Pick your metaphor. A blank slate. A empty canvas. A new page.
I find the almost-mythical nature of January 1st fascinating. While the same in nature as 364 other days, there’s something about the first day. Of the month. Of the first month of the year.
Day one approaches. Opportunity steps forward. Hope breathes.
- The most important commitments, renewed.
- Toxic thinking, severed.
- Life-giving friendships, nurtured.
- Faith, placed in God and people.
As you assess what your new year will include, consider some crucial words:
To ignore or diminish the spiritual component of our humanity is to miss our essence, badly. We are, by nature, spiritual beings. Unfortunately, “spiritual” has a tendency to either be myopically ridiculed by some and thus rendered invisible, or sadly misrepresented by others, causing perceived irrelevance.
This year, feed your spirit. Set goals which challenge growth in spiritual matters. Read scripture. Believe there’s a God who exists and is interested in you. Talk to him. Write down things you’re learning.
And remember, most spiritual advancement in life is best accomplished in relationship. Tandem is good for skydiving and spiritual growth. Connect regularly with someone who will walk beside you. They don’t have to have all the answers (and probably won’t), but if they’ll listen and seek with you, stay close to them.
So here’s the truth. You’re probably going to fail on your New Year’s resolutions.
How’s that for encouragement? 🙂
Crazy goals aren’t the problem. Lack of long-term thinking is. Huge desires aren’t the issue. Forgetting the dynamics of how desires become results, is.
Plan big, but remember as important as the destination is the process. And the process includes successes and setbacks. So when you miss a day of exercise, or eat two too many cookies, or adopt a rotten attitude and enjoy it, here’s a secret. Get up, and begin again. Personal growth and perfection aren’t synonyms. Stay in the fight. It’s a process. A March 13th resolution is as powerful as one on day one.
Need proof we crave connection and relationship? Are your social media accounts open right now or have you checked them in the past half hour? Thought so.
This year, invest in your most important relationships. This requires intention, attention, and time. Don’t tell your spouse you love her on Facebook. Tell her by speaking to her face. Look your family members in the eyes and tell each of them how important they are. If it’s awkward, get over it. Just do it. Invest, invest, invest.
It takes 2 minutes to call a friend. It takes 30 seconds to write (actually write) a note of encouragement. It takes 2 seconds to kiss your spouse (or preferably longer). Small steps. But very long-lasting effects. If next December those most important to you know they’re loved and appreciated because they’ve seen it demonstrated, you will have had a good year.
A new year. Forward.