It stares sour.
Recriminations whisper ire.
My curly handwriting blurs before my eyes and dances death’s dirge.
Months have marched steadily past,
Ushering in defeat that taunts like a school yard brat.
I hesitate, then crumple the list into a tight ball
And drop it into the greedy mouth of the trash can.
Making a mile long cannon of resolutions doesn’t work.
We all know it.
Most lie broken on the floor before February cracks the door open.
Mega lists can contribute to anxiety, reinforce low self-worth and encourage depression. Our dreams for the person we want to become and the list of goals that accompanies it can be daunting. We procrastinate. Our imperfections listed and displayed, reproach us. We end up frustrated and feeling disheartened about our lack of discipline. Half way through February we throw up our hands and quit, vowing to do better next year.
So don’t do it.
Don’t bow to the temptation.
Refuse to make the list.
Instead I have a suggestion.
A movement toward picking one word as your goal for the year is gaining momentum. Words like “Thankful,” and “Content” are great for adjusting mindset and attitudes. But they are not a spiritual discipline. Neither are the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control are all character qualities.
And important ones at that.
So in addition to your one word, it is of utmost importance to pick a spiritual discipline:
Something you have to do,
Something that enhances spiritual growth,
An activity practiced by God’s people forever.
The one word attitudes can be a result of a spiritual discipline. So why not start with the root action? Choosing to have a rich prayer life can result in being more thankful. Deciding to volunteer in a service project can make me more compassionate. Choosing self-denial can teach me contentedness.
No list is complete, but here are a few spiritual disciplines to select from.
Prayer, fasting, bible study, worship, self-denial, solitude, silence, simplicity, memorization, submission, keeping the Sabbath, meditation, service etc…
Below are some examples to get you started:
Service-Volunteer at the food pantry once a month
Solitude-Rise before the rest of the house on Saturday morning. Unplug and spend a half hour of quiet time with God.
Study-Read a scripture from Psalms or a whole chapter every day before bed.
This is the one I am choosing:
Prayer-Turn off the noise and pray on your way to work each morning. Do the same on the way home.
So choose your words and watch how the implementation of two tiny words
Can change your year
And change your life.
Timothy 4:7 “Discipline yourself for the purpose of Godliness.”
-Choose your spiritual discipline to focus on this year.
-Now choose your one attitude-shaping word for the year.
-Write your “spiritual discipline” on a notecard with the specific goal beside it. Write your “attitude”word below it. Tape the card to your mirror or refrigerator and plug it into your calendar.
Be accountable-Share your two words in the comment section below.