Are you welcoming in the New Year with a list of resolutions for improving your life over the next twelve months? Or to alleviate stress in your life have you given up on making resolutions that will only make you feel guilty when you don’t achieve them?
My list of resolutions has gotten smaller and smaller over the years until I’ve fallen into the latter category of not making any resolutions at all. For me this is not a good thing. If I have not set up any goals for my life, I find myself drifting aimlessly day by day trying to find focus and purpose in the chaos of daily living. I admit I don’t need to make hard and fast resolutions such as lose 50 pounds, floss every day, or stop eating chocolate—why set myself up for failure at the get go? But I can choose to make a list of “aspirations” to work toward in the coming months giving myself enough flexibility to succeed (i.e., eat healthier, floss more often, or eating chocolate with a modicum of restraint.)
I have chosen to make “aspirations” for the new year as opposed to resolutions. While I am no educational expert on the English language and its use, let me explain how it works in my mind. I see a resolution as a firm decision to do or not do something. There is no gray area. It is pass or fail with no way to measure improvement or achievement. I see an aspiration on the other hand as a goal that I have chosen to work toward with the hope and desire to achieve it with determination and perseverance. There is no pass or fail; any step I make toward that goal I see as an improvement from where I started. I have given myself goals to focus on and as I work towards those goals I am growing and succeeding.
In a previous blog post I outlined my desire to work on my spiritual temple so that I can be a more enthusiastic, energetic, and healthier servant for God. (http://www.journalingbee.com/2016/11/14/temple-renovation/) I have incorporated this temple renovation into my aspirations for the year.
Below is a list of five aspirations I have set for myself in 2017. I share them in the hopes that you might join me in some of them, or all of them. I encourage you to add your own.
5 Aspirations for 2017
- Grow in spiritual walk and strengthen personal relationship with the Lord. Spend “alone” time each day with Lord.
- Read the Bible daily. Allow it to become an extension to your anatomy, much like a hand. It may be the written word, or if more convenient a digital version, but have it available and within easy reach always.
- Pray continually. Spend time daily in conversation with the Lord. Praise and Adore Him. Confess to Him. Thank Him for the good and the bad. Seek His wisdom and guidance. Pray for others. Pray for yourself.
- Memorize scripture. This will aid in accomplishing the above—if His word is imprinted on our heart, then we can recall it when necessary if a written or digital copy is not readily available.
- Worship corporately. Nothing is more encouraging than worshiping with a group of like-minded people. (Don’t we enjoy spending time with people who are cheering for our team?) Spend time with people who love the Lord. You can teach each other, encourage and comfort each other, challenge each other, pray with each other and grow with each other. You do not have to be alone in your journey.
- Study the Bible. Don’t just read the Bible. Study it. Delve into it. Understand it. Discuss it with others. Grow in your knowledge of what God’s word says.
- Live the Bible. Practice what you preach. Don’t just talk the talk, but the walk the walk!
- Work on physical stamina. It is difficult to operate if you feel like a slug. Take care of yourself. Get some rest. Eat a healthy diet. Relax when you can. Exercise keeps you sharp mentally as well as tones you physically. Stay alert.
- Take care of your health. See the doctor. Follow doctor’s orders. Take medications when needed. Lose weight if needed. Exercise to get your blood flowing, your heart pumping, and your brain thinking.
- Organize and Prioritize. This can be as detailed as it needs to be. Keep a central calendar—if you have several different calendars merge them together to determine any conflicts and overlap. You only have one life—why not have one calendar? If you are in the habit of keeping separate calendars, eventually you will overlook something important and perhaps even miss out on a blessing or two.
- Make time for the important things. Spend quality time with family and friends. Put down the cell phone. Turn off the T.V., gaming systems, computer, and digital readers. Look around you. See the people, talk and laugh with them. Walk the dog. Cuddle the cat. Get away when you can and listen to the stillness: birds chirping, squirrels barking, frogs croaking, etc. If you have organized and prioritized your schedule, you should have time to do the things that matter most to you. Work is important but it shouldn’t be all you do.
So there you have it. My five Aspirations for 2017. Next year at this time I will review this list and see if I have made any headway in achieving these goals. I look forward to sharing the results with you.
As this year ends, I look forward with expectation to the year to come. I pray for your love, guidance, patience, and forgiveness as we move into the future. I seek only to serve you and pray that I will respond when you place these needs before me. I thank you for loving me, inspiring me, guiding me, and choosing me. You are a mighty and awesome God!