Of Ambitions And Reality

Who’s wadded up over their New Year’s goals? Maybe I am. Maybe I’m not.

For years I never got a bang out of setting goals or making resolutions. The reason? Simply because I despise a broken track record. I like perfection; whatever the goal, I don’t want it messed up. Not one day missed or forgotten. No exceptions. When I mess up I get a mental black mark. I hate black marks.

So pessimistic me (I’d like to say practical me) predicts I’ll mess up months before another year ends. My goal is to save stress; don’t set New Year’s goals.

I have changed in this area to a certain extent. I acknowledge it’s a perfect time to analyze one’s life. Especially our spiritual life. Asking ourselves questions such as, “Am I growing stronger in my trust in God? Are there relationships I should be doing more to build up? Am I taking time to teach my children about God? What can I do to enhance our marriage?”

And it’s perfectly good and well to set some goals for the year ahead, be it physical or spiritual. If it pleases you, go right ahead and spell out your plans. Or, as some like to do, figure out your word for the year.

Diet and exercise plans are great ambitions for many. Putting organization dreams into action is a noteworthy goal. Limiting/disciplining ourselves on social media use is a very wise goal as well. Overall I lean more towards evaluating my spiritual life and looking at ways to grow. Yet at the same time, I don’t like to have such mountainous ambitions that it feels kin to impossible.

It’s also good to reflect on our past year, if we can reflect in a positive way. Don’t commiserate on how rough you’ve had it- it’s easier to do that but it’s not edifying. Focus on God’s faithfulness in supplying daily grace. When we felt we couldn’t take another step, God provided. When we prayed long and hard, God eventually answered. He gave us wisdom for that hard decision. Quietly, faithfully, He whispers grace upon our days. Reflect on that and know He will be there next year too.

The last number of years I’ve endeavored very small goals. About 4 years ago I aspired to memorize a small portion of scripture each month. The last 2 months of that year I spent refreshing myself on the earlier passages. (So I didn’t attain my goal 100% but at least I tried!) Since that year, some of those passages have become extra special to me.

This last year I went even smaller and tried one verse a week. For easy memorization, I posted it at my kitchen sink. Here again, I attained about 85 to 90% of the time. Maybe the mark is gray instead of black.

On this next year, I’m still swirling ideas. I’m late with the program I know; the New Year is already upon us! But December was just flat out hectic for me so I haven’t wrote up anything. Just thoughts to discuss with myself or my husband. I’m planning to do some of both. Perhaps next year I can fill you in on my goals. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t!

Most importantly, let’s be committed to stay strong in the Lord. Small, daily choices and duties make up our lives. It’s quite unlikely I’ll make groundbreaking headlines in the news this year. Can I be quietly steadfast in the mundane?

Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58

In a small saucepan, throw in 4 or 5 cinnamon sticks and those orange peelings from your breakfast citrus. Fill with water, and simmer on your stove all day. The aroma will fill your house with a spicy, cozy scent as you welcome the Year ahead!

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