Resolutions. Goals. Lists. They are part and parcel of a new year. Perhaps the incentive is that we want change, something different from the last year. We want it to be better and we want to be better.
I’ve found that there are some goals I want as lifestyle resolutions more than a “been there, done that, check it off the bucket list” activity.
Here are some of my thoughts about goals for life.
- Have a welcoming heart. That means more than just inviting people into a spotless home. It means opening my heart to people whoever they are and accepting them wherever they are on their journey. It also means being honest about who I am, my success and failures, being open and vulnerable.
- Live healthy. Eat fresh as much as possible. Exercise regularly by doing something enjoyable, like walking or gardening. Sleep enough to be rested. Enjoy chocolate once in a while. Don’t obsess about the numbers on the scale or the size of my jeans.
- Be in the moment. Enjoy the process instead of being anxious to speed up, to hurry through it. Listen intently to the one in front of me. Focus on the present instead of fretting about the future.
- Be still more often. Sit for the sunset. Watch the birds play and gather at the feeder. Allow quietness to envelop me so I can hear the gentle Voice.
- Leave ’em smiling. Wouldn’t it be nice if people were glad to see me because I was cheerful and courteous? Because I offered a smile or an encouraging word?
- Allow for thinking time. I’m a doer by nature. Busy and active. I must give myself time to simply contemplate, remember, process. Preferably with a cup of coffee in hand.
- Do the right thing. Sometimes decisions would be easier to make if it was just a matter of “what’s the right thing here?”
- Laugh a lot. It’s healthy and good for the heart. It is contagious. When I learn to laugh at myself, I will have a continual source of entertainment.
- Read good books. Electronics are at our fingertips. But there is still nothing quite so satisfying to me as holding a good book in my hands and relishing each word. I get smarter, and perhaps more interesting, when I do.
- Give grace. Rather than taking offense too quickly, let me just give the grace I’ve been given so freely. It would quiet my thoughts and help me let go.
- Be teachable. Growing older can mean being set in my ways. I don’t want that. I want to be open to new ideas, willing to change my opinion or way of doing things. Quick to hear, slow to speak, always discerning rather than quick to judge.
- Be more faithful. To my calling, to the study of God’s word, to His mission for me.
Some tall orders when I think of it. And really, how much ability do I have to change myself? Self-help books have lined my shelves to no avail.
Instead, I will pray this, the words of Paul the apostle:
. . . that [my] love will keep on growing and that [I] will fully know and understand how to make the right choices. Then [I] will still be pure and innocent when Christ returns. And until that day, [may I] keep busy doing good deeds that bring glory and praise to God.
So I will put my confidence in the One who made me, the One who abides in my present and calls me to a higher place, being sure the this One provides grace enough and will keep working on me until the end.