As Christmas Day is coming to a close, I guess it would be appropriate to focus on the New Year. What’s the topic? Resolutions of course. However, I think that is a topic and idea in general, that is largely mistaken. To resolve means to, “make a firm determination to do something.” I wonder what the owners of companies like fitness centers would say about the firmness of those decisions in March. Point being, if you’re going to do it, do it right. I don’t even see why you have to decide on New Year’s what your resolution will be. Decide when it matters, not when it is convenient. I’m going to explain a few things on which I plan to focus, which I also propose as general suggestions for you.
This has been a focus of my professional and personal life for the last two years; yet I still struggle with making myself as efficient as possible. I use Evernote and the app Calendars 5 on my phone to help keep my events recorded and to receive reminders about what I am supposed to be doing at which times. Part of my problem is the preparation it takes leading up to those events. I’m going to focus more on to-do lists. I know it may sound simple, but I need to take more pride in the act of crossing things off of my list.
I resolve to be a better host. The biggest part of that for me is actually inviting people over. For the past year, I can remember thinking on several occasions about how generous people in the church were with their time and willingness to allow others into their homes. I’m terrible at it and will also admit I can be very high strung when I have guests. But, I also realize that more importantly, it is one of the major ways we build community. Further, because of my deficiencies in this area, I realize so much more how important it is that I model it for my own children. They need to see a dedicated father who fosters community with others.
For the rest of my life I could probably resolve to be a better listener and never really figure it out. Regardless, it is on my list and for that reason, I am going to have to learn more about how and when to keep my mouth shut. Part of my problem in this area is that a large part of my professional life involves giving people advice. However, what I am realizing is that I need to spend more time listening to people for what they are really saying, what is really behind their words. In this sense, I think this will also help me be a better servant. In other words, if I am listening with the proper intent, what I hear will likely lead me to respond with acts of service and kindness just as much as it will lead me to respond verbally and hastily. In my home life, I need more time taking action after I listen. As a procrastinator, I often hear what the people in my household need, but fail to meet those needs for various reasons. I hope to listen at home actively, and with intent.
Obviously you should pray about whatever decisions you make before you call them resolutions. You could also seek the counsel of someone wise you know or someone at church. I got a lot of my ideas from just watching people. Josh and Kirsten Spears taught me I needed to be a better host by inviting my family over for dinner, hosting City Group weekly, and doing all of it with genuine acts of love. Really, when it comes down to it, ’tis the season (now anyway) to be making resolutions. My advice is not to do it just because the cool kids are doing it; do it because you want to resolve to make a difference for yourself, your church, and others. Do it only because you are making a firm decision to make a personal change. Remember this, if you don’t resolve to make a change on New Year’s it isn’t the end of the world. The perpetual cycle of mistakes and sin (at least I make plenty of them, not sure about you) will provide you with enough resolution reminders during the course of the 2015. You’ll have plenty of time to take your pick.