I’ve never been one to hate on New Year’s resolutions. I realize that they carry the stigma of being unrealistic or inconsequential. But I believe in the power of a purposeful resolution. You can find them in the Bible, too: Ezra “set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10). Daniel “made up his mind that he would not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8). The book of 2 Chronicles even shows us that failure to make these sorts of resolutions can have negative consequences. “Rehoboam…did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the LORD” (2 Chronicles 12:13-14).
Resolutions are the first step toward real change. Without them to serve as guides, we’re left to drift, with little more than weak hope we will ever become the kind of person we want to be. We need concrete goals, things that we can set our heart on, to strive for and grow toward.
So here are my belated New Year’s Resolutions for 2015.
1.) Rain on fewer parades. I’m wired to recognize cons before I acknowledge pros, so if I’m not intentional about identifying the positives in a situation I’ll lean toward skepticism, even cynicism. This is something I want to take more steps to correct this year.
2.) Take every opportunity to celebrate the success of others. This one has a lot to do with the first one. I have all sorts of reasons why I fail to do this. Sometimes it’s because I’m too busy thinking about to myself to recognize and praise the work of others. Other times I’ll recognize the great things that other people are doing and I’ll compliment them behind their back to others and neglect to actually give them the direct props they deserve.
3.) Memorize an entire book of scripture. I was going to do this last year with Philippians and fell off the wagon after the first chapter. Picking it back up again this year.
3b.) Memorize another significant piece of literature or rhetoric. I was sitting in a seat at the Cru Winter Conference earlier this month when Regional Director Tim Norman got up to do a mic check and proceeded to recite from memory the first few sentences of Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis. If he hadn’t been cut off I’m sure he could’ve kept going. Immediately, I thought “I’m going to learn to do that.”
4.) Learn to be comfortable with spending time alone. People who know me personally are always shocked when they find out I’m a high extrovert (over 80% on the MBTI). I’m drained by huge groups of people, but I’m energized by spending time with a select few. Since leaving Austin six months ago, I’ve had a lot more time to myself, and I’m still trying to adjust.
5.) Take a long road trip. Because who doesn’t love one?
That’s them. I tend to try and limit my resolutions lists to five. It’s a good manageable number. I can remember them all. I also like to mix personal development goals with big things that I want to do. I find it’s more fun that way.
What are your resolutions? Feel free to share in the comments below.