Thursday, December 29, 2005

Resolution Assistance....

Can you believe that 2005 has already ended? Of course you can't, no one can! This year in particular has gone by extremely was almost like on high school graduation day and thinking back through the year and wondering where it went. Well, anyways, 2005 was an amazing year! I recommited myself to Christ, made some amazing friends, was given a wonderful teaching position, and experienced a love from my family that I never noticed before. Yeah, 2005 will leave me with a good taste in my mouth. Looking back it only proves that God has a plan for all of us, we just have to seek Him first, and let Him take over.
I am an avid reader of crosswalk and most of all revelant magazine. I recieve a weekly email from Revelant and this week it was on how to keep your New Year's resolutions. I thought i would share the article with you.

Every year, millions of people gather around television sets to watch a giant ball slowly fall to the world’s most famous countdown. For one night, the entire nation watches the our favorite television stars as they ring in the biggest party of the year. The annual ritual is a constant reminder of new beginnings and serves as the perfect chance to drop old habits and adopt a fresh mindset for the next 12 months.

By midnight on Dec. 31, we’ve decided to lose that extra weight, spend less money, spend more time with God and let go of those nagging little tendencies that have plagued us until this momentous occasion. Despite our collective enthusiasm, January comes and goes and our pledges for new lifestyles slowly fade, and by the time spring roles around, we’re back to our old routine. The next year comes and our habits remained unchanged.

Maybe it’s time to reevaluate New Year’s Resolutions. By looking at three simple steps, we can finally resolve those unresolved yearly resolutions, and finally make lasting changes.

Step 1: Find some good inspiration. I was never much a fan of resolutions until I read about the resolutions of an old school theologian named Jonathan Edwards. Edwards made resolutions, and when he did he was serious about carrying them out. He didn't do your typical Atkins diet resolution—he resolved to journal what he ate as well as how it affected him, so as to maximize his eating of foods that most energized him to serve God.

Now that's a serious resolution.
Edwards made resolutions about his own character and activities, but what made his resolutions different was his motivation to serve God. His resolutions also weren't a checklist of goals to reach and then be done with; they were lifestyle changes, character shifts, new lifelong commitments.

Follow our buddy John Edward's example this year and don't settle for simple goals. Resolve to change your life, and do it for the love of God and for others.

Step 2: Resolve to serve someone else beside yourself. While there’s nothing wrong with pledging to get healthy, read more and kick old habits, there’s something that is satisfying about helping someone else in their struggle. Whether it’s resolving to volunteer at a local homeless shelter, taking more time out for your family or just deciding to treat others better, doing things for others is often more rewarding than serving yourself.

There’s also the accountability factor that comes along with helping others. When we make lofty declarations about how we will become more improved individuals, we are the only ones who miss out when the target is missed. Helping other people in the upcoming year gives us the motivation that comes when someone else is counting on you.

Step 3: Resolve to change your life. Inspired by John Edwards, I sat down and wrote my own resolutions a while back. I resolved to make full use of every minute of time as it were my last and to analyze this use of time often. I also wanted to never to live a life of convenient sacrifice, excusing myself as “blessed,” or telling myself that Christ died solely that I could live “abundantly.”

I wrote these resolutions and a handful of others over five years ago. I didn't write them for New Year's, and I didn't quit after failing at them many times over. Our resolutions should not be separate from our faith. Rather, they should be helpful in carrying out our conviction.

A resolution is more than just a one-time commitment; it is a lifelong ambition. Slipping back into an old habit doesn’t mean you blew it; it is simply more motivation to improve.

This year, make resolutions that think big. And I'm not talking about little goals that you can check off your list. There's nothing wrong with doing one random act of kindness a week or volunteering at a soup kitchen for an evening, but it's time we started thinking outside the box. Let's resolve to help end the AIDS crisis, to stop chronic homelessness in your city and find new ways to reach those who don’t know Christ.

Some tools to get you there: It is important to know not only what you'd like to do, but how to do it. With the Web becoming more and more of a permanent fixture in our lives, you might find a few of these tools useful for carrying out your resolutions this year.

43things is a place for you to list up to 43 things you are doing or goals that you have and then track your progress on them with blog-like posting. The additional feature that makes 43things such an encouraging place to track your resolutions is that you connect with and are encouraged by hundreds of others working toward the exact same goals.
For those looking for a simple to do list or reminder software, you might want to try out TaDa lists or Remember the Milk.

So next week, when we all gather to welcome a new calendar year, remember that the New Year celebrations will come and go, but a resolution can have eternal impact.

I haven't really made my resolution(S) for this year yet, but have checked out those websites. I'm definitely going to give this more thought, pray about it, and get er done. Check back for my resolutions!