Every year as the previous year rolls out, I take time to reflect upon the good as well as the bad. The things that I am proud of myself for accomplishing and the things I want to improve upon. As I take inventory in my head, and thank God for the blessing of this past year, I am reminded of that pesky New Year’s Resolution.
There is something freeing in the idea of starting new; of being given a clean slate. But as I go through the typical New Year’s Resolutions, I found myself reading a bunch of, “Didn’t I already try that and fail?” ideas.
If there is anything that I hate to do, it is to fail.
Now I don’t normally fail these for lack of motivation, but rather lack of time, energy, or both.
Through the years I’ve gotten smarter and have set goals that I know I wont fail at. Something that is just a bit harder than what I normally do.
This past year, I resolved to read through the Bible in one year. Reading my Bible almost everyday is something I was already in the habit of doing, so this wasn’t a HUGE stretch. But nevertheless, I will tell you that it was a stretch to commit 15 to 20 minutes a day, especially for some of the Old Testament. (Plus, when I missed a day, making it up the next day so I could end it on time.)
Yesterday as I finished it, it was a great feeling to know that I had accomplished what I had set out to do. I can honestly tell you that I am a better person for having done it, and am thankful for that time getting to know, deeper, my heavenly father.
Well this year I couldn’t decide on just one thing I wanted to do, so I came up with a few.
1.) Be more present.
I wouldn’t say that I struggle with this horribly, but it is something that I have gotten slack on. In today’s era of smart devices, it is easy to become distracted. This year I am going back to my rule of plugging the phone in my room when I get home from work. I want to be engaged in the chaos around me and not use my phone as a vice to escape reality.
2.) Hug More.
My Love Language is not even close to physical touch, and though I love my children fiercely, I slack on the physical affection. My big and I have resolved this year to be conscience of hugging each other more. (Read more about Love Languages here.)
3.) Read More.
Growing up I didn’t have TV. We spent our screen time watching movies as a family, and as a kid I spent a lot of time reading. I absolutely love getting lost in a good book, but ever since I decided to get a TV subscription last year, I have spent less time reading. Last night I called and canceled the TV!
If you have kids in school they probably have at least 30 mins of reading homework every night, join them by declaring a family read fest on the couch. And the truth is, you could probably read a chapter a day if you just kept in the bathroom.
4.) Forgive More.
Holding onto unforgiveness doesn’t hurt the other person nearly as much as it hurts you. It is so hard to carry around that bitterness, and God specifically tells us that if we don’t forgive others, he wont forgive us.
This last week the girls and I spent a week with their dad, and I thought to myself how beautiful it was that God has reconciled our friendship, and respect for one another. It was the first time that He had asked me for forgiveness from his abandoning us 2.5 years prior. My response was, “I already did…years ago.” I decided years ago that I couldn’t hang onto the bitterness, for fear it would destroy me. It was then that I realized whether he was sorry or not, I needed to forgive him.
5.) Spend less, give more.
I’m not just talking about spending less money so you can give more money. But spending less money and giving more of your time. Sometimes I get restless and just want to get out of the house, so naturally….I go shopping. Last year I had traded (just not consistently) my need to get out and spend money, for volunteering at a retirement home. This year I’m going to make it a consistent part of my routine. I want to focus less on my needs and more on the needs of others as the Holy Spirit directs me.
I’m sure that if you take time to pray and ask God what area’s of your life he would change, He will give you not only some New Year’s Resolutions that you can achieve, but ones that will change you life for the better!
Happy New Year friends! May this year be better than the last!