I kept my 2016 resolutions . . . but the results weren’t quite what I expected.
I had very high hopes for 2016. For the first time ever, I was being extremely intentional with my life and I was making massive changes. My main resolutions at the beginning of 2016 were to:
- Make a career change
- Read through the Bible in the year
- Minimize my personal belongings
- Cut out things that waste time and focus on what matters most
And for the first time ever, I really stuck to my resolutions.
I quit my company that I had had for years – I let all my clients go by the end of May. I walked away from a large source of revenue in order to cut down on stress and give myself a less crazy schedule.
I read through the Bible and used the SOAP method to journal (most days) outlined in the Divine Mentor. I just finished Revelation yesterday morning!
I did a massive purge following Marie Kondo’s supposedly Life-Changing Magic.
By the end of the year I was finally off Facebook after many attempts.
And I really thought 2016 was going to be amazing. That with these massive changes I thought I would start 2017 a new person with a completely new life.
It’s been a little like our trip to the Dominican Republic – lots of planning but the outcome wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for.
I’m still trying to figure out my job – and how to use my strengths in my job. I’m not used to not being the boss. I’m used to calling the shots and making my own schedule. The adjustment it much harder than I imagined. And where I thought I was going to be changing the world on a daily basis, mostly I’m still trying to figure out how to maneuver the organization’s database.
And for all the purging and the massive garage sale we held in June, my house is still a mess. This was my kitchen when I went downstairs to reheat my day-old coffee. I am sure Marie Kondo would be appalled. This wasn’t her vision when she said everything should have its place . . . and the magic didn’t seem to work on me.
I still struggle as a parent and a wife. It is a daily struggle. I fail and get back up. Fail and get back up.
So what did I learn in 2016 . . . and what I am still learning?
- The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. And regardless of the color of the grass – whether it is green or brown – I’m what ultimately needs to change. A change in circumstance can be a good thing. But an internal change in me is what is going to make the difference in how I see and experience the grass, regardless of the color.
- Having less stuff is freeing in ways, but it is also time-consuming and a never-ending process. If you think my kitchen is bad you should see the pile of crap in my bedroom. The lack of stuff or the accumulation of stuff won’t make or break me. It is more about how I view my material possessions. Am I living for stuff (whether it is the accumulation or the minimization)? Or am I living for what really matters – God, People, Loving Others, etc?
- Does God care about what I do for a living? Yes, I think he does. He cares about if I am doing my work (regardless of what it is) for his glory and that I am putting him first. He cares if I am seeking his will and following it. He cares about my priorities and what is in my heart.
Colossians 3:23 (NIV): Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV): Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 16:9 (NIV): In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
So do I regret making very intentional changes in 2016 and sticking to my resolutions? Absolutely not. Reading through the Bible in 2016 was the most serious spiritual discipline I’ve ever accomplished, and I hope it is just the beginning of a life-long dedication to daily Bible reading and application.
And for all the other changes – only time will tell how they shape my future and future generations. I’d rather be intentional than not, but I also need to keep in mind that results might not be apparent for years to come. And some actions won’t have the results I hoped for at all.
And as I kicked of 2017 with my morning devotions I read:
Philippians 1:6 (NIV): being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
A very comforting thought as I begin to prepare to write my 2017 Resolutions. And even more so a reminder, that whatever I plan to do, I need to make sure the Lord is the one establishing my steps.