I’ve gone through the full cycle of feelings toward new year’s resolutions, from childish dedication to cynical 30-something rejection to a renewed appreciation.
It’s not that new year’s resolutions really mean anything. Let’s be honest. I could dedicate my body to the gym on any day of the year. There’s nothing magical about a Bonza Bottler date (though it’s fun to know that you can celebrate them each month). My house won’t be any cleaner next week than it is now most likely, no matter how many articles hit my feed this week telling me how to de-clutter, live simply, or get everything organized.
But the older I get, the more I appreciate a fresh start.
One of my favorite and long-lasting literary quotes comes from a book in the Anne of Green Gables series: “Tomorrow is a fresh new day with no mistakes in it.” I struggle to remember exact words for anything I read; the fact that Anne kept those words in her heart spoke to me in my adolescence with such force that I never forgot them. I might be all grown up now but I still fumble around and muck it up and have to retrace my steps and turn life sideways sometimes to see where to go next. Knowing that tomorrow is yet unspoiled by my actions gives me hope.
Considering how shitty 2016 has been overall for pretty much everyone, I’m not sorry to see it go.
2017 is a fresh new year, with no mistakes in it. (Yet.)
His mercies are new every morning.
Here’s to a new start.
The Power of Writing Every Day – A.J. Juliani.
^This post (above) was an encouraging yet needling reminder that I often fail to make the changes necessary to accomplish my personal goals. The author chronicles his development into a man who writes 1,000 words a day in pursuit of writing curriculum, blogging about education questions, and writing a book. I admire his courage and perseverance….. and then almost didn’t write today because I didn’t feel like it.
Yes, I catch the irony of that sentence. 🙂 So here I am.
I don’t have any lofty publishing goals, but I do want to contribute more thoughts to particular areas of my interest: redemptive, relational teaching; interdisciplinary education and curriculum; the role of Christians in living the Gospel in its fulness, not ignoring either the hard work of thinking rightly about theology or the hard work of loving others using our hands and feet (and not just our mouths and brains).
(I also would like to clean my house, finish painting two rooms, lay a new floor, throw out about 1/3 of what we currently own, manage not to kill the 3 houseplants on the front porch, and make it to work on time next week despite having Messiah rehearsals nearly every night.)
Little by little, one travels far. 🙂
Got any goals you’re trying to keep?
I’ve never really been big on New Year’s resolutions. Even as a kid. I think my subconscious knows I won’t keep them and then I’ll feel guilty about it.
Besides, why load up the new year with heavy demands on willpower? We’ve got only so much of it, and I’m using mine already.
But there’s something nice about taking stock, starting anew, putting a positive spin on my need to keep growing as a person. I’ve decided to call these my “do better” goals — areas where I still want to grow — for 2014.
1. Listen more.
Stretch goal: Talk less. (Ha!)
And stretch more – I can tell I’m losing flexibility. Plus I’ve been really lazy about exercising and that’s bad.
Found a cool yoga app on iOS that seems to make people pretty happy – going to try that for morning stretches.
3. Eat plenty of “real foods” mostly from local sources.
I want to expand my use of wonderful vegetables and historic grains, and make it all taste awesome. Because life is too short to eat bad food. Or gross food.
4. Read more long-form writing – mostly books. I find myself consuming articles and short pieces non-stop. It’s interesting and informative but I think it’s shredding my attention span for book-length reading.
5. Schedule these elements into my day so they become habits rather than ignored goals.
Schedules, not deadlines, build habits …and habits are powerful tools.
I could list others, but I think 5 is enough to start with.
What are your “do better”s for 2014?