Happy New Year! Now, what are YOU planning to do to seize the day, live the life you’ve always imagined, and finally BE that person you truly should be?
Isn’t that a lot of pressure to put on one little square on the calendar? And yet, that’s what we do each January 1st. We stand staring at the blank pages or the empty screens and suddenly feel the pressure, or maybe the desire, to do more, to eat less, to change lots, and to, in general, be a better version of us.
Does that mean the version we were a few days ago was completely unacceptable?
That thought made me pause this year as January arrived. I spent a lot of time this year letting God speak to my heart the truth that he created me unique on purpose. That there is something delightful in the things that are different about who I am. That took a lot of work to make peace with that after a lifetime of hearing what I needed to do differently. A lifetime of hearing what was wrong with who I am—size, personality, volume, humor, and a lot more.
So what about goals? Goals can be good. I mean, I need to get back to the gym. A friend just told me someone approached her about donating a YMCA membership for this widowed mama—something that simply does not fit in my budget. The kindness in that gift humbles me. And yes, I have a goal that I was floundering at of staying active and keeping fit. That’s a good goal.
But what about those amazing dream-goals we are told to set for ourselves and post somewhere prominent to keep us motivated? I had a jarring conversation about goals once with a counselor I was seeing ever so briefly. I told her I was working towards my dream of being a Christian speak and someday a published author. With a rather smug smile, she informed me in the most matter-of-fact way, that studies have shown that when we share our goals out loud to other people, we never reach them.
So what about all those goals we write down on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day and then share with friends so they can slap our hand away from that brownie for a few weeks or remind us of what we vowed to do differently? Is that why we failed—we said them out loud? I don’t think it’s that simple.
Goals and dreams are good but this year, no resolutions for me. I’m praying about the goals I was working on last year and asking for Godly direction. God promises to faithfully finish the good work he began in us. (Philippians 1:6, paraphrased by me) God started something in me last year. Let’s just keep going with that.
And I’m not choosing a single word either. There are too many beautiful words to choose just one for a whole 365 days. I’m choosing words to inspire me: grace, hope, creativity, faith, art, kindness, and love come to mind. But I’m sure others will as the days and seasons move forward.
Here’s to not letting the pressure to change everything drive us crazy, ladies. Here’s to focusing on today instead of the next 12 months. I just don’t have the energy to try and see that far ahead. Here’s to a crazy-free new year full of progress toward the beautiful work God has for us to accomplish and to be. I think that’s all the new focus I need this year.
What are your thoughts on the new year? Are you a goal-driven person or do you like the idea of some grace to just keep working on what you already had planned? I’d love to hear in the comments.
(Floral Photo by Kat Smith from Pexels.com)