As the New Year stretches out before us, we wonder what the next 365 days will bring. We may thoughtfully begin to make some plans for the next year, but we also realize that each trip around the sun brings with it an element of uncertainty—the unknown. Does this stir anticipation and hope in you? Or a twinge of fear? Maybe both.
In spite of the uncertainties or challenges that may lie ahead, there is something wonderful about blank calendar pages. Each little square opens up endless promise and possibility.
With this new beginning, many feel compelled to make New Year’s resolutions. Yet most of those well-intended resolutions to whip ourselves into shape end up discarded before we even turn the calendar to February.
Why is this? Often we set such global goals, so huge we can’t possibly keep them. I will exercise every day for an hour and loose 50 pounds in two months. Yeah, right!
Or we make resolutions so vague we can’t assess our progress. I will spend more time with my family. How will we know that we have achieved this?
One way to insure success with resolutions is to make them things we KNOW we will or won’t do anyway. For example:
Iwill not dye my hair red.
I will not eat liver.
I will not dust my house more than once a week.
I will love my grandchildren.
I will water my flowers, come summer.
I won’t stab anyone!
With these I’m guaranteed to succeed!
Or we can choose just not to make these yearly commitments that seem to sabotage our best intentions. For me, instead of resolutions, I reflect on my hopes and dreams. I ponder the things I value most. I consider what plans and purposes God may desire for me. Then based on these, I set a few small manageable, achievable goals.
Things like: I will schedule a time to teach my granddaughter how to use her new sewing machine. This works better for me than simply saying, “I will spend time with my grandchildren.”
OR I commit to removing my kitchen wallpaper and getting a bid on painting. If I succeed in this, there is no doubt that I will take the remaining steps to give my kitchen a much-needed face lift.
OR I will market at least two articles during the month of January. This feels manageable. And once I have done this, I will no doubt take another step with my writing.
I’ve found that I am energized by even little accomplishments. Success in small things is the impetus to move on to other things. Bit by bit I head in the general direction, I think God would have me to go, knowing full-well that he may take me on a few detours along the way.
Your calendar and my calendar are mostly empty pages at this point. May we accept the adventure of a new year with prayer for guidance, wisdom, and strength. Then take at least one step toward our hopes and dreams. As we make our yearly trek around the sun, may we also make it 365 days around the SON!
(c) 2005 Marlene Depler