My New Year’s Resolutions (2013)

New Year’s resolutions—we make them only to break them a few days, weeks or if we are very lucky months later. Partly because the resolutions we make are so big that even if we are truly honest and motivated we cannot help, but not keep them. We may make resolutions that are so broad and vague that we are not sure how or where to begin. We can measure the results or that we met our goal or not. When we are unable to meet or keep our resolutions, we get frustrated and depressive. Unable to do what we want and so, we drop our resolutions. We go back to the old ways.

We can change, keep our resolutions, meet our goals and become all we want and know we should be as long as we turn to Jesus and let him work through us and not try to do it all on our own. Prayer and community needs to be a big part in our keeping and exceeding our resolutions and goals. I have changed the most since turning to Jesus and being in a loving community. Therefore, if we make resolutions don’t try to meet or keep them all on our own, but go to God in prayer and faith asking for the power to keep our resolutions and meet your goals to become the person God wants you to be and join a community that will help us become our true self.

In Ephesians 2 Paul writes, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” God didn’t save us for our own sake or to get into heaven when we die, but to bless others by living life to the full. Jesus died so that we might live. Our life is to a blessing to others.

My intention is that throughout this year, I will make the decisions doing the measureable things to move me towards a happier, healthier, more integrated life. I wish to have a deeper, transformative relationship with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ; begin my theological schooling; meet more people, make friends with all; meet the love of my life… or at least get a girlfriend. I want all those things and will need to change the way I do some of the things I do.

Last year, I listed a few things that I wanted to do. Some I met, while others I fell short. Looking over them, I am not depressed by not meeting them all. I am happy with the progress that I made and I intend to do better this year.

Let me go over last year’s resolutions before I list this year’s resolutions.

Last year, I said I would pray more, study and reflect on the Bible, be more talkative, walk more, limit the sweets I eat, look for more jobs, and be more grateful for what I have and the people in my life.

So, what did I do?

I prayed more, even taught a class on prayer at church. My prayer life is not traditional. I rarely speak while I pray. Often, I sit in silence or contemplate what I read in the bible or elsewhere. I say thank you as a prayer as often as possible, maybe one could argue I say it too much. I was more talkative, though I need to do this more. I doubt that talkative will ever be a descriptor for me. I did walk more, yet I need to do much more this year. I did not do so well with the sweets and will need to nearly if not completely eliminate them. This will not be easy. I did look for more jobs, but I have not been able to find a better job. I might have to content myself with waiting until I finish school before I get a good job. I have been more grateful, but I need to work on this too.

I am pleased with my progress and hopeful I can and will do better this year with prayer and community around me, I can and will do better this year.

Prayer is easier for me and I am more apt to pray. I have embraced my style of prayer and I want to deepen my prayer life. I do need to work on praying in public. I am good at silent, contemplative prayer. When I am walking down the street and see something that touches me, I send up a silent prayer or just contemplate the wonders of nature. I say, ‘thank you’ as much as I can; this simple expression of gratitude can be seen as prayer. Prayer is not just the time spent in prayer, as it is how it changes the person praying. As Mother Teresa said, “Prayer makes your heart bigger, until it is capable of containing the gift of God himself. Prayer begets faith, faith begets love, and love begets service on behalf of the poor.”

Walking and eating healthier is about getting healthy, losing weight, and beating diabetes. My older brother died from this awful disease and I refuse to let my story end that way. I will get healthy and lead a happy, humble, Christ-centered long life for the glory of God. Drew Carey hit the nail on the head when he said, “Eating crappy food isn’t a reward — it’s a punishment.” Often I used food as both reward and punishment. When something went well I rewarded myself with something yummy and when stressed or depressed, I would eat myself into a better mood. I want to make healthier options and live to eat and not eat to live. As Jostein Gaarder wrote in the philosophical novel Sophie’s World, “Health is the natural condition. When sickness occurs, it is a sign that Nature has gone off course because of a physical or mental imbalance. The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body.”

To this, I will pray more (spend more time in prayer each day), eliminate most (or all) sweets, and walk 10 minutes a day building it up to more, and be more grateful. This may not seem like much, but if I succeed as I intend to at all of these I will step closer to living the kind of life I want to.

My prayer is that this year will bring all of us much joy and goodness that God will smile on us!

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