A guest post by Francine Rivers
After the excitement and joy of Christmas, I begin to ponder the coming year—and my possibilities list. A wise friend once told me “resolutions” has a legalistic sound to it, a “must do” that puts stress on one to achieve everything put down on paper. Anything less than perfection would be failure. I like the slogan “progress, not perfection.” Hence—I went with her suggestion: possibilities!
Every New Year’s Eve, I spend the evening going through a pile of notes, articles, and my calendar. It’s important for me to have a plan for the coming year. It’s on paper, not chiseled in stone. God is free to redirect me anytime He pleases. I’m open to His leading. But it doesn’t hurt to have some ideas about things I’d like to do—or get done.
I have seven categories in the following order:
Spiritual—Anything that will nurture my faith in Jesus Christ and help me grow as a Christian. Examples: Reading the One Year Bible, attending Bible Study Fellowship, keeping our home group Bible study going.
Family—Rick and I start our day by reading devotionals to one another, then praying. It’s also important to plan activities together, as well as with the family. Golf, anyone?
Work—Finishing a manuscript and considering what might come next. Maybe I’ll try script writing.
Finance—Everything that comes in comes from God. Hence, we need to be responsible in how we use those resources. They aren’t just intended for our personal use. Rick and I work together in this area, making decisions about intentional giving and saving.
Travel—It doesn’t cost a penny to dream or have a bucket list. I have categories within this category: local spots to visit, places in the state, out-of-state, and international. The more we see, the more we want to see. I’ve done a lot of armchair traveling this year, too.
House—Last year, we worked on downsizing. Rick has Parkinson’s and I’m a klutz with arthritis. Stairs will one day be a problem. We went through everything with the thought of a possible move to a smaller, single-story house. Well, we changed our minds. So this year, I’ll be focusing on minor repairs. I have a list for a handyman. All I need to do is find one.
Personal—Physical, mental, and emotional “upkeep.” Exercise, reading, time to reflect, spending time with friends (girls’ nights out).
While making my list of possibilities, I consider the following:
- It’s never too late to do/try something new.
- Keep relationships central. God, family, friends (old and new).
- Work hard, but make time to have fun.
- Small changes over time make a big difference.
Happy New Year!!
What about you readers? What does your possibilities list look like for 2016?