Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year, New Goals: Reflecting on the Past Year

Last year I made a pretty hefty new years' resolution list.  It was the first time I ever actually sat down, came up with a 10 item list and kept it in storage in my brain over the past 365 days. Here was 2013's list:

1. Journal daily
2. Find a positive outlook even when I'm surround by negativity
3. Eat more fruit and vegetables 
4. Work out to get the stress out 
5. Let go of my feelings toward fear and failure
6. Work harder on relationships with friends and family
7. Take a yoga class (or teach one)
8. Set aside an hour each day to breathe, relax and reflect
9. Learn to play at least 10 songs on the guitar
10. Read The Bible in its entirety

I am proud to say I accomplished a few of these things in addition to putting a lot of effort and work toward accomplishing a few of the other tasks.  The thing I like about new years' resolutions is you don't necessarily need to complete it during the year you compile the list, but instead work toward those goals for the rest of your life.  When we create a new set of goals, it is a reflection of our growth during the past year and the knowledge we've acquired toward learning how to make ourselves better people.  While it is ideal to complete the tasks in the 365-day range, it is lovely that we have just taken the time to get ourselves motivated.

Looking back on these goals of 2013, the ones underlined are the tasks I managed to accomplish, and the ones left in italics are the ones that didn't quite make the cut but I put a lot of work toward each one.  While at summer camp I did journal every day, and I started off pretty well right after the first of the new year and during the following semester.  But this past semester, capstone took over a lot of my free journaling time and I found myself doing it about once a week (which is still an improvement!). When I arrive back in Scotland I anticipate journaling my daily adventures. I'm thinking about writing a travel memoir.

For #2 I definitely found myself carrying a more positive attitude but I also had some really low points throughout the year.  I recognized this error in my personality though and was able to bring myself out of various funks. Progress.

#8 is a tricky one.  Once again, I think camp allowed this as a daily task.  When I got up in the morning I could sit in silence in the cafeteria with a cup of coffee, my Bible and a journal, reflecting on the previous day and being still with God.  I find when I'm away from an environment like summer camp, though, it gets exceedingly more difficult to do this every day.  I need to remind myself those times of stillness are when we are the closest to God and the closest to understanding our hearts and minds.

#10 I didn't complete this, I'll blame it on Capstone again, but I did make a lot of progress throughout it.  I made it completely and chronologically through 10 chapters in the new testament and 10 in the old testament.  Might not sound like a lot but I know I have been guilty of cherry-picking in the past which doesn't help in understanding The Bible as one complete document where every story is intertwined.

That being said, here is my list for 2014 (14 items for each year of the millenium.)

1. Journal daily
2. Read The Bible in its entirety (chronologically and cover-to-cover)
3. Start song-writing
4. Perform daily meditation
5. Run a half-marathon or 5K
6. Don't let my happiness depend on the approval of others
7. Constantly work toward having a selfless attitude instead of a selfish one
8. Search for a career outside of the US
9. Stop dwelling on the good/bad times of my past and remember that each day is a fresh start
10. Save money for a cross-country road trip
11. Dive back into mission (whether it's by supporting others in their efforts or going on my own trip)
12. Instead of always trying to document moments on social media, give myself completely to the person and situation (more face-to-face communicating)
13. Travel to 3 new countries
14. Learn something new every day outside of the classroom

Be thankful for having another year to reach those life-long goals.  And thankful for everyone who has helped you reach them.  Happy new year!


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