It’s January 31st – I’m still hanging in there for a New Years post. The reality is we’re well on our way into 2020 now, and actually I’m able to look at my goals and resolutions and assess them in light of reality – that most of them are not going well so far. But we carry on!
I love goal setting. I love thinking about vision, future, plans, where I could be in X amount of time. So New Year for me is always quite a fun time. I like setting out something to aim for, even if I know that once normal life resumes after the Christmas to New Year slump of a week that most of them will be forgotten or trashed…
Here we are, presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity to create our yearly goals and aim for absolute clarity under the title of 2020 Vision! What a gift.
If you’re not into New Years Resolutions – maybe take this moment to think about your vision, goals and aims for the 20s. They don’t have to be related to the new year. You can start making plans and goals at any time. I wonder if setting them at the end of January might actually be a better idea in some respects. More on that idea later…
Over the years I’ve tried making resolutions in all sorts or different ways and under different guises. Just on the off chance I might trick myself into actually following through on them…
“Why do today what you can put off till tomorrow?”Misquoting Aaron Burr.
I’m sure my mum has this on a fridge magnet. If not, it’s definitely a vibe that she and I share!
In recent years I have also started a practice of rounding up my year – thinking of favourite films, landmark moments, trips taken etc. It helps me to frame what that year has looked like and how it can help me to try and shape the next.
One other thing I’ve done at the turn of a new year – sometimes January, sometimes September for the academic year – is set a word for my year. I’ve done this in two ways – by choosing a word myself, or seeking God for a word.
So here’s by 2020 resolutions/goals/word and a bit of vision thrown in for good measure. Considering that it was the turn of a new decade I decided to do a round of Top 10s in a separate blog which I’ll fire out once I’ve finally decided what the best albums of the 2010s was!
I actually wasn’t going to set any resolutions this year. I’m becoming a bit cynical, and thought “ugh, what’s the point, I’m not going to keep them anyway”, but then I had some ideas and thought, “no, I like a resolution” and I explained why above.
- Try new things. Not in any particularly fancy or high-brow way, but I just thought I am the ultimate clash of loving adventure and trying new things but also being a massive creature of habit. My natural instinct is definitely to go with habit, so this year I want to try and remember to not always order the same coffee or pick the same donut, but to try new things. Not to choose the same weekend activities over and over, or keep returning to the same coffee shops and walking spots. I need to remember to choose adventure! (The practical out-working of this on a very basic level, is that I want to try a new coffee shop once a month.)
- Bible Reading. Anyone who’s been in Sunday School, church youth groups or small groups knows that “Reading your Bible and Praying” are the stock answers to most questions about God for example: How do I get closer to God? How do I know the will of God? How do I know where God is leading me? How do I know if it’s God speaking? And so on… But like most people who have been on a faith journey longer than a couple of weeks, it’s easy to forget the goodness that can actually come from reading your Bible and praying! So I am going to try and be better at keeping up these habits. I started a New Testament in a Year reading plan on YouVersion and actually so far am on track with it.
- Get good at playing the ukulele. I bought a ukulele not long after coming back from our holiday in Hawaii because Tom and I did a little lesson whilst at the Polynesian Cultural Center and I loved it. I downloaded an app that teaches you the basics and I feel reasonably confident playing the basic chords now, so I want to hone the craft and get really good! I don’t even have to try with this one at the moment because I just enjoy it so much! I naturally find myself playing for around 10 minutes a day, so I think I’m on track!
- Knowing when to say “YES”! I, like many others in the world – particularly the people pleasers amongst us – like to say yes to things when people ask me to do them. I get FOMO, then worried that I may never get asked again and then end up saying yes to things I don’t even want to do in fear that next time they were going to ask me to do something I did want to do but because I said no that one time, they’ll never ask me again. Boy oh boy, being a people pleaser gets exhausting! So this year, I am going to try and be much more sensible about what I say yes and no to.
Rather than standard resolutions, back in December I started to think about goals I wanted to achieve in 2020. I talked them through with Tom, and we worked on how to make them SMART (you know, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).
Just in case you’re not familar with SMART goals, it’s essentially this:
S – they’re not just lofty ideas. M – what determines success. A – its doable. R – know the steps lead to you’re aiming for. T – a deadline to reach your goal by!
So, my SMART goals for 2020:
- Write. I am going to write something every week, either a blog post, a short story, or a poem. Some will be published, some will not!
- Run. I am signed up to run 8km in the BMO races on my birthday (May 3rd).
- Routine. I am going to establish a healthy daily and weekly routine, with bed times, exercise times, housework time, and me time!
Just three simple, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals!
Word for the Year
I was thinking about this for a while. I had been assuming that my word for the year would be Vision – because its poetic (and I need a healthy dose of it…)!
But, the more time I gave to reading my Bible and praying, God did spring a few words on me, and ultimately a word for my year.
I always think it’s interesting looking back at your word, because over time it morphs and changes and means different things!
The words that came up were: Revival. Redemption. Restoration. Rehabilitation. Resilience. And then, the cracker: Resolve.
Well, this January I’ve been absorbing as much information as possible about prayer, and when it comes down to it, Revival is most often what I am praying for – in circumstances, health, culture, church, etc. It’s important. When Jesus died on the cross, he entangled His life and story with each of our own. This is where redemption comes in – He redeems us of our sin, of our poor choices, and He restores to the glory for which we were intended, He doesn’t stop there, He rehabilitates us to then continue and contribute to His work here on Earth. For this He gives us resilience, because He knows that resistance will come when we start changing our lives to fit in with who He is.
Resolve. It’s kind of the culmination of everything in this post. I will have the boldness to choose my path. I will resolve to be a healthy human being, physically, mentally, and spiritually. Knowing when to say yes, when to seize opportunities, when to rest, when to go, when to pray a little harder, when to get down on my knees at the foot of the cross and cry out “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord Almighty”. I will resolve to make the most of today, tomorrow, and yesterday. I will resolve to spend my time in the ways that build me into the person I want to be.
My 2020 vision is to not squander what I’ve been given (temporally, geographically, physically), to embrace who God made me to be (the bits I like and the bits I don’t), and chase after the things He has put before me (things I desire, and things that others have shared with me) – and most of all… to live in the confidence of my calling! (Ephesians 4:1b – I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.)
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone”Pablo Picasso.
Perhaps a more appropriate quote than the earlier one…