Ideas for New Year’s Resolutions

Is this the first post that you have read this winter on new year’s resolutions? Good. I’m sorry to bring up the subject. Yes, we always hear about it, every year. I almost feel guilty writing on this topic, since everyone will be doing so shortly. With that said, I hope that this is the first post on resolutions that you have seen. Maybe I can have your ear for a few minutes on this topic.

Yes, Resolutions are Good

Many people are drifting away from writing new year’s resolutions. Others write their resolutions as an exercise in futility – they don’t plan to keep them, but it is a tradition to write them. Don’t be one of these people.

Admittedly, you may not be ready to write 70 resolutions like Jonathan Edwards, in which you resolve ‘never to lose one moment of time’ (resolution #5) or ‘never to do anything but duty’ (resolution #62). However, resolutions are good. Without resolutions, you don’t have a goal to work toward. If you don’t have a goal, you will never reach it. Resolutions challenge and stretch you. Creating and keeping resolutions is one way to exercise self-discipline. This is the value of resolutions.

Choosing Good Resolutions & Goals

To be honest, I don’t exactly make resolutions for each new year. Instead, I focus on creating goals for the year (this is similar to creating resolutions, but there is a little difference). You have probably heard the acronym for a good goal: SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Since we hear about SMART goals at this time every year, I won’t take your time to explain each of those descriptors.

Your life has many aspects – physical, mental, spiritual, financial, occupational, etc. One way to choose goals for this year is to select a goal for each major aspect of your life.

Do you need some ideas and examples? Let the list below act as inspiration. It is not actually a list of goals (since these are not worded as SMART goals), but rather a starting point for you to begin thinking about your goals or resolutions for 2016.

Physical Goals

  1. Be combat ready by the end of the year – (hopefully this is an exercise in futility, but it would still be helpful for around-the-house chores, or helping a friend move!)
  2. Perform 100 reps of an exercise, like pushups – (I’ve tried this several times but still can’t quite make it).
  3. Learn to shoot – you could head out to the Nevada desert like me, if you really want to. Otherwise you can still learn by asking a friend to teach you.
  4. Enter a strenuous competition – like the MR340.
  5. Go on a backpacking trip – I’m still trying to get out to Olympic National Park (just can’t find anyone to go with me!)

Mental Goals

  1. Take up a foreign language – Greek is a great place to start if you want to read the Bible in its original languages. Otherwise, Spanish is probably the most useful for Americans.
  2. Set a reading goal – shortly I will be posting on how to choose good books. In the meantime, take a look at Tim Challies’ 2016 reading challenge.
  3. Take a class on public speaking – probably one of the all-around best skills to have.
  4. Determine to be a life-long learner – I wrote about it here.

Spiritual Goals

  1. Read through the entire Bible – maybe use as reading plan like this so that you aren’t reading in Numbers for a full week.
  2. Join a biblical church, if you haven’t done so already – (you can find good recommendations here).
  3. Go to a Bible conference – I hope to go to this one on repentance.
  4. Memorize a chapter of the Bible – you could participate in a Scriptorium if you do.
  5. Begin a Christian treasure chest and fill it with acts of service each day.

Financial Goals

  1. Become a Christian minimalist like Hudson Taylor.
  2. Get out of debt – Dave Ramsey is a good place to start.
  3. Increase your giving to your local church.
  4. Create a budget, then identify and control areas of runaway spending.
  5. Begin a study on ‘what the Bible says about finances’ – start in the book of Luke.

Occupational Goals

  1. Pursue a degree or certificate in your field – for myself, I’d like to take the TCCC, although it is not quite within the realm of my career field.
  2. If you don’t have a career, consider what your interests are, and map out a plan to obtain one.
  3. Write a paper, or give a speech for your company.
  4. Become an entrepreneur by starting your own business – the world needs more entrepreneurs who will wisely invest the talents God has given them.
  5. Find a mentor for your career – someone who can advise you how to take your career to the next level.

Relational Goals

  1. Begin teaching your children the catechism – or take them to a Bible competition like the National Bible Bee.
  2. Join A Candle in the Window Hospitality Network.
  3. Go to a museum with a family member.
  4. Set up for coffee with a friend that you haven’t seen for a while.

Conclusion and Housekeeping

Fortunately, you still have nearly a month to come up with new year’s resolutions and goals. I hope the list above inspired you, and especially, I hope that you will come up with some goals. Don’t join the growing (and often undisciplined) trend of our society that refuses to plan for the future.

Also – and sorry this is late – I want to congratulate Tyler S. for winning the recent giveaway. Tyler, I hope you enjoy your gift card to Barnes and Noble – let me know if you find a great book!

Stay tuned for some more giveaways coming up shortly. For those of you who are not subscribed, it is never too late to subscribe – when you do, you will be automatically entered into future drawings and giveaways!