Often people make New Year’s resolutions that are not kept. I know that’s not you, but I wonder if other people (!) write down what they think they should do instead of those things that are really in their heart to do?
I love the fact that January is a time of holidays and hopefully rest and reflection. Even for those who don’t take a long break, sometimes the pace of work and life is a little slower so there is time to think. Can I suggest that we all determine to use this time well?
How well do you know yourself and what you really value in life? When did you last sit down and describe yourself to yourself?
Do you have a written list of what you value most in life? What would you like your life to stand for?
Here’s my challenge to you...
Before you identify the areas in your life that you would like to focus on and develop, write down your answers to these questions:
- What were some of the positive things that you contributed to this year?
- What things did you do that energized you and made you feel excited about the next step?
- What parts of your life showed moments of satisfaction and fulfilment?
In light of your answers, my challenge to you is to write your New Year’s resolutions with a different emphasis; not as goals with deadlines but as specific areas you want to grow in.
Setting key areas of focus will help shape meaningful goals that are congruent with who we are and what we value.
Example: I have previously set a goal to mentor a young person. A better option might be to establish an area of focus, eg, raise up young leaders. With that seed sown in my heart, I then dream how that might look.
The end result can be much bigger and more effective.
What actually happened in my case was that I spent one year mentoring a group of eight young female leaders. The outcomes far exceeded my original goal.
I expect that you will find it easier to list your areas of focus as you keep in mind those parts of your life that you feel ‘born for’.
Don’t settle for shallow resolutions. Go deeper and find places where your contribution brings joy not only to yourself but also to those you serve.
One thing we are created to do is to bring our talents and energies to those places where we make a significant contribution. We have been made to make a difference, not just make changes to our circumstances and ourselves.