Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Time for new year's resolutions...This is something I truly believe in. I had a mission president who taught us that if you make a resolution and WRITE IT DOWN it will happen. I am sure he used scripture accounts, etc... to back it up (which I can't remember) but I have found that what he said is true. I am so much more aware of my goals when I have written them down and have them visible. Its also a way to make it official. I also believe that it isn't necessarily a requirement to accomplish the goal(s) in the calendar year. I just think its a nice time to adjust and set new ones for those that have been accomplished. I knew one family in Colorado who kept the same list of resolutions every year and added to it. It had been going 20 years strong with some of the original goals still not finished and when they finished something they crossed it off but the list remained up on the wall with anything that hadn't yet been done. I liked that idea. I have never put it into practice though. That same mission president also gave us (the missionaries) the assignment to make several (I think it was four) goals for four different categories. Based on the scripture about Jesus "increas[ing] in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man..." Our four categories were knowledge, physical (my goal was to grow one inch taller), spiritual and social. I have done this ever since I was a missionary. That's ten years. I can say it works better if you write it down.
Along the same lines, when I was in college one of my favorite teachers gave a talk at a church devotional once and he said that he had tested his own will power many times just to improve it. We are all natural [men] and have temptations...The scripture that says "put off the natural man" had become a crusade for him. So he tested himself. He said he once stood in a chalk circle on his driveway for (I don't know...an hour or two) just to resist the natural man who would have walked away after ten minutes. So if you set a goal, work hard to resist the temptation to walk away and instead achieve it.
Anyway, I have realized in the last couple years that there are other categories that can also be added to the four. I also sometimes have a family goal even if I am the one who thought of it and mostly executes it...I put that into a different category or sub-category. And yes, I do actually write them down in categories and sub-categories...of course. I have officially added the categories: financial, personal (for just me since I am now five people), family and house. Simply because I don't know where save money for big items or re-do the bathroom falls under the original four...ya know?
Last year I had a huge list of goals...I only accomplished two...BUT the thing about the two I did accomplish is that one of them required great self control which I maintained and the other one was the one I thought would never happen...we got a house! So I am satisfied with the others and have them to try again for this year.
Well, that's my sermon on the benefits of making and keeping new year's resolutions. Hope you have a great year in 2008.