If you aim at nothing, you will hit it everytime. ~Zig ZiglarAs we approach 2012, many of us are thinking about New Years resolutions. Most of us know ourselves well enough to realize that our resolutions will probably not last very long before we give up and go back to doing the same 'ol thing that we've always done. Habits are hard to break. Lifestyles are hard to change.
Some resolutions are predictable and somewhat evasive: I want to lose weight. I want to be a better person (or a better parent). I want to help others more. I want to eat more fruits and vegetables. I want to deepen my walk with God.
Despite the fact that New Years resolutions are almost made to be broken, I love creating them because I always want to be changing and growing for the better.
Each year I sit down and write out yearly goals (I don't like calling them "resolutions", "goals" works better for me). I try and choose 3-5 goals for each of the following areas:
- Loving my Body: Often my goals in this area include drinking more water, exercising regularly, nutrition, etc. I try to steer clear of weight goals, but instead focus more on treating my body right.
- Sharpening the Mind: Past goals have included reading a certain number of books, studying a certain topic, finishing a degree, and learning a new language.
- Feeding my Spirit: This category is where I focus on intentional spiritual formation- memorizing and reading Scripture, trying out a new spiritual discipline, or engaging in more intentional community life.
- Building Relationships: Last year my goal was to send birthday cards to every family member. I don't think I quite reached that, but I came pretty close! This category is where I list tangible ways that I can show certain people that I love and cherish them.
- Other (I know, creative title, right?): This has been a catch-all for everything else: finances, catching up on scrapbooking, blogging, volunteer work, and working on establishing family traditions.
As I make goals in each of the areas, I think through WHY I want to make a certain goal, and ask myself if it is really attainable. I ask myself what things are going to need to change in order to reach this goal, and if I'm really willing to part with my old way of doing something. Change is SO hard, and for change to stick, it often has to include a lot of people, so this year I'm going to share those goals with Jake and the kids so that they will know what I'm working on.
Finally, at the top of my sheet of goals (I don't allow myself to have more than one page), I write this: God willing, I hope to achieve these goals by the end of _(fill in year)_. As I made these goals, I did so with an attitude of prayer and reflection on what I felt like the Lord would see as good. However, I know that unforeseen circumstances can arise, and perhaps I won't accomplish them all. These are my goals and aspirations; they are open for change as is best-seen fit. I write this to remind myself that while I may have goals for my life, the Lord directs my paths. I hold these goals loosely in my hands, allowing them to be changed and shaped by my Father who knows what is best for me.
What resolutions/goals are YOU setting for 2012? I'd love to hear about them!