As long as I can remember I've loved the idea of New Years resolutions. I love imagining a giant hand taking a damp cloth and erasing a huge chalk-dusted board, wiping it completely clean. I love the empty, cotton-soft feel of 365 fresh days with no mistakes in them. I still love the light, airy knowledge that as of yet I haven't disappointed, frustrated, hurt, or quit on anyone or anything.
On the other hand, resolutions seemed to be my downfall. I became excited and inspired at the end of an emotion-filled, Christ centered, fun-friends-and-family-emersed holiday season, and in my euphoric state attempted to set the goals with which I planned to tackle my toughest character flaws and worst habits. This inevitably served only to discourage and tire me within a few months, but I never seemed to learn from my mistakes.
Until last year.
Sometime before, during, or shortly after the New Year festivities, my eyes were opened to the futility of the making and breaking of 'New Year's Resolutions'. I wish I could say the revelation was miraculous and instantaneous, but it wasn't at all like the iconic 'light-bulb-over-the-head' moment. In fact it was slow; quietly growing like yeast-filled dough under a kitchen towel in a dark oven. The thought quietly entered my crowded, over-stimulated brain and nestled itself in the darkest cupboard behind closed doors. When I my over-indulged mind flew about, prying into crannies to find something for which to resolve, it stumbled over a fully matured idea ready to enter the testing phases.
Last year I resolved not to have a list of resolutions but to have one all-encompassing, general, multifaceted goal for character growth and development. I decided that instead of allowing myself to make a long list of lofty expectations, I would challenge myself to focus on one word: Discipline.
It wasn't difficult to decide what needed the most work in my life; I tend to be lazy, late, and unmotivated in most aspects of life. I generally don't finish what I start, and I'm horrible at following through with people or projects. After the analysis of my shortcomings, I realized they all had one thing in common: my lack of discipline. I resolved that 2013 would be a year of striving to master discipline in my life. Or at least begin to begin to try.
Fast forward a full year and here I am, still working on discipline. It was much bigger and much more prevalent that I had anticipated. But this year I didn't feel that discouraging weight settling on my shoulders as I looked back over the past year. I felt a sort of accomplishment knowing that I had actually moved forward in my personal development. While the coming year holds huge, life-changing possibilities and truckloads of uncertainty, I know that because of last year I'm a more capable of handling whatever comes. I'm looking forward to taking this year one day at a time, moving ever closer to the ultimate goal of godly character in discipline.