Things < People.

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I've always thought New Year's resolutions were overrated. There's a spark of excitement and possibility with every start of a new year, but then it wears off after a couple weeks and people tend to just revert back to what's comfortable. I've always thought of New Year's resolutions as goals that I can just check off as I go, but I'm on the pursuit of something deeper than that. I'm starting to realize the bigger picture. It's the realization that the things we do in life are not as important as the kind of people we strive to become. That probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but hear me out. I can work my way through a checklist of good deeds and healthy habits. I can have the quantitative mentality of goal-setting and see that I'm doing everything by the book, down to every last step. But I've always thought of those goals as the "end" points. Once I read X number of books in one year, then I've succeeded. Once I've lost X number of pounds in one year, then I've succeeded. But what kind of fulfillment does that bring?

I've thought a lot about what success looks like and feels like, and those definitions have changed drastically for me over the last few years -- even months. So I've decided to change my mentality about New Year's resolutions and goal-setting. My realization has become my mantra in a sense.

The things we do in life are not as important as the kind of people we strive to become.

Strictly focusing on the quantitative "things" gives me tunnel vision. If my goal-setting is limited to focusing on how many pounds I can lose or how many books I can read, I'm missing the point. I don't want to make a list goals with the mindset that accomplishment means simply checking them off as I go. I don't want to measure my success as a human being with numbers.

I want to cultivate a qualitative mentality. I want my focus to shift from the "things" to the "person" -- from the tunnel vision to the bigger picture. I want to think about my resolution holistically. And my resolution, for 2017 and all my years to come, is to become a person who relentlessly pursues growth. So my goals should reflect this. That checklist of good deeds and healthy habits should be a means of getting me there. They should be the means to the end. The "things" I do in my life should be thoughtful, deliberate choices that only push me toward that holistic goal to become the kind of person I'm striving to be.

My point being, I've never been satisfied with making New Year's resolutions for the sake of making them. But I am PUMPED about the idea of a single, holistic resolution. To me, that mindset switch automatically injects a greater purpose into every goal and every "thing" I do. When I have a goal to read X number of books, I'll be thinking about it in terms of how it's going to help me reach that holistic resolution. I'm going to be more thoughtful about the books I choose to read. I'm going to know that the books I choose are going to help mold me into a person of growth.

The things we do in life are not as important as the kind of people we strive to become. If our resolution is something as broad as to become better people -- better friends, better husbands or wives, better parents, better Christians, better whatevers -- then the focus shifts from things to people. We won't have tunnel vision. We won't be driven by selfish desires to set goals for the sake of setting them, to do the big things or the little things for the sake of quantitative success. We'll do all of this because we'll know that the purpose behind them is fueled by something so much greater: Our humanity.

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