When you want something different this year

Column Post by Laura Hyers

The new year always brings out the most ambitious part of me: the one that plans to make big changes and promise big things and follow through on everything. Come February, I am normally still fairly determined (albeit a little disillusioned), and by the beginning of the summer I am altogether hopeless, chalking up my ideals and expectations for next year.

Always next year.

My resolutions are usually admirable, involving how many books I want to read and where I want to be this time next year and how many times a week I’m going to work out. But they never stick. I know I’m pledging huge things to myself, but I also know that these are valid things to desire, like gaining knowledge and losing excess weight and reaching career and life goals.

So why don’t they happen?

My husband works for a build-your-own-website company, and he is a wealth of knowledge on human behavior. I’ve learned a lot about advertising and sale techniques since he’s been at this job, and the other day I was watching a car commercial that started with big announcer-man’s booming voice saying, “Here at (whatever car brand), we know you.” I snorted a big laugh and said, “No you don’t! You don’t know a thing about my life—you just want me to buy things I can’t afford.”

My honey shot me a grin and said, “Precisely.” People will buy things or services based on the person they want to be. That pang of regret that happens when I see a lingerie store’s commercial right after dinner? Yeah. I want to be a supermodel, I want to have great hair, I want to be desirable and attractive and physically impossibly beautiful. I sigh and I start to wallow around in my pity and self-loathing and in a small voice I say, “I need one of those bras so I can be impossibly thin and really, really sexy.”

I can see the marketing in the car commercial, and I can laugh at it. I can also see the marketing in the lingerie commercial, but I succumb to the message: I need to buy this lacy little thing, because I need to look like the women I have been conditioned to think are society’s definition of beauty.

So this year I want to be different. I want to be intentional in my resolutions, and I don’t want to set myself up for failure or goals that are just straight-up unattainable. I don’t want to forego my favorite foods for the sake of how some company defines beauty, nor do I want to believe that eating McDonalds three times a week won’t hurt my body. I want to take the time to think about the woman I am, the woman God created me to be, and what changes and dreams will get me to that place.

For 2013, I want a mindset, not a marketing strategy.

What do you want for the coming year?

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Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

3 thoughts on “When you want something different this year

  1. Hi Laura,
    I have been thinking about this very thing. I have figured out (FINALLY!) that I don’t usually follow through on New Year’s resolutions. So this year I decided to use a different strategy. I set a goal, and then I ask myself “why?” do I want to complete that goal. I write these down. I begin to strategize. But when I get tempted to think that one of my goals is to never, ever, waste time (I am noticing all the little time wasters in my life right now), I remember that nothing will happen if I don’t take time. I need to take time to reflect, to pray, to read God’s word (his word is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path! Psalm 119:105). So my first resolution is to take MORE time, and I don’t need to write that one down.

  2. Thank you for that encouraging words. Yeah, I do the same thing evey year as you, make big plans to lose weight, read more, get more organized. Start off good, but by spring I’m wondering if I taken on too much….So, what changes are going to get me to where I want to be in 2013? First I going to pray and ask the Lord to help me and write them down and take one at a time. So will see what happens this year. I do know that I’m stopping comparing myself with other women this year and what I thought I should be.

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