By nature, every year grants us a moment in time to try something new, start again, or close a chapter in our life. With each new year comes the global expectation that all of humanity will recognize the gift of another year. Our New Year’s resolutions become our sober toast as we usher in another 365 days of opportunity. Atop kitchen tables and nightstands around the world sit lists of hopeful resolutions.
Our New Year is a blank slate. A slate we can hastily fill up with our hopes, ambitions, second chances (or third, fourth, etc.), and disciplines. It is a reflection what we hold dear and not so dear. On it includes missed opportunities of years past, creative ideas before they slip away, wrongs we need to make right, fears that must be faced, challenges that must be embraced, abilities which should be stretched, something new to be learned, limits which are long overdue, and giving beyond ourselves. All because this is a new year.
I am a shameless New Year’s resolution hopeful. I love to capture my dreams, hopes, goals, and disciplines on paper and then set up plans and structures in an attempt to achieve them. I am a one hundred percent New Year’s optimist! Like a kid in a candy shop, I go crazy with my colored sharpies, calendar, journal, and lists.
However, in the dawn of this new era, as I welcome it with open arms and an affectionate embrace, I do not want to waste another year setting a handful of resolutions I will inevitably fail to meet. Many of which I will even fail to try.
Instead, I want to seize the moment with resolutions that reflect what I value most.
In years past I have missed the opportunity to create a year with intention because of being caught up in its spirit. I have learned that now is the time to give weight to and plan space for what I value most.
In this season of my life, my greatest desire is to create a space in my life and in the lives of my children to cultivate the spiritual in our hearts and home. Therefore, my priorities are as follows:
I have wasted many a New Year’s resolutions penning them down, but never getting around to putting a plan in place to pursue them. This year I decided to use three questions that have served me well in other areas of my life. A few years back, I modified these from a marriage class we took and have found them very helpful in identifying needs and setting and accomplishing goals.
These three questions will guide you in building a better New Year:
What do I earnestly wish for?
Consider some of your deepest desires, longings, dreams, needs, and ambitions. Keep these wishes brief and vague. The next question will guide you to be more specific.
Example: I wish my family would have more quality time together.
Sometimes it is hard to get started, so I have learned the best way to identify my earnest wishes is to start by considering my anxieties. I think we all can agree that easing our anxieties is an earnest wish.
What am I hopeful for?
This question builds specifically upon your wishes.
Example: I am hopeful we will pare down our calendar on the weekends to spend more time together.
What am I going to do about it?
Practically answering this question is the tool to achieving your resolutions. This may involve re-distributing your finances, re-writing your schedule to find more time, or re-organizing your whole life.
Example: We are going to pare down our weekend calendar by only doing one additional thing per weekend day (with the exception of playing sports).
We all know the well-versed cliché – that if you do not make time for it, it will never happen. Most of us can testify to the regrets of years past. It may seem that you will never fully capture all of our resolutions, but if you don’t plan and prioritize, you fail before you even try. Capture this year! Don’t let this year be filled with missed opportunities.
Each of us reading this post is blessed to take hold of another year. Dare to keep trucking forward and paving your path. For those of us here in the United States, we are blessed to live in a country that encourages creativity and thrives on opportunistic endeavors. My friends, take hold of what has been freely given to you. Claim your place 2018! You know what you need to do – do it! If you failed trying last year, try again this year. So, let’s do this together and be women who capture our year!
Let your resolutions be a thank you note to God for another year to grace His earth.
Capture your year!