5 New Year's Resolutions to Have As a Woman of Christ
Happy New Year
By Amanda Idleman, Crosswalk.com
New Years is one of my favorite times to pause and reflect on what the Lord is doing in my life. Over the past few years, I’ve learned that remembering is a really important theme in the Bible. Right now, we are studying Exodus, and it’s truly amazing how quickly the Israelites forget what God had done for them. But if we are honest, we lose sight of God’s blessings pretty quickly too! New Years is a built-in reminder to give thanks and ask God what he has for me in this next year of life.
For me, this time looks like spending time in prayer, reflecting on themes I felt God put on my heart over the past year, and journaling to both write what God has done as well as brainstorm what I feel he is leading me toward in the upcoming months. Really over the entire month of December, my heart is focused on thanksgiving and anticipation. Our family observes advent by reading a daily devotional and praying together for the four weeks leading up to Christmas. This helps to center my mind on the work of the Lord and prepares me to hear God’s voice for my life.
During this season, I seek God for a word for my life, a verse that I can lean on for the next year, and practical goals I feel led to work towards. These simple ideas given to me by the Holy Spirit help ground me and keep me focused over the many ups and downs we experience over the course of a year. I love going back the following December and seeing how God used those words, verses, and goals to grow me. This past year my verse was Nehemiah 8:10, “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” God has given us so much joy this past year as we’ve found out that our foster son will be our forever son. While the waiting has been challenging, God’s joy has been present in every step of the journey! God is so faithful.
Here are some ideas for goals you may want to consider for this new year:
1. Set a Spiritual Goal
A dynamic and committed faith only grows when we commit to spiritual discipline. For most, this looks like finding a rhythm that helps you connect with God regularly. The Sacred Pathways Assessment is one tool you can use to help you determine how you best connect with the Lord. Some of us connect more with God through nature, others through regular times of prayer and reflection; we may connect with God through creative expression, through liturgy, or by being in a worship service. Knowing where you experience God’s presence best helps you learn how to lean into your relationship with the Lord.
Some of my goals have been to spend more time outside walking or hiking. In these quiet outdoor moments, I feel I pray my best prayers and feel God’s beauty around me. I love worship music, so I am committing to be more intentional about having it on in our home during the day. It’s harder to be grumpy and impatient if praise is in the background. I’m a huge fan of Community Bible Study, but I don’t always actually complete my study at home during the week. I want to be more intentional about actually fully utilizing this great resource.
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2. Set Relational Goals
We are made for community! God not only wants to encourage us through our relationships but also to use us to bless others. One of the top places I focus on setting relational goals is in my marriage. Being intentional about how I love my husband is always something I need to improve. Life is so busy it’s too easy for our marriage to become disconnected.
Thinking of how we want to invest in our children, grandchildren, and other family members is helpful too. As a mom of five kids, I am praying God will help me see how I can make sure I make space to connect with each of my kids so no one gets lost in the chaos!
Friendships have so much value. My friends hold me up when I am weathering storms. I can safely share my fears, concerns, and joys with them! They add so much richness and joy to my life. As I think about what I want to invest in this New Year, I want to think of how God is calling me to be a good friend. How can I make sure I am supporting my friends as they support me? How can I bless them with gifts and encouragement? I want them to know how thankful I am for them!
3. Set Health Goals
Your health and wellness MATTERS to the Lord. Your body is a temple. Our bodies require constant investment in order for us to remain well. The older I get, the more fragile I realize my body is! It’s a lot of work to have a body.
When thinking about health, consider more than your weight goals. I encourage you to think about how you can better manage stress, sleep more, move your body more, and fill yourself with more nourishing whole foods. If you focus on cultivating wellness, typically things like weight loss follow.
Some of my health goals look like taking weekly walks, adding morning workouts, avoiding sugar, and adding a day of fasting into my routine. Do what feels manageable and good for your well-being!
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4. Set Financial Goals
Money matters because how we use it reflects what we value most. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” If we are honest, living free from the love of money is not easy. Money makes our lives easier, and the more we have, the more we tend to want. Being a good steward of what God gives us is a huge part of ensuring our hearts remain pure regarding money.
For our home, we try to think about how we are planning on giving each month, what we hope to save, and make sure we have a set budget so we are aware of our ongoing expenses. Sitting down with your partner or a financial advisor are good ways to ensure that you are on the same page when it comes to money. God calls us to be abundantly generous with all we have, so committing to giving regularly is one way to honor God with your possessions.
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5. Set a Faith Goal
A faith goal is something you feel God is leading you to set out in faith towards! It’s an intentional step of obedience toward what you feel God has for you. This faith goal could look like a job change, a family change, a church change, a ministry change, or just a heart change. It’s just a place in your life you know God wants to do something bigger than you in. Our faith goals have been centered around foster care for the past few years. Growing our family this way has been a stretching adventure! Each season God has stretched us in different ways, and it’s been a joy to see how our obedience has blessed our family.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 says, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” This is such a wonderful reminder that we are striving towards things that may go against what our culture says is most important. Our lives are to be lived in service to the Lord! We are not to live our days aimlessly, without purpose, but we need to embrace self-control. May God inspire and guide you as you prepare for this new year!
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