It’s that time again. The time when I don’t make resolutions that will be broken, but when I do commit to working on individual areas of improvement. My standard list of things to work on includes:
Worship more. Pray more. Read more. Celebrate more. Work less. Play more. Eat less. Exercise more. Write more. Create more. Spend less. Give more.
Here’s my 2013 take on those things:
Worship more: I continue need to work on this. Sure, there are the regular times of corporate worship. But what about the personal times of getting quiet and spending time with our Lord? I re-pinned a quote on Pinterest last night that said “Worship is a war song.” I need to think that one through, but you know, when we’re engaged in spiritual warfare, that kind of makes sense.
Pray more: Pray without ceasing. There’s always a need to spend more time in prayer. But I’m not going to beat myself up if I can’t hit a certain percentage of time in the morning. God is always there, always listening. Years ago I was part of a church where we were told that if we did not spend an hour a day in prayer, we were failures. All that did is set us up to fail. Sure there are times when extended prayer is called for and appropriate. But there’s no reason to think a simple, quick prayer of “help me, Lord” won’t be heard. Because, it will. Still, I need to remember also that prayer isn’t just about asking for things and prayer is not just appropriate when I’m struggling or need something. Prayer is always appropriate as a conversation with God.
Read more: I managed to get through 25 books in 2012. Not a bad year. That included reading through the Good News Bible. I’ve set the same goal this year on Goodreads. But I need to expand my list of books to read.
Celebrate more: Let’s party. Or not. But let’s take time to be appreciative of the life we have, remember the holidays, and remember the special occasions.
Work less: Actually, I think this one should be “work smarter.” In this day and time with our government hell bent on destroying us all financially I need to be more deliberate with finances. And, I’m targeting a major career shift/change for 2014. It may or may not play out the way I’m planning so I won’t go into detail here. But I need to use the resources I have with electronic gadgets, my calendars, my moleskin notebook and more to be more efficient and more consistent.
Play more: Get out and see the sites. We did some of that in 2012. I want to do more. We live in the cradle of American History and I work for the agency that runs our state parks. Get out. See things. Do things.
Eat less: Eat less and eat smarter. Cut back on the sugars and grains. I’m happier and healthier when I do. Darn it.
Exercise more: This is exercise more consistently. I am again happiest and healthiest when I get to the pool every day or take a walk every day at lunch. I’m not a gym rat or a body builder. But I need to move. And I need to remind myself that the aches and pains are less when I do.
Write more: This is the year that I’ve set to have a novel ready to submit to publishers. I need to get to work. But I need to step it up with the blogging, with the writing at Richmond Bible Examiner and Bearing Drift. At a minimum, I want to write 500-1000 words a day.
Create more: New art supplies for Christmas will help with this. I did some projects in 2012. I want to do more. Writing is a part of that, but I also know that I’m an artist and I have a need to express that.
Spend less: An eternal struggle. We didn’t waste money in 2012. But we had additional expenses that weren’t planned such as having to buy a new car and a shower that leaked into the foyer. Still, we were able to do that and for that I am thankful. But I want to spend less for things that don’t matter, things that aren’t important. Eat at home more. Drive smarter and spend less on gas. Spend less on buying entertainment and maybe spend more time creating fun things to do.
Give more: Be more deliberate and consistent about giving, both of resources and time. A part of this is giving away stuff. We have a garage, an attic and a storage shed full of stuff we’re not using. Someone can. And this year we’ll be clearing it out.
So those are my targets for 2013. Let’s get started.