Be considerate and be faithful.
I’m always been one for New Year’s resolutions and this year will be no different but I prefer to think in terms of goals with measurable outcomes (SACS* has ruined me). In looking back over the last year (and more) of my life, I have two main critiques of myself. The first is that I am far too concerned with my own comfort and happiness and I put it before the needs of others. When I was talking about this with my family, Emily reminded me of the acronym, J-O-Y = Jesus, Others, Yourself. It reminds us of the proper ordering of life’s priorities. We should always put Jesus first and then put others before ourselves. Thus my first motto or mantra or theme for the year is to be considerate. I want to be always aware of how other people are feeling, what they need and how I might be able help. I want to choose my words much more carefully. Things that tear down and hurt should be avoided and I should look for positive ways to handle negative situations. That doesn’t mean my kids get a pass now that I am Mr. Nice Guy. Bad behavior still warrants consequences. I just have a knack, especially when I’m exhausted to let loose my tongue without considering the feelings of others. So there it is: Be Considerate.
Secondly, I am very GOOD at starting new projects. I am very BAD at finishing them. I am very GOOD at planning strategies for implementing my new projects. I am very BAD at following through. After my recent reading of “The Year of Living Biblically”, I was impressed on the author’s ability to commit one year of consistent effort in following as much of the Bible as possible. He dedicated himself to reading the entire Bible through in a few days to document all the commands he could find. He read as many commentaries and Bible for Dummies-like books as he could throughout the year. He was dedicated to his project. On top of all of that, it wasn’t out of commitment to his faith, it wasn’t motivated by faith. I should be able to accomplish even a portion of that sort of faithfulness, especially since I am motivated by my faith in Christ and since I am strengthened by him to accomplish these things that he has called me to do. In the end, the second theme of the year is to be faithful. I will commit to fewer projects but make it a priority to complete these projects. Be Faithful.
Below is the the standard set of goals (little changes from year to year). They are a little lengthy and they need to be refined but they are doable.
- Diet & Exercise (weight): By eating healthier, counting calories and following recommended servings in the “food pyramid”
- Lose 2 pounds per week – January-March
- Lose 1 pound per week rest of year
- Exercise 2 out of every 3 days
- Eating Journal 2 out of every 3 days
- Desire to meet with God strong on 2 out of 3 days by end of year.
- Complete reading through the Bible (hit landmarks of Torah, History, Wisdom, Prophets, Gospels, Epistles)
- Complete Study of fasting, journal experience.
- Successfully complete 1 spiritual discipline exercise per month.
- Memorize one major passage per month
- Memorize poem or literature piece per month
- Reading goal (one book per month)
- Writing goal: weekly blog article, daily family blog (80% success rate)
- Monthly dates with family. Lori has made a wonderful schedule where we have regularly scheduled dates (she and I, as well as, each of us with each of the kids).
- Game night most weeks. (Usually Tuesdays for the Spring)
- Chores (faithful to complete scheduled chores, also by Lori, at least 2 out of every 3 days)