I know there are a few people who are reading this who have already forgotten about their resolutions. I know some of you are going strong. A few others didn’t even bother to make resolutions because they were never successful before and do not believe they will be successful this year.
I know this because I’ve been each one of those types of people. I can tell you a few resolutions that I was very gung ho about but didn’t hold on to for more than a few days – like my resolution to be chocolate-free for a year.
At one point in my life I made a resolution to give up on men! That lasted until just after Valentine’s Day. There have been plenty of years where I decided not to make a resolution, either because I didn’t believe I had anything worth fighting for or because I didn’t believe in myself to accomplish my goal.
I know at least one of these scenarios gives your heart a tug…because we have all felt excited, determined, and passionate about things that just didn’t work out.
Perhaps you’ve been knocked down and gotten back up so many times that the place where you keep falling is getting pretty comfortable. It’s like you’ve left an imprint there, you may as well lay down and enjoy the rest. But I can tell you that there are greater rewards than comfort for those who get back up again. And the key to finding your purpose for the next year is in two words:
Review & Preview
I have shared with you that my theme, my calling for this year, is to be a servant. I have fully embraced that calling and have such peace surrounding it that I know I must be on the right track. I hope that this article will lead you to a place of peace and potential for your new year!
So, here’s the story: my pastor recently held a special gathering for the church volunteers. He called it a “Review Preview Day” or RPD for short. He said he’s been doing this RPD for the last eight years or so. He said it has dramatically changed the way he lives. Well, since I’m embarking on a journey that I feel I could use a great deal of direction in, I signed up and showed up.
In this article and the next article, I want to share with you a brief outline of what we did that day because it has already impacted my decision-making and daily habits. But please know that this isn’t a sit-down-and-get-it-done kind of thing. This process will take time and contemplation. You’ll have a bit of work to do. I’m still working on mine. But I know this will be worth it. So here’s the outline:
- Begin with prayer…ask for insight, clarity, direction, peace and perseverance.
- Review your past year.
- Take a look at your calendar and remember the meetings you had, the vacations you took, the appointments you kept, the holidays you celebrated. Write down a list of positive experiences. Make a list of negative experiences.
- Make a Top 5 List. What books did you read that impacted you? What songs did you play over and over again that motivated you? What movies did you watch that gave you a new perspective? What captured your heart last year?
- Decide which feelings you will carry forward into the new year. Which feelings and experiences will you use to motivate you to be a better spouse, daughter, friend, parent?
- What lessons did you learn? Both from the positive and negative experiences from the previous year…
Now take a moment to relax. Reflect on the previous year. Don’t try to fix anything. Don’t wish to change anything. Just allow yourself to watch the experiences – good and bad – as if you were watching a movie. Let yourself see the emotions. Remember the other people who were with you and try to cultivate an awareness of how they were feeling. Take a deep breath in to remember and push the breath back out to release the past year.
Now you get a special gift: it’s called the present! With the previous year behind you and the future ahead of you, take a moment to be right where you are. Take in your surroundings: the colors, sounds, shadows, lights, feelings and sensations. Be present.
When you’re ready…click here for the second part of the article.