“Each age has deemed the new-born year the fittest time for festal cheer.” (Sir Walter Scott)
res•o•lu•tion (rezəˈlo͞oSHən) Noun 1. A firm decision to do or not to do something. 2. A formal expression of opinion or intention agreed on by a legislative body, committee, or other formal meeting. Synonyms decision – determination – resolve – solution
I read in the news that the top two New Year’s Resolutions were to lose weight and save money. Cliché you may think, but really not so bad. The fact that the majority of people at least acknowledge their need to be healthier and more financially stable isn’t a bad ambition. But two more I would like to add to their list, perhaps two that aren’t really about themselves (novel, right?). I wish we were as concerned with our spiritual health as we are our physical; and I wish we cared more about serving others as much as we care about serving ourselves.
Now you may remember my post from last year, New Beginnings, and know that I take resolutions very seriously. I usually spend at least a week thinking about what goals in my life I would like to achieve. So let’s take a look and see how I did; here was my list from last year:
Resolution (spiritual): “Draw closer to my God: spend time with Him every morning, make sacrifices for His glory, and love people more deeply.” Outcome: I feel confident I am closer to God than I was the year before, though I wasn’t so great at morning devotionals. I feel assured I made sacrifices for Him, by putting the needs of others often above my own. I have learned to love people more deeply, though there is still room to grow.
Resolution (emotional): “Be intentional about serving my husband: seek his good above my own, admit it when I’m wrong, speak kindly to him always.” Outcome: I strived to serve my husband well, most notably being his helper in ministry. I was intentional about saying, “I’m sorry,” though I could probably say it more often. I tried to speak respectfully, but I’ve learned I have a natural “attitude” tone that needs improving.
Resolution (physical): “This year I have three new fitness resolutions: run my first half marathon, give morning workouts a fair try, and get into cycling.” Outcome: I did run a half marathon, and it was an incredible achievement for me. I faithfully ran three mornings a week, and discovered I love morning workouts! I have not yet gotten into cycling, but that’s only because I can’t afford to buy a bike.
Resolution (adventure): “New places I’d love to explore in 2012: Alaska, Colorado, and the Philippines.” Outcome: Sadly, I did not get to explore Alaska or Colorado. But I did travel all through the Philippines, which included enough adventure for a whole year! I also got to visit my wedding state, New Mexico, twice (once for my birthday and once right after Christmas).
(Other resolutions: pay off debt (eh, not so successful), eat more vegetables (check!), make deeper friendships (check!), and be more giving (check!). Loose some pounds (check!), read more novels (check!), save money (eh, not so successful), and get better at gardening (eh, not so successful). Serve at the homeless shelter (check!), try new recipes (check!), have more weekend get-aways (check!), and paint on a canvas (eh, not so successful).)
So what are my resolutions for 2013? Well for those things from 2012 that I didn’t master, I will keep working on those. But there are a few new specifics I would like to add…
Resolution (spiritual): Draw deeper in my relationship with God, and be more consistent with morning devotionals. Journal more, and lead a ladies bible study. Continue to make sacrifices for His glory, and put together “care packages” to leave in my car to give to the homeless. Resolution (emotional): Speak more gently to my husband, letting him know how much I respect him. Overcome anxiety, and be a little less “high-strung” (maybe more “medium-strung”?) Resolution (physical): Run in at least five races, and actually get a bike and start cycling. Eat clean, cook more, and take vitamins (regularly). Resolution (financial): Pay off debts and build a healthy savings account (that we don’t touch). Resolution (adventure): Visit the Philippines again and continue our work there; and visit either (or both!) New York City or Disney World’s Universal Studios.
Now I am putting this list out there, for the whole world to see. But it’s not for you, it’s for me! That way I will have something to look back on, to remind myself throughout the year of my goals. Don’t belittle the opportunity to better yourself. Make commitments to yourself and stick with them!
I can’t help but think of King Solomon when I think about setting goals (maybe this is weird?). But Solomon was a great and powerful man, yet in the book of Ecclesiastes he puts life in a realistic perspective for us. I want to share a thought from this prevailing king:
“So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2:9-11)
I share this because of all our aspirations and dreams for ourselves we need to be reminded that our lives are meant to be far more than even our wildest dreams. But they were meant for a life that this world cannot offer.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)