Friday, January 13, 2012


Why do "New Year's Resolutions" get such a terrible rap?
I agree, I find the guy I saw out keeping his New Year's exercise resolution by walking in the park...with his full coffee cup...quite hilarious at times. However, there is something to be said for starting the year with resolve. I've been that half-hearted-park-guy on many of the personal goals I set. But it does seem like a FANTASTIC idea to treat each year as a clean slate, analyze the past to prepare for a better future, commit to things that will be beneficial to yourself, your family and others, etc.
Then again, if you happen to be slightly type A and have an occasionally obsessive/compulsive personality, dreaming up New Year's Resolutions can be dangerous, too. This coming from the person who once read a whole series of books, not even enjoying the first one, just because it was something I had started. So I'll be the first to admit, I can occasionally (cough, cough) take my own great ideas, once intended for fun or for doing good, and carry them to a quite unmanageable extreme.

 Case-in-point: I once had an idea that it would be one of my "New Year's goals" to eat the Dairy Queen Blizzard of the Month. Every month. AND since I only ever eat Blizzards on road trips, our family of 5 would pack up and go on at least one road trip EVERY.SINGLE.MONTH. Does that sound reasonable to anyone else? For some reason it sounded perfectly attainable and like a lot of fun to me when I was standing at the beginning of the year, looking at my clean-slate. I even had grand plans to blog about it. RRL listened sweetly to the idea, said it might be a little extreme, but let me dream away anyway. And dream I did. Until I came back to real life in about February. Lets just did not happen. And really, it was of no consequence.
But there were a few things with slightly more consequence to which I had great "resolve" last year and that I plan to carry forward into this new year. The difference between these goals and the whole Blizzard/Roadtrip fantasy is the foundation. And out of the foundation- the purpose. I've mentioned once (or a hundred) times before, that RRL and I strongly felt the Lord preparing us, well before we stepped into 2011, to be able to walk through a difficult season. One way He did that for me was to propel me into a year of self-discipline. Starting in the fall of 2010, I really started taking a look at areas of my life, my marriage, my family, that needed a little more "resolve". All I really mean by self-discipline is a sincere look at the areas of my life that make it "healthy" and a little more intentionality behind how I treat those areas. Before I even really knew just how important a routine of self-discipline would become for me, the Lord began pressing it firmly on my heart.
Just because it was pressed there, though, does not mean I achieved it any stretch. So, as I start 2012, it is time for a bit of an evaluation. I'm going to share with you my goals for self-discipline this last year and try to be honest about my progress and the 2011 results. And then share some ways I'm going to continue this same journey in 2012, RESOLVED to continue down the path the Lord set before me. Doesn't that sound a little more like what a New Year's Resolution should be about?
I mean, not that the Blizzard of the Month/Family Roadtrip idea isn't still rolling around in the back of my mind, too ;)

There were lots of random goals I set for myself in some key areas (physical health, financial health, family health, spiritual health).  Some may seem a little (or in some cases A LOT) random, but detailing out the reasoning behind each would take forever.  I know because I started this blog by doing just that and even I got bored with it.  Can you believe it?  This is actually the abbreviated version.  You are welcome.
I'd call that a Success
Read and journal Through the book of Nehemiah
Do not purchase drinks when eating out (no Starbucks, no Sonic, no tea at McAllisters or Celebrity, etc)
Complete financial commitment to Greater Things

A Good Effort, with plenty of room to Improve
Be intentional about how I spend time I have alone with RRL
Plan meals for two weeks at a time and grocery shop accordingly
Blog regularly to document good memories for our family
Plan ahead to make time I have at home with the kids more valuable (MMM)
Run/Exercise 3+ times every week
Thank Goodness 2012 offers a Fresh Start
Better sleeping habits with regular bedtime and waketime
Make the bed everyday
After evaluating these goals and the impact they had on me and our family, here are some things I am "resolved" to work on in 2012:
HOME- make the bed. declutter. retrieve/recover our bedroom.
HEALTH- Have a regular bedtime and waketime. Run. Drink water.
FINANCIAL. Ask and expect that the Lord will present regular opportunities for generosity. make decisions based on what allows for generosity not on what compares with others.
STORIES- share ours.  Listen to others.  Blog.
FAMILY- Guard Monday mornings with my kids.  Regular dates with RRL. Plan ahead for family dinners.  Consistent circle-time at night.
SPIRITUAL- to be honest, I'm not sure the specifics of this one yet.  seems a little backward right?  "Read Nehemiah" was such a clear directive this time last year.  not sure where to go next.  journal through another book?  keep working through Nehemiah? Read through the Bible from the beginning?  I'm not sure.  just being honest.

So there you have it.  A small glimpse into what isn't really a new resolution, but maybe a new boost in my resolve as I start this new year.  Here's to you and your fresh-slate in 2012!  What are some of the ways you are asking the Lord to make this the best year yet?

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