The dawn of a New Year is full of promise and opportunity – new beginnings and a blank canvas. No-one knows exactly what lies ahead, but it is this great mystery that makes things so exciting.
What isn’t a mystery though, is the role God plays in our unfolding, unfinished universe. God has a mission – one that we are all called to share in. This is the great adventure of our lives as it gives us the chance to move beyond our comfort zones – just like a New Year.
At the heart of any adventure is having a sense of purpose – we commonly refer to our purpose as ‘our goal’, or in a New Year, ‘our resolution’ – and very healthily, we often have more than one. With 2018 just on the horizon, here are some key tips for how to lift your sights above daily pressures to realise your greater goals and find occasions to be recreated, offering your spirit opportunity for refreshment and reflection.
Healthy habits: it’s been said it takes three weeks to create and establish a habit. Perhaps you’re dedicated to keeping up a healthy fitness routine, or committing to helping in your community. Either way, there are some helpful strategies for forming healthy habits. These include: recognising that completing small steps should be celebrated as big victories, picking actions that matter, and being accountable to yourself, which in turn means being accountable to God, remembering that we are created in the image of God.
Make your goals visible: writing down your goals is one of the first steps in making them real. You could write motivational notes in a daily planner and also mark on a wall calendar the individual milestones you want to reach on the journey towards achieving your goals. Find proverbs that speak to your heart, mind and spirit and place these around your house. “Commit to God whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” and “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance” are both great ones!
Call on your community: The Gospel encourages us to reflect on the question ‘Who is my neighbor?’ This inspires us to consider and embrace our interconnectedness with others whose lives we can touch and transform, and vice versa. In the pursuit of your goals and dreams, open your heart, mind and spirit to others and let them walk alongside you. In life, there is no giving without receiving, and you can encourage others to grow their own dignity and worth through supporting you in your endeavors.