“Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord.” (Hosea 10:12)
Snow! Who doesn’t love winter snow days? Well, everyone who has to get out in it for a living…all those who brave the cold and wet to get jobs done. I get it.
But for those who get to cozy up indoors to watch winter whiteness falling outside, a snowstorm is a blissful time for reflection—on the goodness of God in His creation, the purity of Christ’s love.
It’s also a time to reassess our mission for Him, to make plans for 2022. But I’m already three days into the new year without a single resolution!
The good news is that I’m not too late…and neither are you.
I was recently treated to a delightful birthday lunch at the home of my good writing buddy, Mary Ellen. We’re “accountability partners” for each other, meeting regularly to make plans and review progress.
I was very impressed when she pulled out her list of goals for 2021–covering a variety of life choices for family, work, health, and spiritual growth. She was able to fulfill many of them, by the grace of God and her own perseverance.
I could have despaired right then and there about my own pitiful accomplishments last year. Oh, I was plenty busy in 2021. But did I really make the best use of my time?
The COVID pandemic slowed life down for me…sometimes I’ve been slogging through days like I’m wading through Jell-O. I don’t remember my resolutions for 2021…and I certainly didn’t meet my personal expectation for becoming Superwoman!
Are you in the same boat? Let’s both take a moment to reassess “new year’s resolutions”—and how to make them effectively. Here are some tips I learned from my lunch with Mary Ellen:
Write down your goals. Having something in writing gives you a target and something to assess at the end of the year. Set reminders on your calendar. Get organized.
Break projects into small steps. Maybe you don’t write a novel by the end of 2022, but if you’ve done five chapters, you can finish it in 2023 or 2024! Reduce your expectations…be realistic and pick only a few items for your focus. Get down to basics.
Beware the comparison trap. Your situation isn’t going to be the same as someone else’s—make plans that fit your needs and wishes. Be content with your God-given talents and use them. Get your dreams into your daily goals.
Get an accountability partner…or two. Mary Ellen and another friend, Rebecca, have helped me meet my writing goals, simply by staying in touch with me—thank you both, very much! And my prayer partners have prayed me through discouraging moments. Get support.
Celebrate little accomplishments. Review your resolutions at the end of the year, and celebrate anything you did toward your goals. Take stock of good things you’ve done and even things you didn’t do. Get happy!
Do it all for Jesus. His work is your true mission for 2022. Make sure everything you plan is for His kingdom. Whatever you do in His name is never wasted. Get started.
At our lunch together, Mary Ellen encouraged me to follow her example. Great leaders do that—inspiring us to move forward and improve our lives.
Proverbs 20:4 warns us that we are given a season that shouldn’t be wasted—“The lazy man will not plow because of winter; he will beg during harvest and have nothing.”
Let’s take that time now, then—you and me—during the entire month of January, to make “winter resolutions,” to prepare for the year ahead. Just as the farmer buys seeds and breaks ground, let’s use this fallow “snow” time to plan ahead for the planting, growing, and harvest. We’ll face many challenges in 2022, just as we did in 2021, but by His providence, we’ll reach the end of the year with hope and joy in good things…and with celebration!
Lord Jesus, You are our ultimate example and the One we worship in every aspect of our lives. Send Your Holy Spirit to guide us in making plans to serve You in 2022. Then, be with us in the daily details to fulfill them for Your purposes. In Your name, Amen.
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© Copyright 2021 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.