Fresh Snow, Fresh Year

Today, as I write this, it is Monday, January 1, 2018. I don’t know about you, but I love a new year. I like it more than the end of a year. This is evident as I went to bed at 11:00 pm last night on December 31, 2017 because quite simply I was tired. I know that might sound lame to some, but for me it was the perfect evening. Sure, I celebrated. My family and I had a nice meal and we watched a Christmas movie, but by the end all I wanted was the comfortable bed I’m sleeping on. The older I get the more I crave nights like last night. I want cozy evenings in pajamas, eating yummy food, watching a movie with a warm beverage and a soft blanket. And rare are the days when I want to be out at some exciting party where I’ll come home past midnight. It’s interesting how the things we want can change with time.

Since my bedtime yesterday was 11:00 pm, I woke up today at 7:45 am. I purposely did not set an alarm but after getting at least 8 hours of good sleep my body was ready for the start of a brand-new day and a brand-new year. I made my bed, pulled open my Bible and journal and as I spent time with God I kept looking out the window at the fresh snow on top of the roof of the next-door neighbor’s house. The sky was clear and bright and I said to God, I want my faith this year to be like fresh snow. I want my faith to be pure and to sparkle like the snow does in the sun’s light. Our lives only truly sparkle when we are living them in the ways of the Son.

I don’t believe in making new year’s resolutions because I inevitably break them, but I am a big believer in setting goals. A resolution is more definite; doing or not doing something. However, a goal is something that one can work toward; a target, a plan, a purpose. And since I don’t believe that change has to happen overnight, rather sometimes it can require time. Setting goals leave me feeling excited, and encouraged. I’m the dreamer type, which is wonderful in many ways, but I can also have a hard time with the follow-through. But I love that I serve a God who believes in fresh starts and what better time than a new year to dream and write out some goals. I’m going to share five of them here with you. Maybe they will inspire you to take some time to pen some out or type some out for yourself.

Goals for 2018

  1. Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night. I started this during the holidays and I’m feeling great.
  2. Find more recipes for salads. I actually like salads but I find that I always make the same three. I need variety so I will eat more vegetables.
  3. Read more. I’m going to try to read a book per week but if that becomes unrealistic because of my schedule I will change it to three or two books a month.
  4. Apart from daily quiet time with God, I’m going to take a day alone with God every couple of months to do some serious seeking, praying, journaling, walking, reading, sermon listening, etc. I did this when I lived in Panama and it was refreshing.
  5. Do some sort of physical activity every day even if that just means stretching or taking a walk. I know myself and it wouldn’t be realistic for me to spend two hours at the gym every day so I’m going to stop feeling guilty if I don’t exercise every day for an hour. My goal is to move more so baby steps it is! I want feel better physically but also whatever it is I decide to do.

Remember, that your goals can be small or big. Make them realistic and/or add steps to how you plan to accomplish them. Tell a friend so you can have accountability. And if you fall behind or simply fall off the wagon, that’s okay. Pick yourself up and try again. Give yourself some grace. It is never too late to try to improve and grow as a human being. Remember life isn’t about the destination. It’s about the journey.