You see, sixty three days ago, I decided perform an act that is very uncharacteristic of me. I created a list of New Year's resolutions. I can't remember the last time I made a single New Year's resolution. That's not to say that I don't constantly seek to improve in various areas of my life, but I have just always avoided the formality of calling it a "New Year's resolution." I'm not sure what came over me this year, but I caught an intensified version of the bug everyone else seems to catch at that time of year and I sat down to write some goals for 2014.
When I finished, I had composed a document of 35 New Year's resolutions. That's right...thirty five...organized into five different sub-categories. A bit excessive, right? When I do something, I apparently go all out.
The document I created that day mocks me from my computer's desktop, causing me to cringe each time I acknowledge how many of those 35 resolutions I've already given up on. My motivation to keep such specific goals waned as soon as I experienced my first failure(s).
However, I refuse to let my failure over the course of the last 63 days dictate how I will live the next 302. I recently read a quote by Oswald Chambers that convicted me: "Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action."
So, it is with Oswald Chambers' words running through my mind that I am requesting my New Year's resolutions mulligan.
This semester, I have been observing a currently-practicing ESL teacher as part of my graduate coursework. I seem to learn new things from her each day I am in her class, but one thing I learned of in the beginning of the year was a new (or at least new to me) "trend" of making a one-word New Year's resolution. Rather than creating a laundry list of goals that are easily forgotten and forsaken, the idea is to embrace one single word that describes how you want to live and the kind of person you want to be.
Inspired by this teacher and neat concept, I have been pondering this idea for the last month or so and have decided that it is one I want to embrace. I have "tried on" various words, but one that keeps coming back to me is:
Dictionary.com tells me that to "persist" is to "continue steadfastly or firmly in some state of purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc."
I want 2014 to be a year characterized by my continual, steadfast pursuit of becoming the Christian, wife, daughter, friend, teacher, learner, reader, writer, runner, cyclist, chef...and all-around person I want to ultimately be.
Sometimes, I will fail. But failing to perfectly fulfill a New Year's resolution is not going to be enough to keep me from persisting on toward my goals.