Goals setting, or creating resolutions, is a habit for many people as one year ends and another begins. This is a habit I’ve practiced personally for many years, but I didn’t do it this year. The main reason I abstained from creating New Year’s resolutions this year is because next year I have what some would say is a monumental birthday, and I’ve set some goals that I want to reach before that date. That list is called my “40 by 40 Bucket List.”
The “40 by 40 Bucket List” began last August, and is really a focus on the “11th anniversary of my 29th birthday” rather than on the year 2012. Since I still wanted to give 2012 definition of its own, I decided to focus on five prayers for 2012, meaning five topics that I will focus on in prayer for the entire year. These five prayers were born out of the exercise I completed for the blog post “How to… End 2011 with a Victory”.
My prayers are generally based on people, events and struggles involved in my everyday life. While that focus will continue, added to them will be these five 2012 prayers that focus on patterns of struggle in my life. What’s more is that I’m hoping they will refresh and renew my prayer life, which seems to be growing too routine.
- I pray that I will find more ways to regularly connect with my boys. For whatever reason (and probably for a variety of reasons), my boys (age 13 and 11) and I have not connected much lately. That needs to change before they find girlfriends and mom isn’t the number one woman in their lives anymore.
- I pray that I will nag my boys less. While I haven’t quite figured out the source, though I suspect that it has to do with a control issue on my part, I need to nag less. Realizing that I need to fill the void, I will intentionally purpose to be more encouraging. I will teach where possible and also give guidance, but I will also allow them to make and learn from their own mistakes. Time for mother hen to be less protective. Nagging wasn’t working anyway, except to increase my frustration level.
- I pray that I will become a better listener. Clearly, this will go a long way in making number one and two happen. Being a better listener will also help me learn more and to generally be a better companion and friend.
- I pray for new ways to exercise my brain regularly and for the motivation to actually do them. I just feel like I have too many ruts in my life, and ruts lead to comfort zones. Plus, I’ve read a lot lately about how using your brain in new ways can help stave off dementia and Alzheimer’s. So, this fits with my desire to age gracefully.
- I pray that I can rediscover and then further develop my sense of humor. I’m not sure where my sense of humor went, but I have a feeling that it’s one of the main reasons I have been nagging too much and not listening very well. This is going to require some research, and there will most likely be blog postings on my discoveries.
So as I look forward to 2012, I am choosing to focus on making the most of every opportunity in the coming year. I also am intentionally focusing on areas that have been personal battles for me for longer than I care to admit. These patterns of struggle have limited my life for too long. While I have prayed about them periodically in the past, I have not committed them to prayer on any regular basis. What’s humbling about this process is realizing that while I may be on track with many aspects of my life, some that should have been obvious to me remained elusive… until now.
Question: What humbling personal change are you being led to address in 2012? How will you go about making that change happen?