More than Resolutions

I've never been very good at making—much less keeping—New Year's resolutions. Oh, I'll give it a passing thought as I hear others talk about their resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with their kids, etc. However, I've learned over the years that many, if not most, of those people who made those resolutions never kept them for more than a few weeks. Don't believe me? Visit a local gym on January 2 and then again on February 16. See if you notice the difference!

What it comes down to for me is not so much about making yearly resolutions I won't keep as it is about digging in and doing the hard work to accomplish what needs to be accomplished—in other words, setting goals and accomplishing them.

At my annual physical, my doctor asked me how often I eat healthy, which he had never asked me before. After thinking a few moments, I gave him my answer. When I told him that I usually eat a healthy diet between 80–90% of the time, he was both shocked and pleased. Yes, there's still room for improvement. I could eat healthy 100% of the time, but I don't really see that happening. So, what do I do to reach those numbers? Well, I don't make a New Year's resolution about my diet or exercise each December 31; I just go about a daily plan to eat healthy and to stay in the best shape possible. I have a plan, and I work on my plan. I tend to set goals that I hope to accomplish—not just for the short-term, but also for years to come. And then, I don't stop when I set the goals; I establish ways to accomplish those goals.

Let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. For years my wife and I have talked about opening a consignment-type shop. We enjoy building crafty things, and we are always on the hunt for some "treasure" that can be re-purposed into something new. For years, we did little more than talk about it. Then, about this time last year, we put a plan into motion to open such a shop later in the spring or early summer. We began making items that could go into the shop. We began purchasing items we could resell. For a while, our house began to look like we were hoarders! In late spring, we opened our shop. Now, our goal is to keep it filled!

Now, if we'd only talked about opening a shop and never done anything to accomplish it, well, nothing would have ever been gained. But, when we began putting our talk into action, we were able to accomplish our long-term goal.

Much of the same can be said about our work in missions education. Maybe you've been talking about beginning a missions organization at your church. Maybe one of your groups needs to be divided into a couple of groups to allow better teaching time. Maybe you've planned to attend a statewide training opportunity. Maybe you've wanted to do any number of things in missions education. Well, as 2018 rolls around, now is the time for more action and less thinking about it. Talk with your pastor or church staff about that new organization that needs to be started or the groups that need to be divided. Find out more information about the statewide training you've always wanted to attend and then sign up for it. Get busy putting your plans into motion!

This year is waiting to be unpacked. Start today putting your plans into motion and finding new ways to serve God.


M. Steve Heartsill is terrible at making resolutions. He's a little better at making a list and checking it twice.


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