So as I’ve been thinking and praying about 2016, I find that my “resolutions” are more abstract. Some of them are just continuations of habits I started trying to form last year. I’m not really starting anything new, per se, but I still want a game plan to achieve what I want to achieve.
I’m doing what I call a “Jump Start January” to get the ball rolling for this year. Chiefly, this month is going to be getting back into my regular routine after 3 weeks away from home/my normal schedule. As far as my resolutions go, it will be about starting habits that practically address the attitudinal changes I want to pursue.
As I talked about in my last post, my motto for this year is “Bind my wandering heart to thee.” I want to pursue God deeply and intentionally like I have never done before. I feel him pulling on me to do this and go deeper with him.
Jump Start Part 1: Dedicated prayer, journaling, and Bible-reading time. Before our vacation home, I was doing pretty well at spending time in the word daily. My prayer life was more sporadic, as was my journaling. I intend to ramp that up and set aside dedicated time for these activities.
Jump Start Part 2: Prayer warrior. As I’ve gotten older and closer to God, I find myself praying for other people All. The. Time. It’s slowly but surely becoming my first instinct when I think about others, and I’m really excited for that. It brings God immediately into my relationships with everyone in my life. This year, I want to be more intentional about praying for others. I don’t know whether this looks like praying for a set of people every day, one person for a week, or what, but I am feeling a pull in this direction too.
Almost ALL of my goals for this year are related to attitude changes. Well, it’s a little challenging to think of ways to practically work towards/develop attitude changes. These happen way more gradually than making or breaking a habit.
Here’s what I’m working on:
Practice joy: I think everything in life comes down to choices — even feelings. Sure, there is a natural, instinctive element to our emotions… but there are also choices. If my first instinctive reaction is negative, I can choose to let that stay or not.
So I’m choosing to practice joy. What I mean by “practice” is to recognize moments of joy and live in them fully. To soak up those joy-filled moments and be really present in them. And to seek out joy wherever I can. I’ve only been consciously attempting this for a little while and I can already tell you that joy is EVERYWHERE.
Love recklessly: This has actually been a goal I worked on for a lot of 2015 and want to continue. I think too often we are guarded with our love. We don’t give everything we can because that makes us vulnerable. It opens us up to being hurt really easily.
Well… not for me. I want to love recklessly and dangerously with no care at all for myself. The flashes of this that I’ve experienced have been amazing and oddly freeing. When I’m not holding myself and my love back, there is something really special that happens in my spirit. I may be opening myself up to some hurt, but the love is bigger than the hurt.
Be content: This applies to so many things. The big ones for me are as relates to life/work and material possessions. I tend to get restless and bored, and I plug superficial changes (work, hobbies, clothes, etc.) into my life to make up for it. This is another carryover from 2015. For the last third of the year I spent a lot of time praying and seeking contentedness for my life.
At the time, I was really seeking to be content about my work. I am not doing anything compelling for money and feel really stuck in terms of “career…” and in terms of not knowing if I want a career or what that might be. On a personal level, I’m OK with that, but external pressures of society and culture snap me from that contentedness all the time.
In terms of material possessions, I’m starting the year off practically by attempting to not purchase anything beyond the necessities. I think this will help me be creative with the things I already do have and learn to better distinguish needs vs. wants as I fight against our culture of excessiveness.
The last thing I’m jump-starting this January is exercise and healthy eating. This is a true jump-start because I was in an excellent groove with both of these things… before we left for 3 weeks for the holidays. Between running around from family to friends to family to friends, all the holiday goodies, getting waaaaay less sleep than usual, and being sick with a cold for 3 weeks (meaning exercise was nigh to impossible), to say I need a little bit of a detox and jump-start is an understatement.
Since we’re back home, I can start cooking our meals again, which means TONS of fresh foods and way less sugar. And I’ve been reunited with my beloved elliptical, so hopefully I’ll be back on the wagon in no time.
I’m starting all of this a week late due to travel, but I’m being reminded that change starts every day, not just on the 1st of the year. I am really excited to chase down the goals God has put on my heart.
Hope y’all are joyfully pursuing your goals, too.