Resolution 1 - It’s not all or nothing

Published by Lori Pickert on January 3, 2011 at 04:13 PM


It rarely is.

One of the best ways to plan to fail isn't just to fail to plan ... You can also plan to succeed so thoroughly, so perfectly, so mind-blowingly that it is absolutely incredible ... and ... inevitably undoable.

Don’t resolve to succeed. Resolve to work at it.

Don’t resolve to know it. Resolve to think about it.

Don’t resolve to know it all. Resolve to learn more.

When you don’t meet with absolute success (and you won’t), remember that you weren’t aiming for absolute success ... You were aiming to learn more. That way, you won’t need to quit because you failed. You can just keep learning more, and that makes you ... a success.

An all-or-nothing mind-set is a fantastic way to abbreviate the whole process of setting goals and making resolutions. As soon as you see you can’t do it all, you can quit!

Instead, simply resolve to make one change and think about it, reflect on it, and go from there. You don’t have to do it all. And you don’t have to do nothing. There’s a lot of good stuff in-between.


Resolution 1 — It’s not all or nothing.

Resolution 2 — Break it down.

Resolution 3 — Take real baby steps.

Resolution 4 — Use the upward spiral.

Resolution 5 — Quit.


Comment by Heather on January 3, 2011 at 05:37 PM

This is a great post. It's so hard not to think that you have to do everything perfectly all at once. Thanks for this great reminder.

Comment by Karen on January 3, 2011 at 06:29 PM

When our 10-year-old was younger, we used to jokingly do our best impression of Yoda: "there is no try; there is only do, or do not." Needless to say, he would freak out! We learned then that it's all about the trying and not about success or failure.

Thanks for pointing this out. And happy new year!

Comment by Jill on January 3, 2011 at 07:09 PM

At this time of year when we so often feel refreshed, full of hopes and aspirations for the new year and raring to go, I have a big vision of how I'd like everything to be and everything I'd like to achieve. It's no wonder we feel disapointed when those hopes aren't achieved. You've given me food for thought ~ thank you.

Comment by sarah :: greenclogs on January 3, 2011 at 07:21 PM

*rubbing eyes in disbelief* Lori? Hi!! I missed you!

I think I'm putting this one up on the wall. My main goal this year is to be more present in everything that I do.

Happy new year friend. xoxo.

Comment by Amy on January 3, 2011 at 08:40 PM

This is incredibly well-said. And extremely pertinent for me to read today. Thanks, Lori.

Comment by jane on January 3, 2011 at 09:50 PM

I am putting this all over our house. I'm also sending with the boys in their backpacks and hiding it in my husband's briefcase. So very well said. Thank you!

Comment by Cristina on January 3, 2011 at 11:45 PM

Wise words. It's good to see a post from you again. You have been missed!

Peace and Laughter!

Comment by Stacey on January 4, 2011 at 12:55 AM

This is a great thought this time of year. I think of it as moving towards something. Like I want to move towards a cleaner house. Honestly I caught myself commenting how I would succeed when I first read this, then after a pause I realized how silly I was being.

Comment by patricia on January 4, 2011 at 02:39 AM

I can't tell you how excited I was to see a blue, starred corner on your page in the Top Sites reader on my Mac. You're back!

I'd already decided to make a single resolution this year, which has to do with making more focused time on a personal project--rather than making resolutions about specific goals for the project. Because one thing I've learned, from both life and from you, is that you can't predict where a project will take you. All you can really do is put in the time and see where you wind up. This post is more encouragement in that direction.

Hoping to see more stars in the Camp Creek spot of my Top Sites page! Not that I want you to make a resolution about posting more often or anything. ;-)

Comment by Amy at simply n... on January 4, 2011 at 04:49 AM

Good to see you again....we've missed you!!!!! Who is going to keep us on track to challenged thinking when we start to get pulled into a routine of everyday ruts? Looking forward to open thread again!!!

Comment by Lori Pickert on January 4, 2011 at 04:16 PM

it really warmed my heart to get such wonderful comments after being away for awhile — thank you all!

thank you, heather. ;)

karen, happy new year to you, too! :) to be fair, luke was much older .. and he did have a tendency to whine. :D

hello jill! thank you. yes, i love this time of year -- winter in general and the new year with its fresh, new possibilities. we need to approach our goals in a way that helps us succeed!

hi sarah! haha, had you given up on me? :) that is a *great* goal for the year .. and every year. i'm sure you'll be successful. :)

hi, amy! and thank you so much. :) happy new year .. i hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

jane, excellent. :) it's a family-friendly policy! ;) happy new year!

thank you, cristina! :) xoxo

stacey, absolutely. it's about concentrating on being on the right path, rather than focusing on the far-ahead rosy outcome. there is real contentment and happiness from being on that path. good luck with your goal! :)

thank you, patricia! :) that is a *great* goal .. making space and time for something great to happen! :D

amy, thank you so much! you have to promise to come over for open thread, then, because you know it'll be crickets for awhile until it gets going. :D

happy new year!

Comment by Deirdre on January 4, 2011 at 09:17 PM

Yay! Welcome back, Lori! You've been sorely missed---I was so happy to see your post in my inbox (FeedMyInbox works!).

I came to post about Yoda too:) Love to see someone else thought of that too. We used to quote him all the time, and then during this summer's T-ball season had a big discussion about how very false that "There is no try" statement is. I love your description of the path, rather than the destination. I'm determined to take better care of myself, for a change, this year. And the destination is oh so very far away, but staying on the path is something I can achieve today. love it.

Comment by Lori Pickert on January 5, 2011 at 03:45 PM

hello dear :)

lol yoda. i think he was yelling at luke because luke's version of "i'll try" was a cop-out .. there was a complete lack of resolve there. we parental types are always getting quoted out of context. lol

love the path. i've learned to be satisfied as long as i'm on it. sometimes i find myself off it again, unfortunately. but it's usually pretty close by.

taking better care of yourself is a fantastic goal .. and it trickles down into being good for your whole family. you're the foundation, after all. plus you're living your beliefs. i love the lessons we can teach just by living our own life the best way we can. so much better than preaching/lecturing to others.

happy new year, friend. xoxo

Comment by Amy on January 5, 2011 at 06:37 PM

Yet another camp creek post that gets printed and put on the refrigerator! Thank you, Lori! An apt reminder.

Comment by birgit on January 6, 2011 at 07:33 PM

happy new year
so glad to see you again :)))
lg birgit

Comment by estea on January 6, 2011 at 10:58 PM

you're back!

ah, the grey. i was 40 before i realised what a huge problem i had with b & w thinking. now i've sort of trained my husband to recognize when it Takes Over and say (sweetly) "YOU'RE THINKING IN ABSOLUTES AGAIN, DEAR"


Comment by Lori Pickert on January 7, 2011 at 09:51 PM

thank you so much, amy. :)

happy new year!

aw, thank you, birgit -- happy new year to you, too! xoxo

e, there's a lot of good stuff in the gray. :)

i think there's a common problem, too, of focusing on the negative and ignoring the positive, no matter how much positive there is!

Comment by Dawn Suzette on January 7, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Hey Lori! Can't tell you how many times you have crossed my mind these last few months.
Yes... no resolutions here but some general things that I want to focus on. Some new projects started. Some old projects to "work on"...
Thoughful post as usual. Spending tonight getting caught up with you here.

Comment by Lori Pickert on January 8, 2011 at 04:13 PM

hi dawn, and thank you so much! i'm glad i've crossed your mind. :)

"something general to focus on" sounds so much less threatening than "resolution". :) something with a bit more flexibility and forgiveness built in!

i want to hear about your new projects when you have time.


Comment by Dawn Suzette on January 9, 2011 at 07:05 AM

I will e-mail you about our projects!

Comment by Lori Pickert on January 10, 2011 at 03:00 PM

yay! :)

Comment by Emmalina on December 31, 2012 at 07:10 PM

Yes, yes, yes! You make my brain and heart very happy : )

Comment by Lori Pickert on December 31, 2012 at 08:51 PM


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