New Year’s “reso-lies”, as my dad called them, provide little hits of dopamine and adrenaline. They offer another opportunity to jump on a bandwagon, discuss ad nauseam how this is going to be our best year ever (new year, new me!), to be a part of the herd; things we women tend to thrive on.
It’s exciting at the beginning and makes us feel as if we’re accomplishing more than we actually are. Before you know it, it’s June 1st and we haven’t progressed one iota. In some cases, there may even be regression. I am reminded of a Proverb:
In all labor there is profit, But mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23
Yesterday at church, however, I was afforded the opportunity to consider principles worth remembering as I move forward into a stage of life that is transitory in some respects, and stubbornly mundane and consistent in others.
- Progress is made one day, one moment even, at a time. Where I am and what I have accomplished by December 31, 2018 is the cumulative result of daily decisions. Planning some things too far down the road instills mental margins which give me cover to blow it “just this day” or “just this week”. Skipping prayer this morning, a doughnut the next, vowing to double on this or that tomorrow? It’s what happens when I forget that all I truly have is today. Right now. This moment.
- Time is a commodity to be invested wisely. Not every minute should be spent with my nose to the grindstone. However, there needs to be some sort of corresponding return of value on how I invest my time. Value in the form of spiritual, financial, relational, and physical evidence are all valid areas in which to look for returns on my investment.
- Letting go of what lies behind when it is time to do so is vitally important. This has always been a challenging thing for me because I tend to hold on to people and endeavors far more tightly than I should. I used to believe that holding on to dead relationships with a ferocious determination is always a virtue, especially in our throw away culture. However, I am evolving in the area, albeit slowly. It is impossible to press forward while looking backwards. Lot’s wife is instructive here.
Does that mean I have no plans, hopes or accomplishments I want to see come to fruition for 2018? No, not at all! I am firm believer that failing to plan is planning to fail. One of the things I have had to work diligently on in 2017 however, is addressing the way I think about things and the way my thoughts are expressed, both in word and deed.
The first day of January can be an opportunity to start afresh, but there is nothing magical about it. Every day is an opportunity to do better than the day before. It’s not as if we get a new life on January 1st to go back to the starting gate and begin again. All of the good decisions which led me to this place in some areas, along with all the bad decisions which have kept me from a better place in others, are still in effect.
The New Year is an excellent time for assessment and contemplation. If there is anything I learned through the difficulties 2017, however, it’s that principles will sustain me when life throws curve balls that derail even the best laid plans. I don’t want to be this gal: