January 1 is the number one day of the year in so many ways. One of those ways is in the form of New Year’s Resolutions. Over the years, I have certainly made my share of them. Some have been wildly successful while most others have not. What is the difference and, more importantly, what benefit is there for you?
I think the number one factor behind the success or failure of New Year’s Resolutions is purpose. Sometimes we make them because it’s the thing to do. This is a bad move, destined to fail. Other times we make them because we identify an area that needs improvement. This is better, but if the area in question is an end in itself, it too often results in failure as well. Successful resolutions seem to have a deeper purpose, so it stands to reason that identifying that purpose is the key to lasting resolutions.
Virtue vs. Value
New Year’s Resolutions with that deeper purpose we need can be situated in terms of virtue-based goals vs. goals based on values. Virtue-based New Year’s Resolutions will be ones which are focused on developing helpful habits. Those based on values, and by this I don’t mean the moral kind, are those based on externals. Put another way, a value-based goal, like losing weight, is doomed to fail. It’s abstract and offers no path to attain it. A virtue-based goal, such as exercising daily, is much more likely to succeed. It’s a concrete path in itself, which, practiced over time will also result in things like weight loss, so often desired in the New Year’s Resolutions many of us make.
New Year’s Resolutions
This year, consider making resolutions aimed at improving your habits, and start small. Set yourself up for success that builds upon itself. As you gain confidence by experiencing a pattern of successes, you will soon find yourself achieving other goals you might have been tempted to set for yourself instead. Best wishes and Godspeed as you set out on a new course for the New Year!
Author: Cayman Gabriel
Cayman Gabriel is the founder of Cayman Gabriel Media. He produces works of Christian fiction with a Catholic flavor and is a frequent contributor to the blog.