A few years ago, my family and I visited the San Antonio Riverwalk between Christmas and New Year’s Day. It was decorated with twinkling Christmas lights and glittery trees, and mariachi bands played festive holiday music.
We expected the Riverwalk to be crowded. What we didn’t expect was the great sea of college football fans. Our visit just happened to fall on the weekend before the Alamo Bowl game. Everywhere, we saw face-painted fans wearing purple and white for Northwestern or yellow and black for the University of Missouri. We couldn’t even get tickets for a riverboat ride—they were sold out. Entire college bands floated down the river playing their school’s fight songs, followed by boatloads of football players.
We figured since we couldn’t ride the boats, we’d just enjoy from the sidelines. So when the Northwestern band floated past, followed by the Northwestern football players, we yelled, “Go Northwestern!” The players waved and cheered back at us.
A few minutes later, when the University of Missouri band and players floated by, guess what we did? My mama didn’t raise no fool.
We yelled and cheered for the University of Missouri. Our little family was quite possibly the most popular family on the Riverwalk that evening.
We didn’t have a dog in that fight, so we really didn’t care who won. I’m glad we didn’t have to choose. While my choice of college football teams doesn’t really matter, I make many choices each day that matter a lot.
As I think about my new resolutions for my new year, I’m reminded that my goals are pretty meaningless if I don’t back them up with choices. Those extra pounds I want to lose? My choice. No one forces me to eat potato chips and chocolate truffles. I make choices about what I eat; therefore, to some extent, I make the choice about what I weigh.
What about that next book I want to write? That garage I want cleaned out? Those friendships I want to build? They can become reality if I make the choices, day by day, step by step to achieve my goals. Otherwise, they will remain exactly what they are – lofty dreams. (And yes, a clean garage is a lofty dream for me. Have you seen my garage?)
This year, I want to stop talking about my goals and actually achieve some of them. In order to do that, I’ll try to make better choices. I know my goals won’t be met in one fell swoop, but in small steps. Over time. One small choice after another.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.