We all know they are coming. The plans, promises, mindsets, and determinations. The kind of confidence and perseverance that floods the gym and make snack food sales dwindle down (slightly). New shoes, new clothes, this is the year for the “new me.” Whether you plan on losing weight, becoming a healthier person or you have family goals, career goals or hopes for your community – we all think about our new year’s resolution(s).

What is it about a new year that motivates all of us (I am also included in this picture) to live better lives, make better decisions or determined just be “different?” Here is what I am not saying – You are terrible for having goals at the beginning of the year and you are so typical and unoriginal – I am not saying this at all. It is good to have have goals, hopes, desires, dreams, etc. We all think that a new year can bring new and exciting events, memories and accomplishments. We all want to believe that there is hope that things, for better or worse, will be different.

I struggle with these resolutions in a few different ways:

  • There is a struggle to maintain

Do you remember your last year’s resolutions or aspirations? I know I definitely do not. Gyms fill up and progress is usually made, but in 2 or 3 months time – the gym is back to normal and the “regulars” can breathe once again.images-for-new-year-2015 The weight lost slowly begins to creep back. Do not be discouraged, life is hard! Our schedules fill up, our days are long, our energy levels begin to dip lower, a co-worker is being difficult, my boss expects too much of me, my children are going crazy, the car broke down. On and on and on it goes – Just because it is a new year, it does not mean life continues to happen to each every one of us.

  • Our expectations are incredibly high

This really compliments my first point. Again, I am not saying that is is not good to have goals and be incredibly motivated to achieve those goals. I would think most of us do not go into the new year thinking we just want to do this for a month or two and slowly return to old habits and again be disappointed that we did not really achieve what we wanted. In 2014, maybe it wasn’t the year you had hoped for or it was a year that you would just like to forget. For some of us, our year set the tone for our daily lives – depression, anxiety, failure, shame, guilt, worry, conflict, broken relationships, and lost hope. For others, it was a year to cherish. A year of sweet memories and loving relationships. In every individual’s life, there will be positive and negative – good and bad – up and down. Our expectations allow us to be a good gauge of how things are going in our lives. Set your expectations too high, anything less is a disappointment or failure. Our motivation suffers. Here are some things to remember regarding our expectations:

  1. Be Realistic, Not Idealistic
  2. Be Flexible – Our goals can change
  3. Be Responsible – Allow yourself to be held accountable
  • Promises are broken

In short, we let ourselves down once it becomes inconvenient. Once it becomes a little harder than before – once the easy decision is the choice we promised we would rid ourselves from. Then again, promises made to ourselves are easily accepted when and if they are broken – after all, it does not effect anyone else. I would say the same thing regarding unspoken resolutions. If nobody knows, nobody will care – life still continues. Be honest, how many times have you said,

“Okay… this year is the year I….” or, “Okay… Okay… THIS year is the year I….”

If you are reading this, here is a challenge:

Before 12:00, midnight on January 1, 2015 –

  • pick up an envelope for yourself. If you are married, do this together! If your family would like to do this get some for them as well!
  • Write on a piece of paper 5 goals for yourself this coming year. Write, “(your name) goals for 2015.” Below – write, “Open 12/31/2015.” Remember be realistic, be flexible, be responsible.
  • Seal your envelope – my wife and I will be using a wax seal. Why? They are so cool!
  • Place in a spot where you will see every single day. (Look at it)

A new year is a great time to begin new journeys and pursue new ambitions, however, you do not have to wait another year to truly change yourself, influence others, keep promises, or just be different. As Jess and I reflected on 2014, we were astounded with the blessings that God has given us. As we look forward to a new year, we continue to look forward to the many blessings He will continue to give us and how His will is displayed within our lives. What are some of your hopes in 2015?

Update: 1/5/2015

So after 5 days in to the new year, I haven’t really had time to write, but I thought I would quickly update this post. 

Jessie and I were able to get wax and a wax sealer from Michael’s for about 12 dollars and it was totally worth it! Maybe you have been thinking about some goals, but you’re not sure even where to begin. If this is you, please feel free to contact me. Ask me questions or bounce an idea on. I look forward to hearing from you!

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