28 December 2014

STRIVING TO BE RESOLUTE IN 2015 - by Bonnie Roof


RESOLUTE

The presents have been unwrapped, the goodies devoured and time shared with friends and family - joyful for some and not so for others - now the tree and decorations come down, we wait "patiently" in store lines to make exchanges and thoughts for many of us turn to New Years resolutions. There's something about a new year that means a fresh start. Webster's dictionary defines a resolution as: the quality of being resolute: determination, a formal statement expressing the opinion, will or intent of a body or persons.

Perhaps 2014 was your best year yet or maybe it was a year full of sickness, unemployment, family/personal issues or other trials - a year you'd like to forget altogether. Many resolutions end up broken by February - yet there can be something worthwhile about setting realistic goals that make us accountable for living with resolve. One help in accomplishing goals is to make a list and post in a spot where one can easily refer back to it every few weeks to check progress and those things that still need to be accomplished - the goals can be serious, simple or silly. You may not accomplish all your goals, however, the point of the list isn't to force yourself to do and be more - through guilt - but to live 2015 with resolve.

It's wonderful if resolutions help us accomplish a goal but if that goal is something we know we won't follow through on, maybe we need to rethink the idea of yearly resolutions. It may be helpful to look at the previous year and determine whether your habits are healthy or harmful. Ask yourself what struggles you had in the previous year, how you grew and in which life areas you think God would like to see growth. Decide which areas you can and should work on in the coming year and write them down. Also consider reading books that may help you achieve your goals.

One goal for each of us should be to continually deepen our relationship with God and grow in character. An alternative to a list of resolutions is the concept of the One Word - the book "My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word", authored by Mike Ashcroft and Rachel Olsen, explains the concept. The book cover description: The concept of My One Word is simple. Lose the long list of resolutions-all your sweeping promises to change-and do something about one thing this year instead of nothing about everything. Choose just one word that represents what you most hope God will do in you, and focus on it for an entire year. This simple act will force clarity and concentrate your efforts. As you focus on your word over an extended period of time, you position yourself for God to form your character at a deep, sustainable level. Growth and change will result. 

Each day is a gift that we've been given - it's up to us to make the most of it. "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me". Psalms 51:10, KJV


How do you feel about New Years resolutions? Do you make resolutions - if so, do you keep them? What helps you set and achieve the resolutions you make?

27 comments:

  1. BONNIE, I love this inspiring post and really if done in the right way, New Years resolutions can be life changing! When we strive for realistic goals they certainly can be attainable. I think I will apply the concept of "My One Word" instead of overwhelming myself with a whole lot of goals I can't possibly achieve. The old adage "New Years resolutions were made to be broken" doesn't have to be true, as we set practical goals for our lives this year! Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing these wise tips with us!

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    1. SO true, Diana - some people are able to make changes with resolutions, others not so much. As within anything in life, you must have the mindset/determination for it to succeed and the desire to make a change. "My One Word" sounds like it may be an easier and more convicting way to make changes, I'm anxious to read the book - there are testimonies included of people who succeeded with it, both church groups and individuals. Thanks so much for your kind comments and input, Diana!!

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  2. Bonnie, TY, I try to make the resolution to do what God would have me do each day. Doesn't always work out. I try to be sensitive to His direction. One thing I want to do is get my son to a rheumatologist at Duke or someplace like that before 8th grade starts. That's my big resolution. So of course satan will come against that but God has me covered!!!

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    1. OH, and each year I do pick one word. I need to pray about that!!! One year it was FINISH. One year it was CONTINUE (actually that was last year's and my accountability partners wanted me to do persevere for the word and I said NO because that word is harder than continue lol!)

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    2. Anxious to hear what you pick for your one word, Carrie!! Or maybe you're not supposed to tell other people?? I've never tried the one word concept, however, thinking maybe I will in 2015. Will pray for the right word.

      One of my very best friends/spiritual mentors has been treated at Duke for a blood disorder and has high praise for them. I'll pray that you are able to get Clark into Duke because, yes, satan will definitely try to prevent your doing so. Your resolution is the very BEST that one can make - doing what God wants you to do on a daily basis!! Thank you, Carrie!!

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  3. No, I don't usually make New Years resolutions. I do hope things I need to do will be more successful than the year before. I do hope I can make myself eat better and drink more water , which would be better for my health but it is so hard to do. You see I don't get hungry and haven't for many, many years. And I have a hard time drinking lots of water which would probably help the swelling of my feet and legs from high blood pressure. I do hope to do better with that and study my Bible more. But, no promises. Good post Bonnie. GOD bless all of you in 2015. Love you all. Maxie

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    1. Hi, Maxie!! I can surely sympathize with you as it is a problem for me to drink the amount of water I need, also - it really is imperative that I drink enough water to keep my kidney in perfect condition, as I only have one now. However - I really don't care for the taste of water, I drink it with my meals (which is not the best time to drink it) but really have a problem drinking water, only. I've been told that the more water you drink, the more you will grow to love it and will crave it when you don't get enough. However, that hasn't happened with me.

      I don't always eat healthily or study my Bible as much as I should - so you and I (and many others) have these things in common. I do think it's possible that the less you eat, the less you want - as your stomach shrinks and your desire for it lessens. Perhaps if you gradually increase the amount of food you eat - you will start to have a desire for it. Also - some foods satisfy your appetite for longer periods than others, maybe it would help you get hungry more often by eating those foods that don't "stick" with you as long.

      Thank you for your sweet comments, Maxie - blessings and love to you also!!

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  4. I don't usually make resolutions either, but as Maxie said, I need to eat healthier & drink more water; however, I DO enjoy drinking water--as long as it is VERY cold! At restaurants I order "ice water, with lots of ice". I just don't drink it often enough. But my biggie, is eating healthy & exercising regularly. UgH!
    As to a "one word" I like Carrie's word--"continue",

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    1. Funny that my iPad got 'stuck' at "continue. ;-) the end of 2014 I published my first book (my memoir), and I have two novels 'in the works' so I think "continue" would be a great word for me this year. Happy New Year to OWG!
      Vicki

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  5. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, Vicki!! It's comforting knowing other people have some of the same problems as me. As with you, I usually order ice water at restaurants but just don't drink it often enough (at least, I broke the habit of ordering sweet tea this year, so some improvement, LOL). And I also don't drink ice water without ice - it's supposed to be better for your body if you drink water at room temp (your digestive system doesn't have to work as hard) however, it's even harder for me to get it down if not cold. UGH is right - exercise is a problem for me also, lack of mobility prohibits my doing most kinds of exercise, however, I need to have a trainer assess my situation and instruct me in the best exercise for me.

    Congrats on your memoir - and "2" novels "in the works"?? That's wonderful!! Happy New Year to you, as well!!

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  6. Bonnie, thanks for the congrats on my memoir & the works in progress. As to drinking water ice cold, I have heard is better for weight loss, since it takes more energy to 'heat it to body temperature. ;-). The problem I have when we are traveling is, that most of Europe drinks their water at room temperature, so when you ask for "lots of ice" it usually means you will get 2 or 3 ice cubes (lots, compared to none. LOL). It is when I'm in places like that, that I drink LESS water, because it is just not as refreshing. As to exercise--in my case it is a matter of motivation. I can do it--just lazy & not motivated, even though it would help me lose weight & also help lower my glucose (I'm diabetic). So, the word "continue works for ALL of this--I need to CONTINUE making good choices instead of lazy choices. ;-)
    Vicki

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    1. Glad for your choice of "continue" as a "one word", Vicki. I can see where drinking water would be a problem when traveling internationally as you do. Thank you for your comments - and "you're welcome", LOL!!

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  7. Hey Bonnie, as our internet is working much better I thought I'd pop in with a quick comment and to thank you again for your wonderfully inspiring post on being resolute! I haven't always done New Year resolutions, but I do love the idea and I think they can be a really good thing as long as you don't get down on yourself should you fail your expectations. In our church, one particular year I joined in with a 3 week fast. Health-wise I couldn't do without food so I did without other things and gave the Lord 3 x 1hr lots throughout the day. Best thing I have EVER done! One day I'll write about how amazing that experience really was, but suffice to say it brought a whole new level to my relationship with God. :) As I mentioned in our chat, I love the idea of a word resolution. And mine this year will be Organization. I have a few other personal goals too.. :-)

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    1. I SO appreciate your persistence in posting, Noela - thank you!! I love your idea of fasting with the Lord and would love to hear more about your personal experience!! We definitely have a deeper relationship with Him as we spend more time with Him - those that don't realize that have no idea what they are missing out on, do they?? Blessings in your 2015 goal quests, dear Noela!!

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  8. Wonderful post BONNIE!! I think you know what word I am using for 2015...healing!! I don't normally do New Year's Resolutions, there are plenty I probably need to work on but this year I have only one thing I am focusing on Carlton's renewed health. Thanks for posting this, great job!! :-)

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    1. Amen on the "one word" of healing, Teresa!! I will continue to focus my prayers on Carlton's healing (also yours and your Mom's) in agreement with you, also praying for a much better year in 2015 for the Mathews family - in all ways. Thank you for your sweet comments and taking the time to stop by. Sending comforting hugs your way, my sweet friend!!

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  9. Great post, Bonnie! When I was a younger adult I made resolutions, selfish ones. Now as I have aged and matured :) making resolutions doesn't concern. I know,what my main goals are: to love God, drawing deeper into Him; to love my husband the best way I can, but I can only do that by drawing nearer to God; and to be the best mom my daughter needs. I also want to love on people, I especially want to with the unlovable, no one is unlovable in God's eyes.

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    1. Thank you so much, Regina!! There's a lot to be said in the name of maturity, especially spiritual maturity - isn't there? As we grow in our relationship with, and love for - God, the goal should be to think less of ourselves and more of others. So happy to know those are your main goals and you're so right - everyone is equal in the eyes of God and the unlovable, especially, need to learn that through our love and example.

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  10. Oh, BONNIE ... LOVE THIS!! And, boy, I am sooooo with you on the "one word" and ditching the long list of resolutions!! Or, maybe even making a list of ONE WORDS to cut down on verbosity, something that would be good for this chatterbox to do ... :)

    Love you and the gals at OWG -- I wish each of you a BLESSED new year!!

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. As always, you always encourage and show love with your comments - Julie, I so love and appreciate you for that!!

      The "one word", or a list of "one words" - as you suggested - sound like a more productive option to me than resolutions, also, and I have to agree with you on the "chatterbox" comment, except it's for myself - as you well know how longwinded I can be, LOL!!

      Love, hugs and blessings to you too, my sweet friend - thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!!

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  11. Hi Bonnie,

    This was a wonderful and inspiring post! I am definitely going to into that book you suggested.

    I don't make resolutions but tiny goals. I start very small (like read at least a verse a day, organize my room for 5 minutes each day) and, as I master that, I increase the goal (spend at least 5 minutes in the Word each day, organize my room twice every day, 5 minutes each time). Such a sense of satisfaction comes when even small goals are reached and achieved and new ones are set. This way, nothing is too daunting to start working on!

    Loved this post! and would say more but one of my goals is calling me to come and complete for the day!

    Love,
    MJOYB

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    1. I so appreciate your kind, encouraging comments - dear Megan - thank you!! I'm so happy that it spoke to you.

      Your approach to goals is a wonderful idea - as you said, nothing too daunting for even the person with the smallest limits of strength and concentration - with this plan

      By the way, "My One Word:" and it's author will be featured on the Seekerville blog on Mon., Jan. 5th - a copy will be given away to one commenter. I would love to read it also.

      Hope to see you here again very soon!!

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  12. Bonnie, You have a wonderful way with words, even poetic in places:) Such richness and wisdom here. Love how you highlight that one word. I've been doing that ever since the Lord gave me the word FOCUS a few years ago. This year it's 3 words - A NEW SONG. It has such personal meaning to me and you're a part of that! It's a blessing to come over here and you're a blessed addition!

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    1. I can't thank you enough for your gracious, sweet words, Laura - I am blessed by these compliments coming from one who has written some of the most beautiful words, ever!! Also blessed to have had a part in your
      "NEW SONG"!! I'm thrilled that you: enjoyed the post, found it "spoke" to you and feel blessed by OWG - we at OWG are blessed to have you here, my beautiful, inspiring friend!!

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  13. Hey Bonnie. I like better iced too. But I have a cup sizes glass, 8 oz. I believe. If I will drink that straight down I do better. Tho iced taste better can't get down for a longer time. As to these words I really could use to separate ones. #1 (improve) for I need that in I do. #2. is "Concentrate". I'm getting so forgetful. Because I forget too much if I'm doing something I can go all day and not eat. My doctor says I need to practice concentrating more. I definitely could use prayers for that. I don't think I've ever told you but I love your name. Bonnie was the name of the sister closest to me in age and every way. And the first family member we lost. She was so special. Only 47 GOD Bless. Maxie

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    1. Hi, Maxie!! It's so good to "talk" to you. I find it easier if I can "concentrate" on drinking just 8 oz. of water at a time, also, yet still not a favorite drink of mine, lol. "Improve" is a great word, all-encompassing as it is the basis of ANY and ALL words of resolution - they are all about improving oneself. "Concentration is another good word, at times - it's easy to get so wrapped up in our own issues that we aren't able to "concentrate" on anything else. It's then that we are more likely to neglect spending as much time with God and/or helping others - both of which can give us support, aid and help take our minds off our own issues.

      I'll put your concentration issues on my prayer list, Maxie - you need good nutrition to keep you active enough to keep up with all that goes on online, lol!! Thanks for your kind comments - I always wanted a sister, however, my only sibling is a brother. So glad that you have special memories of your sister. Blessings to you as well, Maxie!!

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