Monday, January 3, 2011

Monday Meditations: New Me

New Year’s Resolutions are challenging for me. Don’t get me wrong; making them isn’t difficult. It’s keeping them that present the problem. For my entire adult life, I’ve made New Year’s resolutions, even if I resolved not to make any. And every year I’ve broke them, normally within the first couple of week in January. Each time, I’ve proclaimed that I don’t have enough discipline.

The temptation to make a resolution is so strong, especially during the last few days of the year. All those “Best of 2010” lists on TV don’t help either. And this year, I felt myself giving into the lure of making a list. I will write and edit two novels next year. I will pray more. I will lose 10 pounds. I will…whatever.

Then it hit me: some of these items were very familiar. They appeared on other year’s resolutions. They were proof resolutions don’t work for me; if I could keep them, I would have done it by now and thus they wouldn’t be on this year’s potential list. So I decided not to make a list at all. Unfortunately, I still felt the tug of having measurable goals for 2011 but not feeling comfortable with doing the same ol, same ol’.

As I prayed about my quandary, God gave me a totally different perspective. Instead of making specific, itemized lists, I should set my goals on who I want to be as a person for 2011. I don’t want to just accomplish a few random items. I want to be a better Christian, wife, mother, sister, friend, intercessor, and writer. I want to be the Terri God is pleased with.

The beauty of this approach is that it’s broader than making specific lists. I won’t be locked into guilt-fueled busyness. After all, isn’t that all resolutions are? An attempt to soothe the remorse we feel about all unfinished goals of last year? I want to grow. At the end of 2011, I want to assess myself and say “Wow, I am so not the person I was last year. I’m better.” I think that’s about all I should be concerned with.

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