A Different Kind of Resolution by Steph Beth Nickel

This time of year stirs us to make New Year’s resolutions. No matter what we call them, we feel compelled to create a list of goals for the 12 months ahead. And I’m no different. In fact, I love lists. They encourage me to evaluate what I’ve accomplished in the preceding year and what I want to accomplish in the shiny new year that lies before me.

But this year I’m doing things a little differently.

I’m reading Kevin DeYoung’s Crazy Busy and I’ve been challenged to set certain things aside. (This is a great little book and I highly recommend it to everyone who would consider themselves crazy busy. In fact, the subtitle is “A (mercifully) short book about a (really) big problem.”)

The book isn’t about time management, but following the principles laid out in its pages will definitely free up some time. And who doesn’t need that?

So, while my goals for 2017 may look like any list of resolutions, its foundation is built on what I won’t be doing. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t feel deprived. I feel exhilarated. If things go as planned—more or less because when do they really go as planned? But if I follow through, I will be more productive and more at peace. Now that’s something to strive for.

So what won’t I be doing?

1. I won’t be spending as much time on Facebook. Trust me; that will free up a lot of time.

2. I won’t be watching as much television. Although I haven’t really watched all that much over the past year, I can still do better. I find when I flop in front of the tube (a term from days gone by), the tiredness rushes in and my energy levels bottom out. Not good.

3. I won’t be leaving my schedule to sort itself out quite so much. Although I appreciate a flexible schedule—and will likely never follow an hour-by-hour To Do list—I need to be a little less loosey goosey.

I could do some fancy rewording of the list of things I want to accomplish to make them “I won’t” statements, but I won’t do that. Instead, below is a list of things I’m looking forward to doing in my newly found “free time.”

Read more.

I’ve already begun to do this. And boy do I love it! I forget how much I like to read until I pick up my stack of books and get at it. What? Read one book at a time? Don’t be silly.

Edit more.

This is one of those times I must stick to a schedule. I have the world’s most patient clients, but I don’t want to take advantage of their good nature.

Write more.

Deb and I have begun work on the follow-up to her memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances. We have given it the title Still Living Beyond My Circumstances. We hope to make a great deal of progress on the book over the next year.

I would also like to enter a number of contests, continue guest posting, and become more active on my blog and website.

And of course, I want to upload three devotionals to HopeStreamRadio each week. Thankfully, I’ll be re-recording the first series I wrote for HSR, which means I’ll be able to make a running start at 2017.

Publish more.

Rather than “publish more,” I could simply say, “publish.” I have a number of ebooks I want to assemble and get out into the world. The goal is to do so 2-4 times in the year ahead.

So how about you? Are there some things on your overcrowded To Do list that you can set aside to free up time to accomplish those things you keep putting off, those things you believe God is calling you to?

In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield says, “We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.” I don’t want to be guilty of this.

As the Bible says, let’s “redeem the time.” (See Ephesians 5:15-16.)

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