Most people will tell you that New Year’s Resolutions are just those things you make on the evening of December 31st and then break by the second week of January. You know…like sticking to a diet or working out 6 days a week or paying your bills on time.
I’ve broken my fair share of New Year’s resolutions, but I still think they’re beneficial. They give us something to strive for. Personally, I like to admit, from the onset, that I won’t keep my New Year’s Resolutions perfectly. I think the concept of New Year’s Resolutions should be much less about coming up with a list of things you have to do and then feeling like a failure when you don’t, and much more about setting goals that you’ll work towards in the coming year.
Below, you’ll find a few of my goals for 2018. Here’s to the next 365 days!
INVEST ACTIVELY IN FRIENDSHIPS
Good friendships don’t grow on trees. They take work. I’ve met many Godly young women at my university and in the coming year, I want to invest actively in my friendships with them. This will take me out of my comfort zone, for sure. It will mean texting them and asking if they’d like to get coffee on Tuesday, rather than just silently hoping they’ll invite me to have lunch with them again soon. It will mean asking them about their heart and their relationship with the Lord and then taking the time to listen to what they say. It might be uncomfortable at first, especially for an introvert like me, but I know it will be worth it.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17.
PRAY ON THE SPOT
When people tell me about a difficulty they’re facing, my usual response is something to the effect of, “I’ll definitely keep that in prayer.” And usually, I do. But sometimes, life gets busy and their situation slips my mind and I end up feeling awful when I see them again and realize I didn’t pray for them like I said I would. This year, I want to be intentional about praying on the spot. Instead of simply telling people that I’ll pray for them later, I want to reach out, take their hands in mine, and pray for them right then. Not only will this help me keep my promise to them and make me less likely to forget their request in the following weeks, but it will also make them feel heard and cared about.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people…” 1 Timothy 2:1.
DIVIDE MY TIME EFFECTIVELY
With personal devotionals, academic responsibilities, family commitments, a long distance relationship, and more, I have a pretty full plate. In 2018, I want to learn how to divide my time effectively. There are more than enough hours in the day to spend time on all of the things above and still get a decent amount of sleep if I prioritize and manage my time wisely. This year, I’m going to continue to use a daily planner and try to make better use of my “in-between” time (e.g. listening to a sermon while I drive from school to my workout class, or playing a podcast while I help prepare dinner).
“Walk in wisdom…, making the best use of the time.” Colossians 4:5.
MIND MY WORDS
Words have tremendous power. This year, I want to be more mindful of my words…both the ones I say out loud to others and the ones I internally dwell on. I want to build people up with my words, not break them down. I also don’t want my speech to be empty…I want it to saturated with Scripture and truth.
“Gracious words a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24.
EXPAND MY COOKING SKILLS
In light of my recent engagement, one of my goals for 2018 is to expand my repertoire of dishes that I’m comfortable cooking. I know to cook and bake (thanks to my super talented baker of a mom!) decently well and could get by for a while, but I don’t want my husband-to-be and I to have to rotate through the same 7 or 8 meals every week because that’s all I feel confident enough to make. This year, I want to spend some extra time in the kitchen – trying new recipes and practicing old ones and learning how to use a wider variety of kitchen tools.
“She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family…” Proverbs 31:15a.