Starting Again

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Here we go again! It’s a brand new year and everyone we know seems to be wishing us a Happy New Year and talking about New Year’s Resolutions. How do you feel about them? Personally, I hate them with a passion!

Setting myself up for inevitable failure by promising to adhere to a list of distant goals never seems in my best interest. There’s enough failure in a writer’s world. I don’t need to look for more. A solemn hand-over-the-heart, I-promise-to-do-this resolution feels like a rock around my neck – a very big one – weighing me down. I’m doomed before January 2nd arrives. Far be it from me to dissuade you, of course, if New Year’s Day motivates you.  But I’ll have no solutions to offer if, at the end of January, you’re frustrated by defeat.

I stopped in at K.M. Weiland’s blog recently and found her thinking along the same line:

“How many times have you made a list of resolutions in January,” she says, “only to have misplaced them, forgotten about them, or just plain given up on them before the month was out? This year, instead of making a complete list of writing resolutions for the whole year, try implementing one new resolution every month.”

If you’re determined to have resolutions, that sounds like a fine compromise – a way to be realistic about the desire to have achievable goals and actually reach them. – and she includes a set of twelve writing-related resolutions to help. Do click on over there to read them when you’re done here.

One of the few good things coming out of all the talk about resolutions is the sharing of goals. Once we’ve told someone about ours, there seems to be more of a personal obligation to stick with them. That’s one reason why I don’t usually share mine.

I do have goals, of course, but I’m flexible about them. I intend to do my best to reach them, although it will take more than promises at the beginning of January to get me there.  Recognizing that I’m not in complete control of my destination is important. That’s in God’s hands. Only making a start on the journey is in mine.

I’m not sure why we think a new year is the best time for major re-evaluation and rededication. Any new day works for me. I may change directions or renew my journey often. If I falter today, I’ll start again tomorrow.

So, yes, for now I think I’ll stick to my plan of keeping current goals to myself, but I will share the two verses that I’m adopting for reinforcement as I pursue them:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” [Jeremiah 29:11]

“Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” [Psalm 62:2]

Blessings to all of you as you step into this new year of promise and potential. May it be a year filled with enriching experiences, achievement and rewards.

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What does the New Year mean for you?

What’s your approach to making resolutions or setting goals?

~  ~  ~

NOTE: The promised update regarding Jimmy Rankin’s guitar contest has been added to the bottom of the original post, here.

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11 thoughts on “Starting Again

  1. davidebright says:

    Jeremiah 29:11 – Really needed that verse today.

    Have never been one to make resolutions.

    • careann says:

      Sometimes it’s hard to “let go and let God”, to trust that he has a plan for our lives when they seem to be hurtling off full speed into the unknown. I’d like to know what that plan is, but He seems to be telling me to use the brains He gave me to do my part, and have faith that He will do the rest. Our son and his family are facing some major life changes and are having to lean heavily on that verse, too.

  2. Katt says:

    I love one of the old hymns, Trust and Obey—–I think that’s my resolution this year— no plans at all—-Just Trust and Obey——-

  3. Jenn Hubbard says:

    Happy New Year!
    I do love the “clean new page” feeling of January 1. But it exhausts me to read all the lists of resolutions out there–dozens and dozens of projects and goals. I am already so busy, I always resolve to slow down and do less. So it’s like an “un-resolution.”
    😉

    • careann says:

      I wonder if it’s human nature to think we have to be extraordinarily productive to be successful. Slowing down allows us time to focus on the important things, so I like your un-resolution!

  4. I am SO with you on this one, Carol. No resolutions for me. A word for the year, though, that I am trying this year. And a few goals, but they’re tenuous and flexible. Hope your year is a good one, Carol, filled with reminders of God’s love and grace.

    • careann says:

      I like the “word for a year” concept because, when I find the right one, it’s applicable to different aspects of my life. Last year I changed my choice part way through, to “focus”, because I found I was bouncing from one goal to another and not really making progress on any of them. Focusing on one thing at a time was a good thing for me.

  5. Shari Green says:

    I’ve always loved that Jeremiah verse — a good one to remember!

    I’m thinking my only resolution this year is to be good to myself. Perhaps I’ll reflect on that a bit and then blog about it this afternoon…. 😉

  6. joylene says:

    I want to feel healthier and have more energy. I’m tired of being tired. So, I’ll have to admit to a NY’s resolution this year. Didn’t have one last year. But I really really want to feel healthy and strong. And raring to go.

    Happy New Year, Carol. And best to Bob.

  7. Lynn says:

    Hi Carol, I am not one to set definite resolutions anymore. Gave that up years ago but what I do is set goals. It doesn’t feel as defeating to not meet them, I think because with a goal you can get somewhere near it and still succeed in some form. With a resolution you either do it or you don’t, and that seems too rigid for me. 🙂 So my goals are to read lots, write more .. which includes getting manuscripts pulled together for children’s books. Not sure how I will manage with all that life entails for me now, but I am going to try.
    May you have a richly enjoyable goal fulfilling year. 🙂 Blessings

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