Saturday, January 8, 2011

resolutions

Resolution: a formal expression of opinion or intention made,
the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose. (www.dictionary.com)


Prior to meeting my husband, I never knew that a New Year's resolution was anything but flippant. Really, how serious can you be when you say you want to "eat less and exercise more"?

This year it seems I was especially welcoming to the arrival of January 1st. Something about needing to push the reset button on my life and get back to the main menu. The holiday fervor made me so scattered. It was fun to put the Christmas decorations out in December, but it was a huge relief to put them away again. Instant decluttering. It made me want to do that with my life too.

When we were first dating, my hubby taught me a method for embracing the new year with direction. Setting goals had always seemed like something teachers wanted me to do, but now I actually see great value in focusing my life in on something. So... I thought I would share my husband's basic method for resolution-making. It has morphed over the years, so I am not really sure what the original version looked like. The basic idea is to take some time to prayerfully examine different areas of my life and to set a goal for each area that is challenging, but also attainable. It usually takes me the first part of January to pray through all of the junk, and get to the heart of each category. Then, I have to write it all down and put it in a place where I will remember to look at it. Otherwise, just like any diet we put ourselves on, all of that great intention will be gone forever.
The area breakdown is something like this:

- Spiritual - goals for my prayer life, my ministries, my quiet times
- Physical - goals for keeping the one and only body God has given me healthy
- Relational - goals for who I am in my relationships: as a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter, and in those relationships where it feels like I might be doing a lot more giving than taking
- Professional - goals for who I am in my work environment. Currently, I need some special guidance in the poorly paid, highly important, full-time position of motherhood
- Academic - goals to strengthen and grow the brain that God gave me
- Financial - goals for spending wisely and giving cheerfully
Sometimes I feel very uninspired by certain aspects of my life, but that is the whole point! God wants to inspire me to more like Him in EVERY area!

New beginnings are a great gift from above. A new year is an opportunity to reset the compass needle on our hearts, to realign the direction of our lives, and to remember the Holy Purpose God has set before us. In light of the new life we have been given, perhaps it is right to approach a new year with some type of reverence. 

Have you given any thoughts to resolutions for this new year?  I would love to hear your method, and I just might find a way to incorporate it into mine for next year!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the thoughts Ashley! I don't usually sit down to write out New Year's resolutions but I like what another friend of mine does. Every New Year's Day she spends about an hour thinking through and then writing out some goals for her life for the following twelve months. What I like most about what she does though is that she spends that hour with her husband. They each have their own separate journals and pens, and while sitting together in the same space, prayerfully make their personal resolutions. Then when that hour is up, they share with each other what they've written.

    I'd like to hear more about what your specific resolutions are for this year because I know your heart behind your goals will inspire me!

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  2. I do something similar to your categories. This year John Paul did it with me and now our page of 2011 Goals is shared. I am excited about it! Some of our goals are simple, like paint the bathroom...to read 20 books...to a little more serious, like read through the whole Bible with out Community Group. They are more like "plans" than goals, in my mind anyway...but I also sense God gently whispering to me..."Many are the plans of a man's heart but it's the Lord purposes that prevail". Anticipating growing together in 2011!

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