2020 has shown us that no matter how well you plan for the future, things don’t always go according to plan. I had to laugh as I read about a prediction made back in 1967, when experts predicted that by the turn of the century technology would have taken over so much of the work we do that the average American work week would be only 22 hours long, and they stated that we would work only 27 weeks a year. As a result, one of our biggest problems would be in deciding what to do with all our leisure time. Wow! I don’t know about you, but that prediction certainly missed the mark as far as my life is concerned! In fact, most of us seem to be overly busy. We’re always in a hurry. We walk fast, and talk fast, and eat fast. Then after we eat, all too often, we stand up and say, "Excuse me. I’ve gotta run."
Well, it’s that time of the year again when we start thinking about New Year’s resolutions and setting goals for a new year. Only thing is, things often don’t turn out as we planned because most people aren’t so good at following through on their goals for very long. So what should we do? In one survey by psychologists at the University of Washington, the researchers found that most people keep the promise they put at the top of their list, at least for a while. But the most interesting result of the survey found that people are more willing to do something they know is right than give up something they know is wrong: 84% of those surveyed vowed to start doing something like exercising, but only 14% vowed to give up something. In a 2003 article by Bryan Eisenberg that still makes a lot of sense, he offers these tips for keeping at your New Year’s goals:
- Make only one or two resolutions.
- Choose resolutions you’ve been thinking about for a while.
- Adopt a new good behavior rather than trying to shake an engrained bad habit.
- Choose realistic goals you feel confident you can meet.
- If you don’t succeed, determine the barriers that blocked you, and try again.
So here we are at the end of 2020 moving into 2021. I wonder how we’ll do this year? Will we be busy? Will we make better use of our time? In 362 days, when this year is over, will we look back with joy or with regret? Will we look to the future with anticipation or with dread? I want to add one more recommendation to the tips listed above as you consider goals for a new year. Ephesians 5:15-17 tells us: "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is."
Let’s get intentional about our spiritual life this year, reading and studying the Bible as we commit to worshipping together as Community Christian Church. It will help you “understand what the Lord’s will is” for you.
Celebrating 2021 with you,