Let’s try the whole “New Year” thing… again.

"Dreams" written on a paper inside of a glass bottle.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. As you know, it’s finally that time to reflect on this past twelve months as the year finishes. Whether your year has gone uphill or it was a bumpy ride downhill, you know that next week will be a time to get a re-do. It’s the one time that we feel obligated to hit the reset button or simply continue to learn and grow if you believe that this past year was better than average.

I certainly had a wild ride throughout the year, I met many new friends to experience life with. I healed from many wounds and was scraped creating new ones along the way. Seriously, I broke my right arm just before 2016 ended and that was a fun recovery. I was given the opportunity to disciple a few friends and experience God with them to a whole new level. But I also didn’t meet many goals. I remember that at the beginning of the year, like many Christ followers, I wanted to start the “Bible in a year” reading plan and that didn’t go well. It probably lasted about two months. I also wanted to begin reading multiple books throughout the year, but it didn’t go as well as I wanted it to. I definitely read more than the previous year, so it wasn’t a total fail.

My year had a good and final push, though. I graduated a few weeks ago. There was about two weeks of projects and studying which took priority over writing for the blog. But after four and a half years, I finally obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Egnlish. It was a great accomplishment that I was able to share with friends and family (see picture below). And now, I’m still trying to figure out what I’ll be doing with that accomplishment. I am readjusting back to my hometown with my folks as I figure my adult life out. All I can say is, “wish me luck!”

A picture of my friends and I at my graduation.

Let’s try it, again (differently).

As I talked about this past year, I also wanted to bring up how I am falling into that cliche of wanting to get into the “New Year, New Me” mentality. The thing is, it probably won’t be a new me. The old “me” will be doing new things in life, though. I wanted to bring them up to you so that I can make my thoughts tangible and so that I can be held accountable. It’ll be a good and fresh start.

I asked myself, “Why should I start something new now?” Well, it’s also obvious, that we shouldn’t wait until the new year to finally change. If you fail by the end of January, you should simply start again, or find a new strategy to accomplish your goal. Let’s say that you want to start exercising, so you get a new gym membership and go for the first week, but then the delicious food gets in the way or you simply don’t want to wake up early, because your bed is so comfortable and warm. Well, if that hasn’t worked before, then find a friend to join you. There are many people with that same resolution, so I’m sure you can find someone else to be a part of your journey. Or let’s say that you want to start a new reading habit. If this is not your first time in this battle, then figure out what you tried last time and see why it didn’t work. For example, I know that if I want to read, I can’t do it at night; I am tired and am never in the mood before bedtime. I also learned that many times, I cannot concentrate at home, so you can usually find me at a local coffee shop getting that and other work done. Whatever you are trying to change, figure out how it can work. Things like this shouldn’t be impossible. If you failed after a week or two, change the strategy. Don’t wait until next year to try again.

A picture depicting a growth and fixed mindset with a tree and a lock.

I always like learning new things. I figured it’s always a good day to learn or re-learn something new, especially if it is helpful. I’m sure many of you have heard of having a “growth or fixed mindset”. A growth-minded person thinks that they can learn anything as long as they are willing to put enough effort into it. If they fail, they get back up and try again, this time with new knowledge about what NOT to do. They realize that their potential is only limited by what they put in and always keep trying something new that works. The latter of the two, the fixed mindset, is not the ideal way to look at the new year. The people with this mindset tend to see the world as something that is the way it is. They believe that they are the type of person that won’t change. They don’t think anything will change. They may also believe that the way that they currently do things is the best way that will get the job done. They will become stagnant and never improve because the “best” has and will always fail them.

Always assume that you can improve.

Just like I mentioned that I failed to read the bible in a year, I am going to try again. I hope that this time around will be different. I also want to start writing every day. I want to be able to create ideas and throw my thoughts down on paper, even if it’s just one sentence a day. I want to start somewhere. I want you, the readers, to know so that you can keep me accountable. I also let a few friends know to keep me accountable, as well.

You know what, I would also like to challenge you. If you made it this far in the post, why don’t you challenge yourself to do something new and different? Maybe, you can start saving to buy that new toy (whatever you call a toy in your head). You could stop an unhealthy habit or start a new and healthy one. If you already have something in mind then to keep yourself accounted for and to make your plan tangible, comment below what it is that you want to start doing.

If you have had trouble with past resolutions, I’ll help you out with this; start with just one thing. Don’t overwhelm yourself by wanting to change your whole life. That’s absurd and very unlikely to happen. Find one thing to start with and after a month or two, if successful with it, begin with another resolution. To give you an idea, I also wanted to get back into mastering my guitar skills as I took a break this past year. I decided to wait a few months before that so that I don’t carry a lot on my plate.

And don’t wait until next week to start it on January 1. I started my New Year’s Resolutions this week. Remember, you don’t need for the new year to start to finally change and reach your dreams. If you are reading this after the new year, it’s never too late. Simply begin. It is all up to you.

Here’s a random verse of encouragement that I found on this topic:

“22 You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires, 23 to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image—in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.” – Ephesians 4:22-24

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