I did not like Personal Progress when I was in Young Womens (shhh.... don't tell L.) (Oh, and it was called something else back then but I can't remember now what it was...!). I didn't get very far. I felt like a failure before I got anywhere. Not to embarrass her, and I don't even think she reads this, but my niece Bailee, who is 22, also blogged about goals, resolutions, etc. and it reminded me a lot of how I was at her age- full of hope about a future amazing self. She forgets perhaps that she is already pretty amazing and has made it through some difficult times. More difficult times will come, and she will continue to shine. As a college student, I would also make lists and lists of all the goals I was going to accomplish. By the 6th of January I would have already blown it so many times that I quit trying. Great.
My missionary trainer, whom I refer to as "Sargeant Miller" was a very goal-oriented over-achiever. She was a good missionary. She got the job done. She taught me what SHE did every Sunday to make goals for the upcoming week. Being a greenie, I figured that is what I needed to do as well. Lists of goals grew as the weeks went on. If I didn't get them perfect every day, I felt like I failed. I then quit trying. Fortunately, I learned later in my misson that it was okay for our definitions of a "great missionary" to be different, and I quit torturing myself with long lists. I just tried to follow the Spirit. Worked pretty well.
So, while in January I am always excited to start back into routines and get my house freshened and decluttered, the dark, short winter days wreak havoc with my moods (I now have one of those cool SAD lights that helps with that! Love it). But to set a list of goals that I know will probably not be accomplished is just no longer for me.
A couple of years ago when I served as Relief Society President, I had to teach a lesson on the 1st of January. I knew that resolutions would be on the minds of many. I was drawn to a talk by Sister Anne Pingree (who happens to be the aunt of one of my readers!) which is entitled, "Knowing the Lord's Will for You". Here is one of my favorite quotes, as she quotes Neal A. Maxwell:
I start where my journey ended—in this sublime truth taught by Elder Neal A. Maxwell: “The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we ‘give,’ … are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!”
I need to remember to ask the Lord what HE wants me to accomplish, what goals I should set - what He wants me to be and to where He wants me to get.
I still make little lists. I make lists of things I need to get done. I still have goals for the weeks, but they are simpler: "Point out the positive", "Give the family PEACE throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas with no yelling and no stressing out" (you know, before the big Misfit Party),"Show Love", and some weeks, all it is, is "Get Through It". I can do those things. I did those things. I felt lifted and confident.
And of course, there is the perennial, eternal - Lose 50 lbs by June....