We aren’t meant to settle.
We were made to push forward.
Life can be difficult, but everyone agrees that it’s a journey that is best done to your fullest potential. This is especially true for the Christian. As a Christian, we believe in a God Who has created us to be able to do so much, but gives us the gift of free will so that we get to participate in the journey. Even so, He has created you with glorious purpose that will come to reality through a combination of His grace, and your willingness to follow. In times of reflection we can easily get bogged down by large vision for our lives, but unable to see the steps that get us there.
That’s where new year resolutions come into play.
It’s that time of year when people across the world set new life standards for themselves. Habits, goals, and action steps are full of hope, yet so often not realized.
So what should we do?
Should we stop setting new year resolutions?
I did for a while.
Should you only set one, rather than many?
Been there done that.
Should you set multiple, but only really easy ones?
Again, been down that path.
Here’s three things I want you to consider for this year’s resolutions:
1. You’re not defined by them
As a Christian, we need to make sure that our identity is in our position with God (as saved sons and daughters) and not in the things we do or accomplish. Year after year, people are either puffed up or broken by what they did or didn’t accomplish the previous year. Depression sets in around this time of year as we realize we have not reached some of our most tightly held goals. This should not be the response of a Christian. We are told to work, and work hard. But we are not owned, or defined, by our work, our plans, or our goals.
2. You’re not restricted to them
One of the biggest problems with new year resolutions is that they’re dependent on one specific day a year. I think that it’s good to set goals for a year time, but new year resolutions require that you stick to those goals so matter what, and life is more complicated than that. Many people will begin this year with no children, and no thoughts of children, but they will have a child before the year is up. There are so many things we can’t plan for, and so our plans should be specific, yet flexible.
So as you plan what this next year might look like, and what would be awesome to accomplish, realize that your plans will change – and that’s not a bad thing! As you start the year with one goal, you may come across an opportunity or pursuit that will be far more rewarding that you choose to pursue instead. I think that setting year goals are great, but don’t feel restricted or guilty if those plans change.
3. Start today
Rather than building great anticipation for a new trend, only to have your very first day be right after a potential all-nighter, why not start today? I think we feel like we’re cheating by “starting early” but that’s nonsense. The point is to accomplish a goal, and nothing else. So whether your goal is to read X amount of books, or to start a new hobby, etc – start today! You’ll begin building momentum with the energy that would otherwise be wasted on thinking about your new goals, rather than actually putting those goals into practice! As a bonus, by the time new year comes around, you’ll already be setting new habits and gaining ground on accomplishing your goal.
What’s your new year resolution?
What goals are you setting this year? Have you already started on them?