My eldest is wearing a t-shirt today that says “do more of what makes you happy!”
I actually only noticed it mid-morning and the funny thing was that I had just been thinking about New Year’s resolutions and I clicked!
People should spend more time following their interests.
I’m not talking about sinful interests here. I’m not saying that people who enjoy stealing things, should keep doing that. Or that you should keep lying if it’s something you actually like doing.
What I’m talking about is following our in-built passions and pursuits, following our creation design. In a sense it’s going to a deeper level of ourselves and finding our unique tapestry of features and talents, the things that make us tick.
After all, all of us have things that we enjoy doing. For some it’s painting, others gardening, others arts and crafts, others making music, others mechanics and engineering.
Most people have several interests and it’s the unique combination of those that sets us apart from each other. We really are very interesting, us humans!
My particular interests are reading and writing, teaching, nesting and looking after the home, and cooking (most of the time). I also enjoy walking in nature and visiting new places (oh how I miss travelling!).
Now that doesn’t mean that I think I should spend 100% of my time just doing what I enjoy. I believe God calls us as people to do things that we’re not so enthusiastic about too.
As adults, we also have responsibilities and commitments and these aren’t always pleasurable. But that doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t also do the things that He created me to do.
In essence, I’m honoring my creation design when I do those things.
New Year resolutions
But back to New Year’s resolutions! The way I see resolutions is that they are goals I make for myself of things I can control and that are my responsibility.
While it’s true that I would like to see my loved ones more in 2021, because that’s not entirely up to me or always possible due to external circumstances, I won’t include that in my list of resolutions.
What I will include are the things I can control up to a certain point.
So for this coming year, what are my resolutions?
Ok, I know this is the same resolution as last year but it really is important. In Stephen King’s memoir on writing, he emphasizes that reading needs to be a top priority for writers. I’ve always loved reading, so it’s not a hard thing to do in terms of enjoyment. I think the hard part is implementing the habit of getting a book out instead of looking at my phone in certain situations, like in a waiting room, or in the evenings, instead of TV.
So my goal for this year is to read 40 books. That’s double last year’s number! Can I do it?
The other thing I aim to do this year, is to invest more time in writing. Both Stephen King and Jerry Jenkins (one of my online mentors) emphasize the importance of routines, and schedules when you want to become a serious writer (i.e. a writer that doesn’t regard it as a hobby, but as work!). My goal for this year is to start off at 1000 words of writing four days a week. That means 4000 words a week! That’s a lot for me, considering all my other commitments and work. But if I’m to take this seriously, I know I need to make the time.
This will probably mean getting up earlier in the morning, and cutting back on some distractions like TV and social media. Actually, I need to use social media for this blog, but I guess I need to knuckle down and set a schedule and time limit for it. Otherwise, I get so carried away by the social media side of things, that I don’t spend enough time on the writing craft.
It’s not going to be easy having that kind of discipline, but I do have someone greater than me to help me along the way. 🙂
3. Healthy eating
I mentioned before that last year I started my healthy eating plan in the summer. What I didn’t mention was that in December we had some days off because of Christmas. We have gone back on the plan since then, but we will open up exceptions for new year’s eve and new year’s day. So my plan for 2021 is to start afresh in January for six days a week, with two off meals once a week. As we have three birthdays in January, I may need to adjust when those meals happen, but being organized will help me adjust and adapt along the way.
If you would like to do something similar, I’d just like to emphasize that healthy eating is not about restriction per se, it’s about focusing on the right foods. Yes, there is a certain amount of discipline involved at the beginning but your body really does get used to it and you stop craving the foods that don’t love you back!
Ok, this is a harder one for me. I really like walking and being active around the house, but I’m not a sporty person at all! So, when I say exercise, I don’t mean that I’m going to practise a sport. I just mean that I would like to increase the amount of exercise I do.
My goal is for one walk a day for thirty minutes or more, or 15 minutes of exercise in the house, if walking elsewhere is just not doable, due to lockdowns and the like.
5. Listening to music more
This may seem a strange goal to have, but the reason I’ve added it to my list is that it’s something I love doing, and yet sometimes I don’t think to do! Can you relate?
Listening to music when writing is actually really inspiring for me most of the time. So why on earth do I not remember to turn it on? The time is now!
How about you? Do you make new year resolutions? What are they? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
Need inspiration about uniqueness? Read how am I different to everyone else in the world?