I’m not a fan of resolutions. As I think about the changes I would like to make in the coming year, I feel like a failure for not achieving those changes in the past year….again. And beginning the year feeling like a failure is a sure-fire way for my resolutions to fizzle out…….again.
Rather than making resolutions, I spend some time reflecting on the accomplishments of the past year and I encourage you to do the same. Look through pictures or the calendar to aid in remembering all that was achieved in the past year.
Did you get the oil changed in the car? Did you clean out a drawer or closet this past year or spring clean a certain % of the house? What books did you read? Did you do a bible study, pray daily, or do devotions? Did you learn to take care of your body by staying properly hydrated drinking 8 glasses of water a day? How did your family spend time together? Did you participate in a canned food drive?
By contemplating on accomplishments made, you will realize the successfulness of the past year and be ready to build on those achievements this year.
Review the past year in the following areas and make goals in each area for this year:
How did you grow personally in this past year?
- What books did you read? Recreational reading is also important as we need time to relax and recharge.
- Did you do a bible study/specific devotions/read the bible in a year/etc.?
- Did you pray daily or most days of the week or month?
- Did you enjoy any of your hobbies or do things you like during your free time?
- Did you develop your strengths or weaknesses by taking a class, finding a mentor, seeing a counselor, or reading specific books?
- Did you ever give more than take?
Were any lifestyle changes made?
- Did you drink more water?
- Did you cut back on soda?
- Did you limit sweets to once a week?
- Did you only go out to eat only 3-4 times a month?
- Did you learn to eat more fruits and vegetables?
- Did you decrease your plate portions?
- Did you find a few activities to love and do to stay active?
What investments were made in your family?
- Did you enjoy any family nights?
- Did you plan and do any activities during the Summer or holidays/weekends?
- Did your family go on vacation or spend any weekends away together?
- Did your family do any mission or volunteer work together?
- Did you study the bible as a family or one on one as parent/child?
- Did you tell your family members you love them regularly?
- Did you hug your child often?
How did you give of your time and money?
- Did you volunteer at the local soup kitchen or with another organization?
- Did you go on a mission trip (domestic or international)?
- Did you donate unneeded items to a local mission?
- Did you supply canned goods to local food bank?
- Did you support a missionary/favorite cause/organization/family in need financially?
- Did you make a meal (freezer or fresh) or provide a gift card for friends or family going through a difficult time?
Organize and clean
How did you take care of your house and property?
- Did you clean out or organize any cabinets, drawers, or closets?
- Did you clean out the garage?
- Did you clean up or add anything new to the landscaping?
- Did you clean out or organize toys?
- Did you clean out any files?
- Did you add pictures to any albums?
- Did you do any car maintenance?
Were any positive changes made regarding your finances?
- Did you pay off any credit cards?
- Did you use coupons?
- Did you make a budget?
- Did you take advantage of sales rather than pay full price?
- Did you save any money?
- Did you eat at home rather than eat out?
This is not an all-inclusive list so please feel free to add your own questions or areas.
In order to realize success in these areas this year, white space will need to be created on the calendar.
How do you spend your time daily? Can less be spent on social media or watching TV? Can you travel less for work or cut overtime hours? Is getting up earlier a possibility? A shorter lunch may provide some time to perform a few tasks. Are there any other areas that can be cut back to realize your goals this year? Decide on priorities and fill in the calendar with those first.
Did you do all that is on this list and will you be able to carry out all you set out to do this year? Probably not. And that’s okay. All growth and achievements are something to be celebrated no matter how small.
Even if you’ve never realized your success in the past, I urge you to recognize it now.
I would love to hear what you plan to accomplish this year! Please share in the comments below.
© 2014 Connie Davis Johnson