Today’s blog is not about New Year Resolutions, or what resolutions you should make or I might make. No, we’re not quite that far along yet. New Year’s Day is still on the horizon. Today’s Fresh Greenbean wants you to think about what categories of your life you will make resolutions about when the big day comes; when the odometer of life rolls over, when the calendar page is torn off.
- Category One: Health
With each passing day I become more keenly aware that good health is not something which is a guarantee. It is more like a fragile plant that must be nurtured. I would recommend at least one resolution for 2011 which involves being healthier in the coming year. A part of this category is safety. Consider resolving to walk through your home or workspace and evaluate possible safety problems like slippery staircases, tetanus traps, or loose electrical plugs. Maybe resolve to evaluate your health insurance or life insurance. That is always a good idea.
- Category Two: Finances
Even if your finances are in good shape it is a good idea to make resolutions based on money. Most people have changes in money situations with each new year anyway, and resolutions help us control our spending rather than have our spending control us. Within the area of finances there are three sub-categories: Giving, spending, and saving. As to giving, maybe this would be a good year to resolve to give 11% to your church instead of 10% (or, actually increase to the biblical concept of 10%), give money to some other charity, or identify someone you know that could use a little anonymous blessing. Spending is hard to change because so many bills are locked in or will increase. But one way to curb spending is with consumption. Over the past year I have tried to drive less, which is a spending decision because it involves less gasoline. Saving is usually understood as big dollar retirement or savings accounts. Those are important, but little things count too. Maybe resolve to put all your loose change in a jug at the end of everyday. You might be amazed at how much you save. Thrift is always in fashion.
- Category Three: Spirituality
This is the most important category. I sometimes have little control over how much money I make or how my health goes—people get fired and people get sick and bills go up and medicine is expensive. However, I and I alone can control the level of spirituality I attain. I would strongly recommend having at least two resolutions which are related to this eternal issue. These might revolve around small group participation, attendance, Bible reading, prayer, service and anything related to the greater spiritual growth.
As you prepare for making your resolutions, the total number is important. DO NOT MAKE TOO MANY RESOLUTIONS! Human beings cannot process too much change in our rhythm. How many is too many? More than 7 are too many. 5 might be too much. 3 are probably ideal.
Does that I mean I should have one resolution from each category? No, but it does mean we might want to think through our resolutions for maximum impact. For example, if I resolve to stop buying a designer coffee (venti white chocolate mocha, extra hot, with the works) every day and only every other day and give the $15-$20 I save to international missions, then I have made a do-able resolution that impacts all three. This gives you fewer calories (health), less spending (finances), and a spiritual decision (spirituality) all in one resolution.
Don’t write your resolutions just yet, for now, just think about the categories and what areas you’d like to change. Write your resolutions later after a little research.