2014 began a few hours ago. What does the year hold?
First, it holds a promise. A promise of a certain number of hours, a certain number of days. Certain opportunities will arise, challenges will come, and we will either overcome these or fall before them.
Second, it holds a warning. A warning of a certain number of hours, a certain number of days. Certain opportunities will arise, challenges will come, and we will either overcome these or fall before them.
Third, it holds a hope. A hope of a certain number of hours, a certain number of days. Certain opportunities will arise, challenges will come, and we will either overcome these or fall before them.
Do you see a pattern here?
Because you should.
Now, I am not self-help guru enough to tell you that every day of the year is yours to make whatever you choose. You will have some flexibility, but the days bring responsibilities alongside the freedom to set your path.
How will you spend the hours you have, though? Even as you fulfill responsibilities, you can make choices about your attitude.
How will I spend mine? Here are some of the main goals:
1. Finish the Master of Divinity that I have worked on, intermittently since 2002. It’s been an adventure of 4 distinct school enrollments, two major off-periods, and now a final push.
2. Write a real book. To that end, I’m enlisting the accountability of a few outside groups.
3. Be a better pastor. Clearing the schedule of school work will help with that. I’m not even sure what it looks like, but I’m going to be working on that.
4. Weigh 200 pounds at the end of the year.
5. Cut my family’s financial debt in half. We have a large debt burden related to the house saga, which is now simply a matter of paying off and getting that debacle off our credit report. Of course, the impending quadrupling of our medical costs, between insurance rates and out-of-pocket changes, isn’t going to help. That hits in 2015, so we are going to get in a better place before then.
6. Run a 5k. To that end, I have a bicycle. Why? Because I want to bike my way to a level of stamina and weight, and then start running.
7. Build and rebuild some relationships with real live people.
Those are my seven goals for the year.
What are yours? Share them in the comments below…
Political footnote: (Yes, that’s the result of the Affordable Care Act and the loophole that treats me as having employer-provided insurance since my employer pays for my individual plan—but my individual plan is being canceled, so I have to buy a new one, and that new one is going to cost three times as much as the old one, and provide fewer useful benefits for us. Even though our income is low enough to require the taxpayers to pay for it all instead of me, the current status of my employer paying for it means no taxpayers will be required to pay it. Never mind that my employer can’t cover the increase, so they’ll be able to pay what they have been paying, and I’ll be paying the rest—plus paying for medical care that has been covered.)