New Year’s Resolutions that Make a Difference

“Why are you making us do this?” complained my seven-year-old daughter.

“You need to think about your life and where you are headed. That’s why,” I answered.

“Charlie, they’re babies. This isn’t something they should be doing at their age,” Kathy said.

“Now is as good a time to start as any. What’s wrong with them writing down what they want to accomplish next year. I’m doing it, and it is good for them to do it,” I insisted.

“They are seven and five years old. That’s why!” she exclaimed loudly.

As I look back on this annual ritual, Kathy was right. I was a little over the top. As the girls got a bit older, they pushed back enough that I dropped it. I never did make my boys, their younger siblings, do it.

I had my years when I couldn’t wait to write down my resolutions for the next year. Most years I did it whether I was excited or not. It was my ritual, and I honored it.

Talking to God

This year is one of those years I am hesitant to put pen to paper. I know it is because this may be a transition year for me. I am not quite sure if I will stay on the same purpose with the same focus as prior years. This leads to confusion not clarity. As the saying goes, “If there is a cloud in the pulpit, there is a fog in the pews.”

So this weekend, I need to be in prayer. I need quiet time with God to sort me out. I have a few questions I need Him to answer for me.

  • Should I remain wide or go deep in helping entrepreneurs and angel investors?
  • Is less really more? Where does God want me to have impact?
  • Can I finally get a grip on my health?
  • How does my role as father change with adult children and now grandchildren?
  • How should Kathy and I be spending our time together?
  • What does friendship really mean to me, and what should I do about it?
  • Leisure time is important…right? How do I enjoy it?

5 Steps for Clarity

Let’s work together on this. Write down your questions. Questions you will take to the Lord for answers. The questions, which when answered, give clarity to your life and relationship with God.

1. Write down your 2016 life questions. Don’t stop writing until you run out of questions. No list of questions is too big for God.

2. Pray. Go to a quiet place, and ask God for answers to your questions.

3. Write down the answers God gives you. After you ask God for the answer, take out your pen and paper and just start writing. God will make your hand move, and you will be amazed at what appears on the page.

4. Share. Share the questions and answers with your spouse or a very close and supportive friend. Take in this feedback and begin formulating your resolutions.

5. Write down what you resolve to do in 2016. Each one should answer these four questions. What do you resolve to do? Why do you want to do it? What will you say “no” to? What will be the result?

I’ll share my list with you on Wednesday, January 6, 2016.

Also published on Medium.