In a few hours, I’m heading out the door to a New Year’s Eve dance. And a few hours after that, the year 2015 will come to an end. At this time of the year, it’s fun to look back on the resolutions we’ve set for ourselves, but it can be discouraging to realize that once again, we aren’t the idealized versions of ourselves that we were so sure we’d be 365 days earlier. That’s one reason why I started a Reverse Bucket List last year and have been slowly filling it up.
This year was imperfect for everyone, myself included. But I was pleasantly surprised this year to find that, unknowingly, I had completed many of the resolutions I set for myself on December 31, 2014. Here are a few examples, not for the sake of bragging, but for the sake of giving myself, and maybe you, a little bit of a break:
Resolution: I’d like to give more meaningful gifts.
Gift-giving isn’t my love language. I’m not a good gift-giver, and I feel guilty when I receive gifts. But this year, I realized that gifts are a meaningful way to make someone feel special.
I accomplished this goal by making many cards with my own calligraphy, and also giving my framed calligraphy as gifts.
Resolution: Be content, even if I’m single all damn year, and resolve my emotional dependence on boys.
(That’s really how I wrote the resolution. My 2014 self apologizes.)
And I was single all damn year. I wasn’t always content being alone at the beginning of the year, but as the year has progressed, I’ve realized that I am absolutely capable of being single and thriving. Choosing to go to counseling really helped me work toward this goal and understand why I have always sought attention and gratification.
Resolution: I’d like to live more simply.
I didn’t realize how much simplicity and minimalism would impact my life this year. I read a book that changed everything: 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker.
Since reading this book, I have been driven to own only what I need. I especially accomplished this goal by cleaning out the closet full of junk that I had left in my parents’ house, and by bringing about 5 boxes and bags of items from my apartment to Goodwill.
Resolution: I’d like to not waste money… if I manage my money better, I can use it to help others more.
This was the year that I established a budgeting system and stuck to it! After trying my hand at spreadsheets (and being really bad at it), I started using Mint.com to keep track of my accounts, and I have finished all of the past six months I’ve used the site under budget. Just gimme an envelope and call me Dave Ramsey!
And as a result of knowing exactly where my money went and budgeting space to give, I have been able to give generously to my church and those around me who were in need out of my meager little abundance. As I raised support for my trip to Las Vegas, I also saw the Lord provide through others and was truly blessed by them. (Thank you again.)
Resolution: Dance a whole lot.
And I did! I rang in the New Year 2015 with a dance event, and I’ll do the same this year. I danced in DC, Virginia, and Salt Lake this year; I learned from John Lindo, I danced with Markus Smith, and I taught regular lessons! I think this resolution will be a recurring one… 🙂
I am truly proud of many of my successes this year. I encourage you to think about how you achieved your resolutions, or to list the things you did this year that you’re proud of before you kick yourself for all your messes this year.
Above all, to God be the glory. He provided the finances, the contentment and peace, the physical health, and so many blessings this year.
For the next year, I have two resolutions:
Resolution 1: Pray hard. I learned a lot about the power of prayer this year on a ministry trip to Las Vegas, evangelizing in Manti, UT, and preparing and leading a trip to Pittsburgh. This year, I want to put it in action. Prayer changes things, and I want to join the battle.
Resolution 2: Host well. In the past year, I have experienced the blessings of being a good host, as well as the connections forged when others host. I want to cook a lot for other people (hm, or order takeout) and develop deeper relationships in the comfort of home.
Happy New Year, my friends. It’s been a good (and sometimes messy) year.