One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to review my resolutions from the previous year and take stock of what I’ve accomplished before making new resolutions for the year ahead. I didn’t start making resolutions until about two years into my marriage, but I’ve found that they have completely changed how purpose-driven my life is.
I don’t know if Zach and I write our resolutions different than other people, but I thought I would share some of our discoveries so that it could hopefully inspire others, too.
- Make categories of resolutions. Rather than making a single resolution Zach and I make buckets of goals and resolutions. Categories include work-related goals like getting promoted, achieving a professional milestone, or publishing a specific amount, spiritual goals include things like writing in a prayer journal three times per week, reading your Bible daily, or being in a discipling relationship, school-oriented goals include things like graduating or reaching a certain proficiency in a language, personal goals include things like working out three times per week, and finally we like to make relationship goals like cooking x amount of times per week or praying together as a couple.
- A lot of the goals that Zach and I make are concrete — like graduating from grad school or getting a promotion. While others don’t focus on the outcome and are more aspirational (like applying for PhD programs, but not necessarily getting into a specific one). Having varied goals ensures that at least one or two of them can be accomplished without knowing the precise outcome of the goal. I think this kind of helps us to stay in tune with one of my favorites Proverb “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
- Check them off throughout the year. It’s rewarding to revisit goals and resolutions throughout the year and check them off as you accomplish them. Checking them off at varied times reminds you that the resolutions that are not yet accomplished can be achieved and allows you to redirect your energies toward accomplishing those goals now that you’ve accomplished some of the others. Remember, some goals take more than a year to achieve, so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t finish everything in the time-frame you had hoped for. Which reminds me: Be reasonable! It’s best to make some goals that you will definitely accomplish and others that are a reach to challenge yourself. Varying goals can be helpful.
Hope you found some of these resolutions and tips helpful. What are your big resolutions for 2018?
Happy New Year!
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