Most resolutions are the same every year. You'd think we'd learn by now that we're not going to stick to the weight loss program or the gym. You'd think we'd know ourselves better than to commit ourselves to no longer drinking sodas or eating chocolate. It's amazing the promises and resolutions we make in the moment. Resolutions are important things to be honest. A resolution is basically a goal or a declaration of something that will happen or be. And while most resolutions are seldom kept, they do provide a good backdrop for reflection and projection. All of us can afford to change some habits, traits, and ideas. No one wants to completely repeat any one year. We all want to enjoy different experiences. As the great Albert Einstein is credited as saying, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." To have something new, we must do something new and maintain that progress.
All this said and as we head towards 2012, I decided to look and see how I did on my 2011 resolutions.
- Read a book a week or 52 books in a year
I'm doing great here. I've had to pick up some smaller books to keep up, but I've made great progress. I had the same resolution in 2010 and only made it to April which was a big step up for someone who actually hated to read. So I made the resolution again, and I've read 51 books as of Thursday, Dec. 29th. I'm in one right now and I should be able to do my 52. That's exciting right there!
- Lose 40 lbs
Major fail. Maybe not a major fail, but definitely fail. I did lose weight however and that's a plus. Of course I rollercoaster a lot with my weight. I constantly am amazed looking at pictures of myself that are just two and three weeks apart. Sometimes you can see the weight difference in that time frame. Oh well. I started the year at about 238 and as of this morning, I weigh 221. I was very proud of that considering I've been eating like a pig gearing up for the fast in January. I suppose losing close to 20 lbs isn't bad at all, but it's not 40 lbs by any means.
- Write a Book
Fail here as well. I started two and finished none. Maybe this year that will change.
- Send an original song off to see if it gets picked up
In years past, I used to write a lot of songs. Looking back, some were downright pathetic. Others I still kind of like. I'm still writing songs, but not as much as I once did. Those that have heard some of them seem to like them. I say "seem to" because I really can't tell sometimes if some people are just being nice because I'm the pastor or something.
- Take Friday's off and actually be at home and spend time with family
If I'm being really tough, I failed this horribly. I will say I did better this year then in the past, but then again 2011, other than my little girl's birth, was one of the toughest year's I've ever had to go through. Due to some of the difficult things my family faced this year, it became almost necessary for me to work longer hours and of course this meant Friday's and most Saturday's throughout the year. Truth be told, I probably averaged 70-85 hours a week all throughout the year for the most part. This of course is not spending time at home obviously. However, I did get away a little more this year with the family. As some people have said, "I wish I had your job so I could travel as much as you do!" Yeah about that . . .
So other than the book reading, I've had a mixed bag of results as it pertains to my 2011 resolutions. So with that in retrospect, my 2012 resolutions are:
- Lose 40 lbs
Hey, if I at first you don't succeed, try, try again. I would like to get back down to 180-190 which is just a little heavier than I was when we got married. A few weeks before our wedding, I was at 167. Wow, when the ball gets rolling, it doesn't stop easily!
- Read 52 books or one a week for the year again
I've done it once, now I've got to keep it going. I'm going to try to be a little more consistent so I'm not in a crunch come December of next year. I'm going to try to mix in a few more non-religious titles next year, but I'm still staying away from fiction. I haven't enjoyed fiction books really since the Hardy Boys in 7th grade.
- Write a book
I'm going to do it this year. I have three I'm looking at doing. One is basically a chronology of what we've witnessed God do at our church and in our own lives in 4 years times. I've hesitated writing this because it may come off as if we've arrived or that we know it all when it comes to turning a church around. The truth is I know nothing and I'm constantly amazed that I've witnessed what I've witnessed. I think I'm leaning towards working on it though because I truly believe one chapter is closing on our ministry in Perry and a new one is beginning. We've traveled some dark roads, lost some very dear people who contributed so much, and seen miracle after miracle. Sometimes time has a way of diminishing these things and my hope is that words on a page will keep it all very much alive. The other two books I've already started on are, "Kinsmen Redeemer" and "The Social Gospel." I hope to finish at least one of these for 2012.
- Do something with my music
Hey I'm not getting any younger and the curiosity is killing me. I want to know if anything I've written has any merit to it or if it's just something I do during the few hours I'm not at church, sleeping, eating, or with family. I'm not completely sure how to go about doing this and that's one of my excuses as to why I haven't so far, but I'm going to see what's our there in 2012. Billie wants us to do X Factor. It would be an honor to be insulted by Simon!
- Pay off our SUV
We've worked hard this past year to get out of some debt we've carried since we first got married and took an assignment in South Florida. Together, we've almost done it. With some tight budgeting and steady income, we plan to pay off our Kia SUV so the only debt we will have is our home and student loans. When the SUV is paid off, we can start looking at a new home maybe . . . HOPEFULLY!
- Make a BIG Community Impact
I've been talking about starting a business in the community as well as a pregnancy care center for some time. If God makes a way, I want to see one or both of these things happen in 2012. They will certainly be a big focus!
- Work Less at the Church
This is not just hours-wise. I look forward to being able to finally for the first time, hopefully, only focusing on being the pastor and visionary for the church and not youth and music minister, SS Superintendent, SS teacher, etc. I believe God has already sent us people and will continue to send us people that will fill these roles and more. There were times this year I literally thought I was having a breakdown. Life is much too short for that at 31 and I've got a beautiful wife and a precious little girl that needs me and according to scripture, they are to be my first priority after God.
- Spend more time with family
This has many facets. I've already started some of this. For one, the cell phone is about to be retired for the most part. There are too many times since Rylee's been born that a call or a text came in and work Rylee up or interrupted a night at home with Billie. It's one thing if it's an emergency, but most of the time the issue can be talked about later or at least the next day while in the office. I'm a pastor 24/7 and that I know, but I'm also a husband and father 24/7 and some things take precedence. If someone needs to get a hold of me after office hours, I'm going to recommend email and if an emergency, the house phone. We'll see how that goes. I also want to make family time more than just being together. I want to do more things together. I love being Rylee's Daddy and next year she'll start walking and talking some or maybe a lot (she is kin to her mother). I want to be there for it all and I want to help her experience even more. One thing is for sure, if my family life goes lacking so that my church job can excel, I'm the one who fails and my family is the one who loses in the end. Got to put first things first more so than ever in 2012.
Yes, I absolutely LOVE to travel. My dream for next year is two fold. I want to spend a weekend in Franklin, TN and attend Michael W. Smith's church both for enjoyment and for research. And second, I want to take a road trip to Denver over the course of 10-12 days and see my boy Tebow play a home game for the Broncos.
So I think that's it. We'll see how I do in 2012. A lot is riding on a lot of what I'm planning. It's going to be a big year with some big plans and goals. I'm looking forward to it.
So what do you think of my resolutions? What are yours?