My Goals for 2021
I've never really been one for new year's resolutions. I, like most people, have found them difficult or impossible to keep. At the same time, I am a very organized, goal-driven person. I appreciate having something to strive after and get a lot of satisfaction from checking things off my list. I don't think that's always a positive trait, but it does keep me focused. In January of 2017, I rethought resolutions and wrote down five things that I hoped to do every day. In the last four years, I have not felt a need to add to or edit this list:
- Pray first
- Read the Bible intentionally
- Exercise for at least 15 minutes
- Engage creativity (through music, writing, etc.)
- Eat mindfully
I'm not going to pretend that I've been consistent with all of these during those four years. There have been seasons of various lengths when some or all of them have fallen by the wayside. But they have been helpful guideposts for the structure of my daily life. They have also scratched the resolution itch very effectively each January.
Admittedly, I do have a couple of other goals that I'd like to accomplish in 2021. This blog is helping me to regain my writing habit post-seminary, and I hope to recover recreational reading, as well. I'm aiming to finish half a dozen books or so, nothing too crazy. Amanda and I would like to visit the rest of the parks in our fantastic Metro Parks system and have already hit two new ones in the past week. I want to dig back into my Greek and Hebrew study and continue building those mental muscles. These aren't the loftiest goals - just priorities that will shape how I use my time in 2021. Ultimately, though, I won't be mad if they don't get done. As long as I'm doing well with the five items above, I feel like my internal compass is well-aligned.
Resolutions hold out the hope that a single, relatively easy decision can trigger lifelong discipline and behavior change. There are certain situations where that does happen, but our collective experience tells us that they are rare. More often, lasting change comes through small adjustments put into practice over long periods. In time, these adjustments can add up to something greater than the sum of their parts. That has certainly been my experience with my five daily practices, and I'm excited to continue them in 2021.