This post originally appeared on Janet Sketchley’s blog, Tenacity.
Can you believe it? In a little less than a month, it will be 2020. Does that sound as futuristic to you as it does to me? (Maybe I’m just showing my age. <grin>)
I like to make plans for the new year at the end of November.
Here are six reasons to do so:
- Making New Year’s resolutions has a built-in expectation of failure. Let’s face it, most resolutions get tossed aside before the end of January.
- If we leave planning until the end of the year, we don’t feel as if we have as much time to fine-tune our plans with January 1 looming before us.
- We may feel pressured by all the yearend advertising. Join this gym. Buy this discounted bundle online. (Guilty.) Make this the year you do … (I’m sure you can fill in the blank with any number of things.)
- If we “test run” our resolutions next month, we can do so with a minimal number of onlookers. (Hey, even the gyms are less crowded in December.)
- And if we start in December, we can see what works and what may be best set aside. But don’t forget to give yourself grace since many of us are especially busy during the holiday season.
- And if you’re just coming off the writing high of trying to pump out 50,000 words in November (NaNoWriMo), you may feel as if you can conquer the world. Why not start before the feeling fade? (I will be away for part of the weekend. A dear friend’s mother passed away this past week, and the service is on Saturday. However, I’m hoping to hit 50K before getting on the road. It would be the first time ever.)
Many of us choose a word for the coming year. And if we’re Christians, we may feel the Lord has laid something on our heart. That is the case for me this year. I believe 2020 is to be my personal year of contentment, which is not to be confused with complacency.
So, just how can our Word of the Year line up with our List of Goals? (Notice, I didn’t call them resolutions.)
Here are six of my goals, all of which should lead to greater contentment. (Hint: It’s best to frame goals as positive statements. Negative ones just make us feel as if we’ve failed up to this point.)
- If you know me, you realize I am eclectically interested and eclectically involved. Call it the Oo, Shiny Syndrome, the Butterfly Syndrome (I have a tendency to flit from one thing to the next to the next), or just call it Oh, Squirrel! Regardless, my goal is to focus more on the task(s) at hand and only pursue something new if I’ve thought it through and maybe, just maybe, set something else aside. (That is almost painful to commit to. Who says we can’t spin two dozen plates at the same time?)
- Narrowing my focus means it’s far more likely than I can do some of those things I’ve been planning for years, things like publishing a novel and a nonfiction book. There, I’ve said it. I won’t only be content if I birth these two book babies, I will be ecstatic.
- Between a gym membership, online fitness site memberships, and the DVDs I have on hand, there is no reason I can’t be stronger and healthier by the end of 2020 than I am now. That plus the fact that I actually like to exercise. Yes, I am one of those weird people.
- Hand in hand with getting more exercise is the importance of eating a nourishing diet. To all of you who do, kudos! Really! By the end of 2020, I want to be consistently eating more healthfully. I’m not committing to perfection, whatever that may mean, but the more I eat healthy foods, the more I want to do so. I already know that. It’s just a matter of putting the knowing into practice—and using all those fancy gadgets and cookbooks I’ve purchased, hoping they’ll motivate me to do better.
- My To Be Read (TBR) pile is monumentally high. Plus, several of my favourite authors will be releasing new books that I will be tempted to buy over the next 12-13 months. Contentment doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t buy some of these books, but it does mean I will deliberately get to some of those books I have neglected far too long.
- And speaking of books, I have numerous versions of the Scriptures—and access to the others online. While I will be using some of the Bible study tools I have on hand, I don’t need anything more than my Bible to grow in my faith over the coming year. The plan is to focus more on reading God’s Word than being distracted by all the shiny study resources that are sure to come to my attention.
So, what about you? Do you have a word for 2020? Have you set some goals for yourself? I’d love to hear about it.
May 2020 overflow with the very richest of blessings!
Steph Beth Nickel is always chasing the next shiny opportunity. In 2020, she plans to focus more on writing, editing, and publishing, all the while, developing contentment.