Ah, a fresh new year! There’s something about the beginning of a year that makes anything feel possible. Near the end of each year, I like to reflect on how it went, give thanks to God for another year of life, and begin to make a few goals for the coming year.
Typically, I split my goals into categories with titles like “life,” “fun,” and “spiritual” and list a few things I’d like to focus on in each category. For 2016, I did some thinking. I want to keep my goals simple instead of stretching myself in 20 different directions like I tend to do. When considering 2016, my knee-jerk reaction was to make goals to learn more about photography, decorate our house, make life special in little ways, go on a mission trip, visit downtown Pittsburgh more, and go on monthly date nights with Jimmy.
Just reading that makes me feel tired. All of those ideas are wonderful, and I may do some of those things in 2016, but I know where I want to keep my focus this year.
My goal for this year:
Know what I value and keep my priorities straight.
As a Christian, God should always come first in my life. That means serving Him, learning His Word and putting it into practice, attending church, and honoring my husband and our relationship. It is incredibly easy to let work, a house, hobby, social media, or even a person become an idol.
Last year, I noticed that I said yes to a lot of unnecessary things that burnt me out and left me with little of my best self to offer God. I was often tired, stressed out, and busy with things that weren’t truly important. Did I read my Bible, serve God, and go to church? Yes. Was my heart always in it and was I always present? Most of the time, but I could have done much better.
I struggle with taking on too much because I want to “be there” for everyone. I have trouble saying no to extra things that should come after honoring my relationship with God. Do I need to host that get-together, take on three extra pet sitting jobs, work as much as possible, and attend every. single. thing. I am invited to? Nope. I want to stop doing that this year. I don’t mean to say that I am going to become a recluse and not do anything, but I am going to truly analyze each commitment I make and decide if it lines up with my priorities and values.
I plan on asking myself questions like…
-Is this commitment absolutely necessary?
-Will it take me away from things that are more important?
-Will this commitment wear me out unnecessarily?
-Do I even want to do/attend this thing/event?
-Will this commitment stand in the way of my relationship with God, my husband, or myself?
-Is this going to make a positive impact on who I am and what I do for God, or will it hinder me and become negative?
Right now, 2016 is a fairly blank slate for me. For the most part, I know that I will be working, Jimmy and I will be getting a puppy(!), and we will be involved with our church. We would love to grow another garden, I’d like to write more, and we want to spend time with our families and friends.
So, those things are going to be my focus this year. Loving God, loving people, working hard, and not doing too much of the extra things that take me away from my priorities. It sounds simple, but can be hard to stick with in the moment.
Here’s to focusing on the important things in 2016!