3,2,1 Happy New Year! This phrase is shouted, yelled, whispered, declared, and announced over and over again on the first day of the year. We raise our glasses and voices as we bid farewell to the previous year and welcome in the new. It’s the beginning again. A time to reset, rejuvenate, and recharge. However, before we can engage in either of these actions, we first need to give ourselves permission to begin… again.
Revisiting Past Goals
It’s a new year! If you are anything like me, this time can be bittersweet. I am full of possibilities and plans. There are dreams I long to reach. Aspirations that I wish to obtain. However, there is also a piece of me that is the naysayer. She says things like, “That was your dream last year…and you have yet to accomplish it.” She also whispers, “How long are you going to strive to reach that goal…don’t you know by now that goal is a losing battle?”
In order to mute that voice, I must first acknowledge that she is speaking. Once I am consciously aware of the negativity that she spews, I actively and repeatedly shut her down. I then give voice to the other me. The other me breathes words of encouragement and perseverance. The other me speaks the entire truth. It tells me that it is okay to revisit past goals. It reminds me that this new year does in fact grant me another opportunity to reach those previous goals…without shame or guilt.
Then miraculously, something magical happens. I slowly begin to believe the other me. I revisit past goals and review them with intent. I analyze why the goals were not previously reached. Were they unrealistic? Were they not specific enough? Did they not have an action plan attached? Next, I revise them to make them more attainable, specific, and time-bound. I make a more reachable version of the past goal. Finally, I pray about them and allow God the space to guide my decision/goal-making.
Let’s acknowledge the truth. The New Year’s Resolutions that were so passionately uttered on January 1, 2022 quietly slipped away by January 3rd. As a matter of fact, by the 2nd week of January, we are hard pressed to even recall the resolutions! We start with good intentions that quickly get muddled by the busyness of life. Like me, you might feel guilt for not following through on your promises to yourself. That guilt leads to self doubt and self depreciation. Do not do that to yourself. Stop. Forgive yourself and move on. Just because last year’s resolutions were not resolved, does not mean that this year’s resolutions won’t be. Take a moment to breathe and YES, use this New Year to renew a past promise to yourself. Remember to be patient with yourself!
Embracing New Mercies
"(22) [It is of] the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (23) [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness." [Lam 3:22-23 KJV]
Thank you God for renewing your mercies every morning. Each morning that we have breath in our bodies and the use of our limbs and faculties, we know that we are blessed and highly favored. Each one of us knows of some person that did not make it into the New Year. It is as a result of HIS mercies that we have been granted another year, another day, another breath. Let us embrace this truth. Let’s relish it. Thank you Lord for allowing us to enter into The Year of our Lord 2023. Give us the strength to do your work . Help us to understand that you have extended your mercies another year to do the work that you have placed in our hearts to do. Help us to persevere and use the gifts you have graciously given us to advance Your kingdom. Amen.
Friends, let’s begin again. Embrace God’s new mercies. Take a look at those past unmet goals. Revise them, pray about them and go about the business of working toward them–little by little, day by day.
"(11) For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." [Jer 29:11 NIV]
Yours most sincerely,
Your ELA Coach,