Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I do, sort of. For me, this time of year gives me a chance to rethink my goals and how I’m living my life.
It is time well spent for us all to pause and think about this coming year. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” That means we need to change things! The New Year gives us a sense of starting some things new so it’s the perfect time to assess.
So here is the question: As you look to this coming year, what are some things you want to do more of and what are some things you want to do less of?
Here is my list of ten things I’m planning to do more of and less of!
1. Pray more.
The most incredible privilege we have is talking to God. Too often, I’ve taken that for granted. This coming year I’m planning more personal and corporate times of prayer.
2. Complain less.
Okay, I have to admit it, I complained too much in 2020. The Bible says that we are supposed to do all things without grumbling (Philippians 2:14). Complaining is a lack of gratitude. The fact is we has some much to be thankful for, even during this pandemic.
3. Believe more.
I want my faith in God to grow this coming year. Some of the setbacks this past year have left me wondering. But the fact is, God is doing great things in this world and in His Church. I want to continue to be part of that!
4. Assume less.
Assumptions are a form of judgment. The only way I can overcome my prejudices is to listen and learn. This year, I want to understand others better. (If you must assume, here’s the question Brené Brown suggests: “What is the most generous assumption I can make about this person’s intentions?”.)
5. Read more.
During this pandemic, I thought I would be reading more, but I haven’t. It was Harry Truman who said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” This year I am setting aside time each day for reading. I have tons of reading to do, now it is a matter of disciplining myself to do it.
6. Watch less.
With the lockdown and isolation, it’s been too easy for me to veg’ in front of the TV. This coming year, I want more time for learning, interacting, and growing. Every hour I’m not staring at a screen, I have one more hour for better things!
7. Exercise more.
Closed gyms and rainy days have dampened my fitness routine. The one thing my wife and I haven’t dropped is walking together during the pandemic. That’s good! We will walk the mall in masks if necessary but we are determined to sustain this habit but I want to incorporate more exercise back into my schedule.
8. Procrastinate less
One thing I’m putting off is a follow-up doctor’s visit. It’s easy to do. So much can be done if I just get started. Consider tying one difficult thing to something you enjoy, (for instance, after I make the phone call I’ve been dreading, I can scroll through a book or magazine I’ve been wanting to read) or attach a new habit to an established one (e.g., every time I brush my teeth I’m going to drink an 8-ounce glass of water too.)
9. Encourage more.
I know all of us need encouragement (Hebrews 3:13). My spirits are boosted when others offer a quick compliment or pat on the back so there’s no reason for me to ever hesitate to do the same. I’m working to make this a stronger habit in 2021.
10. Fear less.
COVID has caused many of us to be fearful. No one wants a lock-downed, lonely life. There is no doubt the vaccinations are going to help. I won’t be reckless but I’m committed to acting responsibly AND freer in the coming year.
BEFORE YOU GO
Once you’ve got your list together, don’t forget to put things on your calendar! It’s great to say you’re going to pray more but if you’re already scheduled from morning to night, it will be difficult to fit it in. Put your priorities on the calendar first so you are sure to make time for them.
So how about you? What are some things on your “more and less” list?