Wednesday 27 December 2006

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions:

I tend not to be the kind of person to make New Year's resolutions. In part, it is because I live on school time. With three terms a year, I tend to review my goals at the end of a term and set new ones at that time. I also do a monthly personal accountability and set mini goals each month, based upon my success in the last month in each of the areas of body, mind and spirit. (See Accountability Chart)

This year, however, is different. I usually read for 2 hours a day. Now, in the last month alone, there were 3 days where I did not get any reading time in. With the accountability sheet I have developed, I make major changes each year - drop items that are no longer needed and become habits, or add items that are new priorities for me.

The other thing I do is journal - usually at the beginning of each term - so about 3 times a year. I journal based on questions from a Science Fiction show called Crusade which was a spin off of Babylon 5. Each episode of Crusade began with a series of questions being asked by the narrator to the Captain. They were:

  • Why are you?
  • What do you want?
  • Who do you trust?
  • Who do you serve?
  • Where are you going?
I find by taking a page in my journal and spreading these 5 down the margin and then answering them a few times a year, I can usually keep my focus and goals in sight.

I find that as I get older, I really like lists. I have quite a few of them that I use in various forms and means. The daily goals I have been using as guidelines for living are:

  1. To get enough sleep.
  2. To eat right & exercise daily.
  3. To refuse to be a perfectionist.
  4. To carefully control finances.
  5. To ask for help when needed.
  6. To pray and read the Bible daily.
  7. To not pressure self into planning entire life today.
And then there are principles to live by, which I got from a book by Dr. James Macdonald, which are as follows:

Eight Principles to Live Your Life by:
  1. I will do all things as unto the lord.
  2. I will live in the light of the judgment seat of Christ.
  3. I will consider my weaker brother in all I do.
  4. I will do nothing unless I'm sure that it's right to do.
  5. I will do all things to the glory of my God.
  6. I will avoid what may appear wrong even if I know it's not.
  7. I will abstain from things that could enslave me.
  8. I will seek always to do what I believe Jesus would do.
With these three sets of guiding questions or goals, I have been fairly happy with my progress so far.

However a lot of that changed this year. This is the first time I have been off work for more than a year since I was 13. I have worked fulltime since I was 16 and this is such a change for me. I have tried to use my time well; I have tried to volunteer more, spending more time on Campus, writing for Imprint and doing other stuff on campus. This year I have read 200 books, which is the most since back in high school. I tend to average about 125 a year. But my life is changing. I am heading into my 4th year of married life, and we have a 15-week old baby now. Life really changes with children.

I used to think I knew about love, being married and having many great friends. Yet when I hold Abby and look into her small face and see her looking up at me, I feel love and responsibility in a whole new way and level.

So what does all of this have to do with New Year's resolutions? Well this year I am making some. Since I have been off work 16 months with an injury, and just had surgery 10 weeks ago, I have gained over a 1/4 of my pre-injury body weight. I have set the goal of losing 50 lbs by the end of June to get back to where I was before the injury. I can now use the treadmill again for exercise, and though there is still often pain, it is not as bad as before the surgery. I am also setting the goal of reading to Abby every day. I would also like to try to write an article for at least every other issue of Imprint and make at least every other production night.

I have just sold my first article to a US newspaper and would really like to work on the craft of writing this term. In the last year and a half, I have published over 50 book reviews and articles in 5 different publications. This year I want to try to publish in a few more publications but care less about the volume.

My goals are to be a good man, a good husband and a good father. I think the activities listed above - the journaling, staying healthy in body, mind and spirit - will help those goals. I want to be a better friend to the people in my life. I want to give back for all the blessings that have been poured out upon me. So yes, this year I will be setting some New Year's resolutions. I will let you know how it goes.

Related Posts:
New Year's Resolutions 2007
New Year's Resolutions 2008
Michale L. Davenport on The Importance of Goals
New Year's Day 2010
Handbook 2010

Other Articles Examining Who I Am:
Mad Celtic Warrior, Poet and Priest! - An Essay - 2003
The Journey of a Quester! - An Essay / Spiritual Biography 2004
New Year's 2006
Who Am I? Who Am I? -2008
Confessions of a Bibliophile #5 - How I Became a Bibliophile, From Dyslexic to Addict - 2009
New Year's Goals 2010
Steven R. McEvoy Interview - 2012
2014 My Goals

Who I Am - 2014

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