The New Year is fast upon us, and for most of us, that means some resolutions are underway. I used to make New Year's resolutions, too, but most of the time, my goals were either out of my control, unattainable, or simply put too much pressure on me. This sounds like I'm just copping out of taking responsibility, right?
Okay, when I first stopped making resolutions, that may have been it.
But since I've realized something about myself: I'm not a doer, I'm a becomer. And most New Year's resolutions involve doing something.
For me, at least, it's easier if my goals don't involve what I want to do, but who I want to become. Because it's easy enough to say you want to start working out in the mornings, but what use is that if you're eating a Big Mac every meal? (Yes, it's a hyperbole. Roll with me here.) It's easy enough to say you want to reach out to this friend that you haven't seen in a while, but once you've had a coffee date... What's next?
When a tangible goal is met, where do you go from there?
Blame it on my impracticality. Blame it on my Myers-Briggs type, if you wish. (Being an INFJ is a very complex experience, by the way.) But while I like having something to go by, I can't follow practical goals to save my life.
Here's my secret: If you have something you want to become, it's always there.
My New Year's resolution this year is to become a healthier person. If I just said I wanted to exercise more or eat healthier, yes, that's a goal. But once I hit it, what next? Once I get to that point, it'll be easier to finish and be done. Or, something I'm even more guilty of, backsliding.
But if my goal is to become a healthier person, rather than to do healthier things, it's always there in the back of my mind. So when I'm tempted to skip the morning walk, I remember that it's better for me than sleeping in. When I'm tempted to stand in the grill line for thirty minutes for a burger that's not even that appetizing, I remember there's a perfectly good salad bar waiting on the other side of the cafeteria.
Similarly, if your goal is to become a better friend, it'll always be at the back of your mind. And it won't be specific to just one person, either. You'll reach out to that person God put on your heart, but you'll also focus a bit more on your other friends, too.
Doing gets you to a point, but it doesn't give you a long-term result. Becoming, however, will always be with you.