A New Year’s Resolution Revolt
By Beth K. Vogt
Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?
I didn’t. I abandoned the annual tradition of writing down personal goals several years ago. New Year’s resolutions were more frustrating than fulfilling. What were my chances of success when I lost my list of dos and don’ts by the end of January?
Then I heard about focusing on a word for the year. One word. Surely I could keep track of a single word for 365 days.
A life-changing New Year’s tradition began four years ago. As I prayed and read the Bible each fall, God revealed new words for each year:
Centering my attention – my prayers, my Bible reading – on one word for 12 months has produced tangible personal change.
- The year I emphasized “gratitude,” my glass-half-empty view of life overflowed when I kept daily lists of what I was thankful for.
- The word “contentment” translated into “Be happy with what you have” – and decreased my impulse buying.
- “Simplify” coincided with a year-long illness forcing me to let go of supposedly must-do priorities.
- This past year, I focused on forgiveness. This 11-letter word challenged me to more fully understand how to forgive those who’ve wounded me.
Unlike me, maybe you could find your list of New Year’s resolutions in seconds – and you’re off to a good start at keeping them. Consider looking over your list and asking: Can I distill all my goals down to one word?
Maybe you’re fretting about not having a list – or the fact that you’ve already lost you’re oh-so-carefully written out 2013 aspirations. Sometimes a mom’s best intentions – even the ones carefully written down – get lost in the busy-ness of caring for family, juggling schedules, looking for that ever-fleeting moment of quiet.
Take a deep breath and let the resolution requirement go. Pick a word. One word.
You've got plenty of time. Take a moment to think about one focus that you would like to stay on this year. Maybe your word hides within a Bible passage. You’re also welcome to adopt one of my previous words.
No pressure. After 26 years of active duty as a mom, I understand that motherhood comes with enough pressures. The demands of motherhood can weigh you down. And sometimes your desires for improvements – no matter how beneficial – can weigh you down too. Looking back, I realize oftentimes the heavy burdens I carried weren't ones Jesus asked me to pick up. Nope. They were ones that I lugged around because of my unrealistic standards for myself as a wife, a mom, a woman.
It’s a New Year. Pick a word. You’ll be amazed how a single word can change you in the next 12 months.
Beth K. Vogt and her husband experienced a double-dose of parenthood – three children in their 20s and a surprise fourth in their 40s. The author of “Baby Changes Everything: Embracing and Preparing for Motherhood after 35,” Beth edits Connections and is a regular contributor to MOMSense Magazine.