New Year’s Resolutions

I rarely make New Year’s Resolutions. I don’t really believe in them because they seem so arbitrary and too easily forgotten or susceptible to failure. That has been my experience with them anyway.

You know, we often complain about how Christmas has become too commercialized – but have you stopped to consider the other facets of our life that have also fallen into that same trap?

There are two obvious ones this time of year:

The first is retailers giving us all kinds of suggestions on how to spend our income tax refunds. Watch for them – count them – we will be bombarded with advertisements for electronics and cars over the next few months. Some will even give you credit for checks that you haven’t even received yet.

The second is New Year’s Resolutions. We go from holiday candies and pastries to large grocery store displays of diet and health food. The cooking shows will all be focused on lowering calories and fat instead of increasing flavors and richness. Are they trying to help us keep our resolutions or are they capitalizing on them? Probably both – but either way, it happens every year.

At any rate, this year I made a few – I hesitate to call them resolutions – I am not limiting them to being accomplished during 2012 – let’s just say that they are things that I want or need to work on and am hereby committing some time and effort to them, beginning now. I may even add specific goals, milestones, or timelines on a few of them… but don’t count on it. Here’s the list:

Time management and organization:

This is an ongoing struggle with me. Procrastination is one of my big issues. Somehow I can be very organized and methodical with certain things – but at the office or with school work and other commitments, it seems to slip through the cracks. I don’t get it. I need to create some sense of structure so that I can meet deadlines, get things done, and not have to sacrifice time with my family or personal time to do it.

Read more:

Santa gave me a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I geeked out a little because I have really been wanting a tablet but wasn’t willing to blow that much money on an iPad (especially since the next generation will make it obsolete by the time I get it set up the way I like it anyway). But I want to make sure that I use it – not just for games and comic books, but also for what it was actually made for – reading. I love to read – always have, but I really need to read more and have already downloaded a handful of books that I am looking forward to escaping into.

Plus I am looking into some apps that will help me with my time management & organization goals too – so if anyone has any suggestions…

Continued weight loss:

(Cliché – I know.) Last year I set a goal for myself: I decided to lose a specific amount of weight by a given date – 50 pounds by my daughter’s wedding. I not only met that goal – I exceeded it. But since that time, the scales have plateaued. I haven’t really lost or gained any more. So I need to step-up that game. One of the ways I am choosing to do that is by exercising more. Up to this point I have lost weight and inches through careful diet and self-control. Now it’s time to get active! But I will probably need to set myself another goal – especially since it seemed to help last year – otherwise I feel like I will be flying blindly with nothing to work toward.

Spiritual Formation:

Maybe it sounds a bit like a technical seminary term, but I specifically want to concentrate on the area of “Relational Spirituality” which is 3-fold: Loving God Completely, Loving Myself Correctly, and Loving Others Compassionately. I want to take some time to focus on my own spiritual life and how it is expressed through my relationships. I want to live a deeper, more grace-filled life with a heavy emphasis on God’s love – not with empty outward expressions of religion.

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