Promises to Myself

I make a lot of commitments and promises to myself: I will go to bed at 9:30pm, I will get up before my DD (dear daughter), I will eat better, I will drink 90 ounces of water a day, I will do my bedtime routine every night, etc. I find that I am absolutely terrific at making those promises to myself. Often, I will sit and think them through and follow goal setting guidelines like SMART. The problem is, in practice and application, I often do not keep those promises. I have a lot of words and little action; ideas, but not applications.

Tonight, I was fed up with that. I saw myself starting down that same path that would lead me to going to bed very late. I was avoiding doing what I knew needed to be done, namely clearing the table, wiping the high chair, picking up or vacuuming the dining room and then beginning my bedtime routine. I caught myself just piddling on the computer at 7:55pm. I said to myself “NO! I’m done! I will do what I promised myself.” Fast forward exactly eighteen minutes. I was still sitting at the computer. I was disgusted with myself. “Am I not important enough for me to keep promises to?” I thought. I realized that that was a ridiculous thought! Seriously! If I make a serious promise to myself, I should consider myself important enough to keep that promise.

So, I got up and I did what I needed to do! You know, I have honestly had a really rough day, and it has even been a really rough week for me. I am emotionally and mentally exhausted. But, getting up and getting my housework finished up (which took less than 1/2 hour!) showed me two things. One, my cabinets and drawers are full. My silverware drawer was overflowing, and my plates and bowls are stacked so high. I have so much for which to be thankful. I was reminded of the verse in Ephesians 3 that talks about God being able to exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. And I was so struck by my overflowing silverware that I just had to thank God for my exceeding and abundant amount of silverware that He has given me.

I know that is so silly, but it really changed my attitude. I kept telling God today that my attitude was just downright rotten and I needed Him to change it. Finally, at the end of the day, my attitude is different. I’m going to start my week off with a grateful heart attitude. I hope that I carry it through this week. But, also I hope that this week, I’ll get up and keep my promises to myself, because, it was keeping my promise to myself that God used give me the silverware sign.

 

How I make my New Year’s Resolutions

Two kinds of people live in this world. Those who use the word want correctly, and those who say want when they really mean wish. You see, a lot of people say “I want to do that” or “I want to be like that” or some form thereof. However, most of those people never take action on what they wish to attain. I propose that those people only wish they could have the outcome without all the work to realize their goal. People who truly want something will chase after it, do the work and make any changes necessary.

I have had to evaluate all of my New Years Resolutions in this way. Do I really want what I wrote down? Or is it simply a wish? When I went through and began the process of making action steps to be paired with each resolution, I would often come to an action step that about which I was hesitant. I would contemplate the original resolution; do I really want that result? Is this action really necessary to achieve that result.

I have always said I wanted to learn 7 languages in my lifetime. This year, I decided that I wanted to start learning Spanish. When I was thinking about how I would go about learning Spanish, I came up on the opportunity to meet up with a group within 20 miles of my house in order to speak Spanish. While I know this type of thing is essential for learning the language, I really balked at the thought of going and speaking Spanish, a language I barely know, among strangers. So I thought about it. Is learning languages something I really want or is it just a wish for the ability without the will for the work involved?

So, how do I make my New Year’s Resolutions? First off, I have a few go-to categories that I always have some sort of resolution. The first one is any type of resolution regarding my walk with God. The second category of my resolutions is always nutrition and fitness. I evaluate each of those areas of my life and see what kind of action I can take in those areas. Then, I tend to pick different things that I want to do or to improve in my life and make a goal from there. I do try to follow the SMART acronym when I am making goals and planning how to carry them out.

Another thing that I am changing this year that I am going to do in order to help me carry out my resolutions is simply to re-evaluate where I am at in my particular goals and plan for specific steps that month.

Lastly, I try to look at my goals and see if they really matter in light of eternity. I know that this world and the things in it will pass away. I want my life to focus on things that make an eternal impact. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 says:

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

When I was growing up, the pastor of our church talked about how we can use our lives to build with wood, hay and stubble, or with gold, silver and precious stones. So, when I make my resolutions, I want to keep those verses in mind. I want to be building with gold, silver and precious stones so I can receive a reward.