For some reason (well, maybe several reasons), the turning of the calendar to another year provides a spark to me. Generally, I don’t look at “January 1” as just another day in the march of time.
No, to me, the beginning of another year marks a time for change, a time for new beginnings. It’s a time to start fresh. It’s a time to break old habits and to start new ones. It’s the best time of the year to start something so that you can easily say later, “I’ve done this all year.”
So as 2016 begins, what will I start? What will I stop? What adjustments will I make? Will I do something easy just to say I accomplished something? Will I try something hard and use the new year to motivate me toward greater things? Will it be a combination?
Here’s what I’m thinking about for this new year:
- Grow spiritually – As a follower of Jesus Christ, I know that He has begun a work in me that will continue until my death or until He returns. I am not working toward righteousness – He has already clothed me in His righteousness, but I should be working to please Him and to provide a witness of Him in my life. Growing spiritually is hard to measure, but it should always be my top priority. This year, I would like to be consistent in reading my Bible, praying and applying the truths of God’s word to my daily decisions.
- Grow as a Family Leader – Again, this is hard to measure, but this is an area where I always need improvement and where I always want to improve. I often struggle in my roles as a husband and father, but I want to try to show Jesus Christ at work in me to my family. I want to demonstrate to my family the great mercy, faithfulness and love that my Heavenly Father has shown to me.
- Keep Perspective – One of the greatest issues in my life is demonstrating consistency in how I live. I don’t feel like my principles or ethics change, but how I live is fairly volatile. I’m upset easily. I’m always ready to strike back. I’m always quick to lose perspective on how I need to live. The results of living this way is a lot of regret and a poor witness for Christ. In 2016, I want to focus on the cross. I want to focus on the “main things.” I want to look past the crisis of the day and trust that the Lord will care for me and take care of me the way He always has.
- Grow Intellectually – In 2016 I want to learn new things. Most of the time I gravitate to the things I like. Whether it’s sports, music or whatever, I tend to only engage with the things that interest me. That’s not always bad, but it can lead to a pretty narrow and monotonous existence. There’s a lot “out there” to learn and hopefully in the coming year I can check off a few more of those things.
- Write More – For several reasons, I enjoy writing. This year, I’d like to engage in this craft a little more.
- Change the Focus – I love to win. I love to compete. I love to succeed. I love to check the box on things I’ve experienced and accomplished (see above). But in 2016, I’d also love to change the focus from me to others. I’d love to lose a few more arguments. I’d love to not be right every time when arguing with my wife. I’d love to think about the needs of others. I’d love to give a little more. I know for a fact that I will have plenty of opportunities to engage in changing the focus this year. Hopefully, I can.
This isn’t everything that needs to be improved in my life and I will fail at most of these. But as the calendar page turns today, these are the things on my heart that I’d like to see happen.