time I achieve that).
  • Enjoy the journey and keep looking toward the finish line.

Friend, you can do this!

Don’t give up now. Take it one day at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. You can do it!

Today is day nine and the treadmill is waiting… so, after I finish this post, I’ll complete today’s three miles, and celebrate with confetti in my mind after. You can see more of my journey in my Instagram stories.

Cheering you on!

When New Year's Goals Become Hard to Keep
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