However, despite my own cynicism, the start of a new year does mean something more than ‘just another day’ to me. After the draining rush and stress of Christmas and the ‘end of year’ wind up, there is a sense of needing a fresh start, a chance to get things moving ahead on the right foot. Fortunately for us who live ‘downunder’ we get to start each new year in the middle of summer so there really is a chance to nurture new growth, to get out into nature and unwind a bit, or read that book we were given for Christmas.
As yet I haven’t made any resolutions or specific goals for 2013, but I did drag out my old notebook in which I’ve written goals for years already gone by and noticed a few interesting patterns:
- Some big goals that initially appeared out of reach have been achieved, particularly ones regarding jobs and income.
- My goals of eating and spending less are the ones I put least effort into reaching!
- Personal challenges that God has allowed into my life have forced me to work harder on some ‘personal development’ goals that had been on my list but slightly neglected – should have done that work sooner!
- External pressure is a huge motivator for me to work on my goals; for example, I had a goal of studying the psalms more deeply which was neglected for several years. Then our church began preaching on the psalms and so that year my goal was more than fulfilled.
- Spiritual growth/disciplines such as Bible reading and prayer are super important, hard to measure, never ‘complete’, and difficult to sustain without external motivation.
- Small daily steps working on personal values can get me a long way, conversely – neglect of daily discipline can lead to wasted years.
So, goals for 2013?
I’m still not sure what my goals are for this year. There are a few ideas rattling around in my head but I’m suspicious that their origin is more from my own heart than anything God is wanting me to aim for. Last year was pretty tough so there is an obvious desire to try to make this year better, whatever form ‘better’ might take.
An idea which may be worth pursuing is of making 2013 to be a year of ‘less’. Less incoming clutter into my heart, mind, inbox, and hard drives. I’m a compulsive gatherer of information, to the point of becoming overwhelmed by too much to read, listen to, think about, process. I also eat too much and spend too much so aiming for less in 2013 seems like a good plan.
To immediately contradict myself, I also have a goal of more blogging here on Words of Eternal Life. Having not posted anything here for weeks means that ‘more’ should be easy to achieve! Over the last few months I’ve considered a couple of web projects that have diverted my attention from this blog but my focus is now back here and I’m keen to infuse some more life into this site. I’ve got a few plans of what I like to blog about this year but will keep these to myself until the writing has been done!
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