I have heard people talking about making a New Year's resolution for as long as I can remember. I have even made a few myself--be more organized, exercise more, have a more structured time of devotion and prayer--and each time I tend to start strong and finish...well...with a whimper. However, these efforts have not been a fruitless endeavor. Although my original organizational skills that I meant to keep up with didn't last long; over time I realized that I have become a bit more organized in certain areas of my life. And even though my original fervor in structured prayer collapsed like a house of cards, I have developed some practices that have stuck with me over time. I'll leave the topic of exercise alone.
With my youth group the other night, I asked who had made a New Year's resolution and was surprised to find out that only one had made a resolution - to stop procrastinating - an admirable resolution. Maybe I'll do that next year. The rest gave responses such as "why bother?" "I don't want to disappoint myself." And had the over all attitude that making resolutions is a joke - which I had to concur in some part.
We then talked about making a plan for better habits. We want to better ourselves, but we rarely make a plan to do this. We talked about ways they could include growing closer to God as a plan for growing as a person.
I must confess, I am not the one to give advice in this area as you have already read from my failed attempts at organization and exercise; however, I do believe in goals. Goals are those things you work toward--sometimes with varying degrees of success, but failure only comes when you quit trying. I can handle a goal. Like a goal of incorporating more activity in my life. I can be more active, but structured exercise is not my thing.
This year one of my goals is to write more. I have a very good reason for this. I must write consistently to finish my DMin. Writing something everyday, even if it isn't related to my project, helps to develop a discipline of writing. This is my goal. My plan is to write for 15-20 minutes each morning about anything. You may see some of my writing show up here. They may be thoughts that seemingly do not have any relevance to anything going on, but idle thoughts can sometimes lead to open discussions.
May your New Year be one in which you set goals and grow as a person, because none of us has truly arrived. Yet, many of us have sat on a bench along the journey thinking we have reached our destination. So get up and journey onward and blessings for the road ahead!