Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I've never really made New Year's resolutions. I can't recall a single year when I made one, remembered it through the whole twelve months, and actually accomplished something about it by the end of December. Perhaps I didn't make resolutions because I was a little disillusioned, thinking that they didn't really work, and why do they have to be resolutions every new year? Why not just make resolutions throughout the year? Something like that. 
I still don't believe too much in New Year's resolutions--at least not as anything magical as I might be tempted to make them seem. Yes, I do believe that they can be useful, as in, the beginning of a new year is a convenient mark to begin implementing changes in one's life. But the changes can't happen all at once (though wouldn't that be nice?). It's slow. They'll take a while.

I am not articulating this as well as I hoped I would.

Anyway, I'm making New Year's resolutions and documenting them for the first time this year, because while they won't happen very quickly, at least it's a starting point. And starting points to slow change are better than not changing at all.

I want to draw closer to God.
This is my ultimate resolution for the year, the one that umbrellas over all the rest.
I had something of an emotional breakdown the other day, in which I basically realized that the way I'm living is all messed up--priorities, time management, and everything. It coincides with the fact that my spiritual life has been dry recently from neglecting to read the Word and neglecting to pray, among other things. I'm aiming to put my life back together in a structured way that optimizes my productivity for God's glory. And first things first, I need to put my Heavenly Father right in the middle of that structure. I need to know Him and learn to hear His voice, because without that, my soul will starve and search for fulfillment in all the wrong places.

In that vein, I want to read my Bible and pray every day.
The Bible is God's Word. The Bible is primarily how God speaks to me. Here, the living God is speaking, yet I so often forget to open these pages and listen to what He wants to say. If I want to know God, I've just gotta read my Bible! • THIS MEANS THAT ALL YOU READERS ARE GIVEN PERMISSION TO NAG ME AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE TO DO MY DEVOTIONS DAILY. IN FACT, I ASK YOU TO. PLEASE.
And as for prayer... I read a Desiring God blog post a while ago that dealt with being spiritually lukewarm, which is to be self-satisfied with your spiritual condition: essentially, complacent. Complacency is one of the most dangerous places to be. The opposite? Needy. How do I know if I'm needy? Well, how much do I pray? Praying consistently, praying like a beggar who desperately needs grace in everything, praying as a child learning to talk to her Father, praying for joy, holiness, boldness--without it, I don't know how I expect myself to grow in godliness at all.

I also want to manage my time well.
I don't. 
Procrastination--and its cousin, time-wasting--have not served me in my attempts to read my Bible regularly or bless my mom by doing housework or reach for excellence in playing piano. I feel like I've allowed school to swallow my life, and it really doesn't have to. 
Randy Pausch has an extremely insightful and helpful lecture on time management. I am hoping to implement his ideas in my scheduling and planning as 2012 begins. I recommend bookmarking that video and watching it when you have an hour or so to spare. It is really, really good. (Alternatively, it's also available as an mp3 download on iTunesU.)

I want to get organized.
Right now, my desk is in okay-shape, but I don't have any concrete filing system for my papers, nor a good place nearby to put all my textbooks. Woe is me. Did you know that when your necessary materials for an assignment are not within an accessible distance, it becomes incredibly easy to procrastinate and just not do the assignment? Maybe that only happens for me, but oh does it happen. This is probably one of the things I'll need to spend a lot of effort on early in the year, so I can be prepared for the rest of 2012.
The other thing that needs to get organized is my room, which currently looks like a junk-pile with an unmade bed in the corner. I'm probably going to need to throw a lot of things away and designate specific places for everything else. Keeping my room clean, or at least making a system that makes it very simple to clean, is one of my main goals this year. 

I want to take good care of my body.
Mostly meaning exercise more and sleep more. I've become a weak vegetable of a human lately from sitting around all day. I did two pushups a few days ago, and it made my arms sore. It's absolutely pathetic. That needs to change. Exercising my core muscles will also probably help with my back pain that comes when I stand up too long. I strengthened that before when I was actually doing physical therapy for my back, and it worked. So I'm gonna try to do it again. And more pushups. I hate how weak my arms are.
Sleeping is equally, if not more important. I know it's essential for any teenager, but I also know that fatigue triggers my epilepsy, so I think I have to be more conscientious and careful about my sleeping patterns than I have been for the past few years. Time management plays a lot into this!

I want to learn to be a joyful servant.
To family, friends, and community at large. 'Nuff said.

Aaaand that's all I can think of for now. 
Welcome, new year! 
I am gonna DO stuff. 


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