Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Resolutions?


Are you the type of person who vows to do {insert the improvement here} starting on January 1? Do you tend to give up on that certain something by the end of January? Doesn't that get you down? Talk about feeling like a failure before February even begins.


So don't do it!


The only resolution I have ever made and kept is to floss my teeth daily. I made that resolution about 7 years ago and have been flossing ever since. My dentist is so proud! All the other ones, hmmm, I can't even think of another one.....total failure.


Instead, make a list of a few goals that you would like to accomplish within the next 12 months. Below are some goals that I thought I'd share for the year 2012:


1. Make a list of a few books (not sappy, romantic, vampirish books - but books that make you think outside the culture and challenge your mind) that you'd like to read in the next year. Maybe it is even just one book. If you need a suggestion, I recommend Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries (it is on my list to read in 2012).


2. Get your passport (either first time or get it renewed). You never know when you might have the opportunity to go on a short term (or long term) mission trip. It takes about 6 weeks to get the passport back, so it is always good to be prepared.


3. Choose something "big" to clean out (like the garage or basement). Now remember, this doesn't need to be finished by the end of January. Break up the one huge goal into smaller tasks and reward yourself for the progress you have made. Tell your husband (or someone) that you have this on your "to do" list so they can hold you accountable (and sing your praises when it is finished).


4. Volunteer more time. There are so many worth organizations in need of volunteers that it should be easy to find one near you. Choose something that you are passionate about so that it will be an easy fit for your personality. If it isn't something you care about, it can easily be pushed off until 2013 (or beyond). So if you love dogs, volunteer at your local humane society and help walk the dogs. If you are passionate about helping the less fortunate, you might call a shelter and see when you can help serve meals. Maybe you can just help clean the kitchen after meal times? If you have a heart for the elderly, maybe you can take your kids once a month to a local nursing home and visit the residents? They love it when we take homemade cards to them for different holidays (we usually do this for Valentine's Day).


5. Strive for holiness. Ok, I that know this sounds like a giant goal, but take it in small steps. First of all, pray. Pray for God to shine a light on an area (just one) that you should work on. Next, start the “put off – put on” process.


6. Pray more. We can never pray enough. Think of creative ways to remind yourself to pray each day. You could put up a prayer board (we have a white board in our kitchen to remind us of prayer requests). Use birthdays and other special dates to remind you to pray for loved ones. When you hear of a tragedy (newspaper, TV, prayer requests), use that as a reminder to pray that God be glorified in that situation. We are to pray without ceasing – so let us constantly look for reminders to continue our conversations with God.


7. Reduce the distractions in your life. Do you spend a lot of time, money and energy on entertainment such as TV shows, movies, going out to eat, reading books that serve to entertain rather than to teach? Pray that God would open your eyes to the distractions in your life and choose to eliminate one (or more) of these. Spend that time more usefully – either with your family or by serving others in the community or church. You’ll never regret it!


8. Spend time remembering lovely stories from your childhood and tell them to your own children. Help them to see that you were once a child. Help them to see you as a person, not just a Mom or Dad. Tell them the things you did for fun (I doubt it had anything to do with an iPod or Nintendo). Tell them about books you read and loved and then see if they want to read them, too. Tell them about heartaches that you experienced. But please remember to always respect and honor your parents in these stories (even if you have to omit portions of the story).


9. Clean out those closets. If you haven’t worn an outfit in a year (or more), then why not give it to someone who will wear it? Look through all your clothes and if it is still in good shape, but not something you will wear, donate it to a local shelter, Goodwill, or American Vets.


10. Seek out someone to “mentor”. God has given you some life experience (some good, some not so fun) for a reason. Do not waste it – use it to help someone else and glorify God. Find someone (teen, young Mom, friend of one of your children) and take them under your wing. Explain that you are not perfect (that should not be news) but that you would like to be their friend and be someone they can trust for advice. Hmmm, who will you (I) choose?

Remember to post your list some place where you will look at it. If you don't do this, there is no way you'll remember the goals you set in October.

So what are your goals for the new year? I’d love to hear from you.



2 comments:

  1. I love these ideas! I like to do goals instead of resolutions as well. Thanks the inspiration! Sharing on my fb page. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete

I love to hear from my readers so if you are thinking something that is beneficial and profitable (which doesn't mean you have to agree with me, but at least be nice), then I'd love to hear from you!