On New Year’s Resolutions

madewithOver (1)It probably comes as no surprise to you that I’m subscribed to Ann Voskamp’s blog. Yesterday’s post was [surprise, surprise] about making New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re like 99% of the world, you might be thinking about your 2013 resolutions and how you managed to make it only 1, 2, or 3 months before they fell by the wayside. To tell the truth, I can’t even remember what mine were.

Maybe you’re feeling frustrated because last year’s failure was the same as the last 10 consecutive years. You never lost that 10 pounds, quit drinking coffee, or re-did your kitchen. If that’s what you think, I strongly encourage you to read that blog post.

While many people dread the New Year, and refuse to make resolutions “on principle” (aka, they’re tired of failure), I love the beginning of a new year. I love Sundays because it’s a new week. I love mornings because it’s a new day. And I love New Year’s Day because it’s a reminder of life, grace for another year, and new beginnings.

Any motivational coach or self-help book will tell you that in order to achieve your goals of change, you have to make them measurable and break them into easy chunks. Last night I was talking to Gray about my New Year’s dilemma: I don’t really have measurable goals. I mean, some of my resolutions are (run two 5ks, do a bike trip, finish my list of 1000 gifts), but for the most part they aren’t.

I’m making goals to be more patient, to be more open to change (and more importantly, more open-minded to the idea of change), to pray more often, to better understand my relationship with God, etc. While I might not be able to break these into segments of specific things I’m going to accomplish each month, I’m okay with that. By the end of the year, I know I’ll be able tell you if I’ve improved in these areas. I don’t expect to be Mother Theresa by 2015, but even small changes are changes for the better.

I encourage you to think about areas you want to improve in the next year and see it as an opportunity for growth and not another way to measure falling short. At the same time, don’t hold so tightly to your resolutions that you miss out on other ways to grow. I didn’t plan to grow spiritually in the way that I did in 2013, but I’m glad that it happened. In January 2013, I probably planned to learn how to do my taxes and run a marathon (ok, that’s a joke) – neither of which I accomplished. Instead I learned a lot about time, busyness, and stress – and I’d pick those lessons over the marathon every time.

Happy New Year.

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