Goals & Resolutions
A New Year. A New Beginning. This time of year is always filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation. Unfortunately, for many it is only a matter of days and sometimes weeks before the excitement and anticipation dwindle and we settle in to making a new year the same as so many in the past.
Like many, for years I have set New Year’s Resolutions, simply put, goals for my new year. I have always been the kind of person that would wait for a special day as a marker to start something new. This can be both good and bad. Waiting for that day to come I would sometimes gorge myself on whatever I was trying to change and then lose all desire to change by the time I said I would. The special thing about a day like New Year’s Day is it is a starting point or a launching pad for us to look back and remember how long and how far we have come.
This coming year is a special year for me. I turn 30. It has caused me to become a little more self aware. My goals for this year definitely reflect that I am getting older. As I began to prepare for a new year, I tried to come up with some different areas that I could work on in my life. It may be excessive, but I came up with 9 different areas where I felt it was important for me to set some goals for 2016. My list may not be the same as yours, but I do encourage everyone to set goals for themselves. As much as we desire or believe we have arrived and have figured it all out, we all know that it is just not true. All of us have something that we can work on and improve. Below are the areas I identified in my life and one of my specific goals in that area for this next year. Maybe you will see something you want to do or maybe it will spark a thought to something in your life that you want to change.
Health/Physical- Drink 64 oz. of water every day. I know this may not be medically sound, but here is why I am doing it: I don’t drink much liquid at all and I know that I need to in order to have more energy and feel better, so I am starting with something I know I can do.
Sexual- Don’t look at porn. I have a history of addiction to pornography and unfortunately I am reminded often of how easy it would be to go back to this life. A new year offers me a chance to be reminded of how far I have come and how I can continue to move on past this issue and even encourage and help others.
Emotional– Listen more than I speak. I am a communicator for a living and so I like to talk, but so often I will dominate a conversation and no one else will speak. For 2016 I have decided to shut up and listen because I know others have valuable input that I need to hear.
Spiritual– Read through the entire Bible. I know this may be shocking, but even as a pastor I struggle to have a regular devotion time. I have a busy life just like you and add on that every time I read the Bible I am thinking of a way to use the scripture as a sermon. I am working at making my time in the Bible each day not just apply to other’s lives, but to mine first.
Vocational– Involve others and allow them to lead. Just this past week there have been times where I have allowed others to do something that I could have done and would have done differently. It wasn’t easy and sometimes I had to bite my tongue, but it is very apparent to me that it was the right thing to do.
Parenting- Go out with Mattox alone once a month. Yes she is only 11 months old and she probably will never remember the moments we spend together in the next few months, but I will begin to show her that she has value and importance to me. She will grow up knowing and seeing the kind of man that I want her to have in her life forever because I will be that man for her and her mother.
Marriage– Devotions together twice per week. Ashley and I have been married for 7 years and it can still be uncomfortable to sit down and talk about scripture and pray together, but I have realized it is necessary. Often in those moments I realize things that I need to improve to be a better husband.
Personal– No more than 2 hours on social media per day. I know that 2 hours still seems like quite a bit of time, but compared to what I realized I was spending it is a huge change. Social media can be an amazing tool, especially in what I do for a living, but I had allowed it to creep in and consume my time. I will control and determine what I do with my time.
Financial– Pay off half of our remaining debt. Student loans and car payments are hanging over our heads right now. We were blessed a couple of years ago to be given a book that would begin to help us get our lives straight financially. We haven’t finished, but we have knocked out our smallest debts and are making progress in our largest, but we want to be free from debt by the end of 2017.
Have I already failed at some of these goals? Absolutely, but guess what? I will not let failure stop me. I will not look for another date to start over. I will start over each day and realize that failure is not a completed action, it’s a stepping stone. Make 2016 great, by setting goals and striving each day to start brand new and reach them!