This New Year, am I thinking about big changes? Staggering resolutions? Commitments that surpass the realm of reasonable human output to maintain? No, not this year.
Am I instead focusing on little at a time goals? Exercising three times a week? Including a hearty vegetable serving at each meal? Making sure I spend a certain number of minutes in concentrated play with the kids each day? All of these are certainly admirable ambitions.
Sometimes, however, I get so focused on wanting to do well with my life that I get overwhelmed with the list of to-dos. Spending less, keeping up on my health, diligently managing the house, nurturing my mind, homeschooling efforts, cooking dinner, staying active, reading, practicing music, playing with the kids… All of these are wonderful pursuits, but sometimes I wonder how making a resolution can really help me to be a more efficient and accomplished human being in all the areas I want to grow.
This year, I’m not going to worry so much about setting up arbitrary goals for myself. I’m not even going to focus on consistently juggling 46 different “little change” mini-goals. Of course I’m going to TRY to keep up on exercising, eating well, and managing my household. But what is my mind focusing on this New Year’s Eve?
Today, I want to think more about my character than about external guidelines. I will never be perfect in any area- character included- but I hope to nurture virtue more than I concern myself with the inexhaustible list of ways to expend effort.
Kindness to my family and those I encounter. Not just an outward show, but an inward attitude. A true charity for those in need- not begrudging aid. Words like honey, not full of bitterness.
Patience with my children as we bear the long days. Yelling less and listening more. Trying to be more gracious and less frustrated. Learning more about God’s long suffering towards me and giving more of it to my own family.
Diligence in my duties, especially when I feel like it least. Working hard towards whatever endeavor I pursue- whatever those to-dos entail. Striving to set an example of being more of a cheerful worker, rather than grumbling while I slave away.
Oh yeah. And that industry, thrift, fidelity, contentment thing too. Wasn’t there a reason why I picked that saying?
I know I will fail, and stumble, and falter. And that’s okay. That’s part of life. And that’s where God’s grace and sanctification comes in. “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23.)
What are you focusing on this New Years Eve?