Twenty-twenty-one (2021) is here. Isn’t that crazy?
It’s that time of year when gym memberships go one sale, people try to eat healthy or try to make an effort to do something or learn something they have wanted to do all their lives.
With any type of goal setting, there has to be an intentionality and a commitment to actually fulfill it.
Because sometimes, we genuinely want to work out, read our Bibles, eat a salad every once in a while, cut down on carbs, etc. But, after a few weeks in, that ice cream starts calling our names or we feel too “busy” to go to the gym or we overslept and can’t read our Bible that day.
So how do we actually achieve New Year’s resolutions?
Let’s figure that out together since I’m the worst person to ask.
Here is a list of past resolution items:
- Learn Korean. I started to, there’s a website online, but I got “busy” and stopped around four or five chapters in.
- Get a six-pack. So, this one, I’ve been in a competition with my best friend since seventh grade to get one before she does. One summer, I really tried. I was averaging around 1000 sit ups a day… But I gave up when awesome abs didn’t show up fast enough and we built in a “marriage clause,” meaning, if whoever we marry has or gets a six-pack, then we could win that way. Honestly, I’m probably going to lose this competition that has gone on for ten years now!
- Practice guitar, piano, ukulele…. Playing an instrument takes serious discipline. I will say I did take a piano class in college but by then, I had already given away my keyboard since all it did was collect dust for 10 years.
- Memorize Scripture. This needs to go back on the list. I’ve downloaded apps, tried setting aside time to do this, but it takes work to decide what scriptures are the best to memorize and when and how. If anyone has any suggestions for me, please comment!
- Be a better person: working on a fruit of the Spirit, being more loving, less of a gossiper, trying to do something nice and out of my way for someone else more often, etc. The reason this one is hard is that it is hard to quantify and measure.
- Read the “One Year Bible.” Reading plans are great, except Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy back-to-back are reading plan killers.
- Go to the gym three times a week. Last year, my parents bought me a Planet Fitness membership… I went once a month, so their money wasn’t completely wasted.
Obviously, I have “intentionality” issues. It’s because it is so easy to give up!
It is so much easier to spend the evening eating popcorn and binging Disney Plus than to find intrinsic motivation to do something productive. Or, it’s easier to focus on all the “stuff” that I have to get done and to blow off all the things that don’t necessarily have to be done.
I think what I need, and maybe what some of y’all need, is having an accountability partner ask me how I’m doing with my goals every week.
I am blessed and lucky enough to have an accountability partner; we started meeting last year and now I can’t imagine not having one. It was always something people preached that we should have in our lives, but finding one can be difficult.
So, find someone! Ask a random person at church one day if they could help keep you accountable, that’s what I did.
Now this year, I should give my accountability partner my “list” so she can ask me how I’m doing on my goals and vice versa.
Also, quantifiable goals are easier to achieve. If your goals are ambiguous, like “read the Bible more,” how do you measure “more”?
I try to read at least three chapters a day. I know someone who has a timer set for when he reads. I also know someone who reads the Bible until God speaks to hin/her (through comfort, conviction or guidance, not audibly). Some people write Scripture out. Others use Bible reading plans. I create my own Bible reading plans, even though, I confess, I tend to procrastinate books like Deuteronomy, 1 Chronicles or Jeremiah.
I’m a flawed person and keeping goals is hard, I’ll be the first one to admit it.
But, nothing worth having in life comes easy.
I’m getting married next week. “Be a godly wife” is at the top of my New Year’s resolution list. If I decided to get a divorce whenever it got hard, I’m not sure if I would stay married for very long!
Goal setting also relies on our priorities. There are only 24 hours in a day and a lot to get done on top of the things we “want” to do.
I had to learn a long time ago that I have to make room for the really important things in my schedule, or I won’t do them.
I had to learn discipline to wake up early and to read my Bible, even if I was going through a spiritual desert or reading through the book of Leviticus.
The reason why I am not fluent in Korean, I don’t have a six-pack, I don’t practice instruments as much as I should is because I haven’t prioritized it.
What do your priorities look like today?
Is there anything you prioritize that you shouldn’t?
Is there anything that needs to be prioritized more?
And I’m tasting the rubber from the tires myself here. Obviously, I have things I need to work on too and to look over my priorities and reflect on my time as we head into this New Year because life is short and, I admit, I waste a lot of time.