Saturday, January 2, 2016

Reflections on Resolutions



As one year draws to a close, and another begins, thoughts turn to resolutions. Goals are set, motivation is high, but often, after some time passes, resolve fades, and feelings of inadequacy are all that is left.  Sometimes the discouragement sets in even before resolutions are made!  Despite the inevitable failures, though, people seem compelled to seek self-improvement. As I've considered my own goals for this new year, I've realized that, left to my own devices, I could make unrealistic or even unimportant goals.  

Articles abound about how to write goals which are timely, measurable, etc. Even more important than how to write resolutions, though, is how to choose areas of improvement.  In my case, I have too many options!  How to choose? The answer comes in learning to listen--not to an audible voice, but to the whisperings that come to one's heart.  

Proverbs 3:5-6 applies:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Life is filled with change, and what might be relevant for me to do one day, might not be as crucial the next.  Making prayer and pondering part of the resolution process will help me pick goals that are important, and continued prayer and pondering helps me evaluate my progress and know when setting a new goal is needed.


Photo caption:  "You can pray to know His will, and with the honest desire to do whatever He asks you to do,  you will receive an answer.--Henry B. Eyring"

Once a goal is decided upon, the challenge of completing the goal begins.  I like to think of myself as a strong person, but I certainly have faults and weaknesses, and fall short of being who I want to be.  We all do.  Another Bible verse comes to mind:
 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.(Philippians 4:13) 
 If I have sought His help in coming up with my resolutions, He will surely help me achieve my goals.  But, because I am not perfect, I will stumble and fall. That's OK--it's part of the process. I can be patient with myself (and with others, who are also imperfect).  I can trust that the more closely I rely upon Him, the more I will recognize His help in my life, and realize that I am empowered by Him to accomplish much good.  

May I share one more scripture verse? This is Ether 12:27, from the Book of Mormon:
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
That verse sums up what I need to remember as I set goals:  pray, ponder, act in faith, and grow.  

Do you set New Year's resolutions?  What are your secrets to success?

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Thanks for continual opportunities to improve, and help from above to set and meet goals. 

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2 comments:

  1. I don't set resolutions but I do make goals and I think there is a difference. One of the things that helped me last year was to set up weekly email reminders just to make sure I was staying focused. It helped but it wasn't perfect and neither am I!

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    Replies
    1. Weekly email reminders is a great idea! Of course, I might need to set the reminders daily or hourly! :-)

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!