As the year 2013 ended and 2014 began, I, like many others, made a few resolutions for the new year. And as I did so, I realized that my resolutions were pretty much the same as last year's, and the year before, and the years before that. Does that mean I failed in my goals, forcing me to, once again, make them the current year's resolutions as well? Well, yes and no. Some things I did partially (like losing 30 pounds instead of my goal of 60). I suppose I failed in the sense that I didn't lose the entire amount, but as losing ANY amount of weight is always a plus, I didn't consider it a failure in the least. My goal this year, though it's STILL "to lose weight," is to lose the remaining 30 pounds (plus the 10 I gained back - heheh), which is an easier goal than the original 60.
Another goal I have every year is to be more patient with my children. Have I failed at that resolution because I haven't, in all these years, become a perfectly tempered mother? No. The fact that I even set a goal to watch my temper (even if it's just a little at a time, one year at a time) speaks for my healthy attitude for self-improvement. And isn't that what setting goals are really about? Self-improvement? So why do we cut ourselves short, saying we've failed in our goals, when in fact, we are still working toward them and have simply put a time limit where there really shouldn't be. In fact, it's unhealthy to live with the thought that we are imperfect and will never be perfect so we might as well give up all together, thus remaining static or even going backward. Yeah, that's not good.
Setting goals and resolutions is not necessarily about reaching the destination within a time frame (especially one short year), but about moving forward on the journey itself. As long as I am moving forward, no matter the pace, then it doesn't matter that I've set the same goals each year. That just says that I'm conscious of things I need to make better about myself and I am continuing to work on them. I steadily improve in one thing or another each year and I'll eventually reach my goals a little at a time. But until I do, I will be satisfied with moving forward on the journey. Like Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do." If I repeatedly try to improve myself, then that's what I am, someone who consistently tries to be better today than I was yesterday.