Tag Archives: Resolutions

A New Year of Little Things

 

Little-Things-Count-

Happy New Year! We are now a week into 2016, and finally back into a normal routine after the welcomed, yet sometimes frazzled holiday season.

I’m not the type of person who gets excited about January 1. I see it as nothing more than the day after New Year’s Eve. There are still those who make New Year’s resolutions; for some these will be achieved, for most people they will fail to meet them. I still know people who make resolutions, but I tend not to give them too much credit because their list of desired changes and goals seem so out of character for them. I often wonder to myself, ‘Why are you wanting to make these changes now, why weren’t they goals and resolutions a week or two ago?

For the third New Year in a row, I’ve chosen to bypass resolutions and instead choose a word that will be my personal theme for the year. Feel free to visit this link to the One Word page on my blog to read more about my chosen word: Grace.

When it comes to making important and sometimes necessary changes in our lives, let’s not wait for specific dates on our calendars dictated by cultural holidays and social expectations. You may not have made a list of resolutions on January 1, and that is alright. Maybe you will wake up one day in a few months and realize that there are certain changes you’d like to make. Change doesn’t have to be something negative. Maybe you’d like to take up a sport, or recreational activity. Maybe you want to finally learn how to drive or finally finish renovating an area in your house. The options and possibilities are endless when we consider making changes that bring us joy and happiness. 

I began 2016 without the excruciating physical pain that had returned periodically throughout 2015. Two months of physiotherapy was a great help in decreasing my pain; now I am in the maintenance stage. What I learned from this round of physiotherapy sessions was the importance of being consistent with the so-called “little things”. It was the simple, yet important exercises that helped to ease the pain and strengthen my muscles. The movements seemed so minor at first I felt stupid doing them, it almost felt like a waste of time; but within a few short sessions I noticed a difference. I made sure I completed these “little things” each day and eventually my body felt different. 10- 15 minutes a day of doing these various exercises helped to strengthen my muscles, decrease pain, and return feeling to my right side.

If you want to see changes in your life and in yourself during 2016, there is only one way to do so: commit to the little things. It’s those things that we take for granted, or don’t think are important that often make a difference. Small things are part of the big picture.

QUESTION and ACTIONS:

What are some “little things” in your life that you could start doing, or stop doing that would help you make changes in your life?

Can you think of past experiences where small changes made a difference for you?

little-things

 

2014: God’s New Year’s Resolution

2014Target

2014 Spiritual Resolutions         

Happy 2014!

I hesitated on starting the 2014 with a blog post about the new year or the traditional topic of new year’s resolutions. I felt guilty about writing on the subject of creating goals and making resolutions, because 2014 began completely off track for me.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I no longer believe in them. I used to start each year with a list of habits I was going to change, goals I was going to achieve and everything else I had expected to successfully accomplish that year. Each year I failed to commit to my resolutions and any of them that were achieved happened by chance, and were not intentional.

By February of each year, I had usually forgotten what my resolutions were to begin with.  During my undergraduate years, I developed a habit of reviewing my goals and commitments every September, January and May; the start of new semesters in our school calendar. With each review I realised how much I had failed to accomplish what I had set out to do.

In December 2013 I sat at my desk each day reading multiple business books, time-management books, books on life management for adult ADHD and books on S.M.A.R.T. goal achievements. Multiple Amazon purchases later, I realized that what was missing from my goal planning was God.

Proverbs 16: 2-3 (NIV)

“All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.”

I naively made my plans, not realizing that all our plans need to be surrendered to God and offered for His blessing.

God Has A Plan

I’m not going to give you tips on how to make and keep New Year’s resolutions, but I will encourage you to give all your plans and goals to God, no matter what time of the year you make them. Seek first and foremost the will of God and remember the individual gifts, talents and callings He has blessed you with. Let these be your guide when you make goals for yourself.

  • Start with prayer, asking God what He would like you to accomplish for this year.
  • Ask God’s Holy Spirit to speak into your life as a guide to where you should be headed with your life.

Pray for a revelation of what might be preventing you from being able to achieve your goals. Could it be poor time management, envy, discouragement, laziness, disorganization, not caring about life, waiting for luck to find you? Are you waiting on God to make some miraculous cloud separating, thunder n’ lightning bolt revelation? Well you might be waiting for a while, because God rarely works with this method. You are more likely to be able to discern God leading you when you take time to be in His presence; praying, quietly and patiently as you follow his promptings.

APPLICATION:

When it comes to spiritual discipline and personal development; I firmly believe that each person has to find a method that works for them. We all have different learning styles, personalities and life circumstances. Thankfully there are plenty of resources available for Christians who want to develop their spiritual formation and make personal changes. Gathering books and DVD’s can become costly after only a few purchases, so if you are not in  a financial position to own a library of material, there are other options. Free resources are available at your local public library, your church library, joining a small group study at your church, and free resources from websites.

“You cannot fulfill God’s purposes for your life while focusing on your own plans. ” 
― Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

My prayer for you, is that 2014 will be a year of inviting God to be a part of all your goals, hopes and dreams. Blessings!

2014