hopes for a new year (spiritual musings)

Resolutions are BAD for perfectionists

3:57 PMHeather

"Hi! My name is Heather. And, I am a recovering perfectionist," (to be said with a serious downcast face). I've decided it's like being an alcoholic. Once a perfectionist, always a perfectionist. However, I've learned to become more flexible. I actually laugh now when my husband reminds me of the famous SPONTANEOUS statement from our flirting/nearly dating days. He wanted to drive to Dallas with a large group of friends. It was 10 pm. I told him, with a perfectly straight face, that I could BE spontaneous if he just gave me time to plan. (logical, right? okay, okay--I now see how neurotic I can be).....

All this to say that resolutions are brutal for perfectionists. It's like taking an alcoholic to Mardi Gras. Talk about setting yourself up for failure...... A fresh year represents new hope for success, a fresh start, the ultimate "do-over." And, for this perfectionist, by about noon on New Year's Day, there's a feeling of impending doom that I've already ruined the ENTIRE year because I DID yell at my kids, I didn't stay on top of my new house cleaning regime, and I did not manage to create labels for every rubbermaid in the house?!

Alas, it was in this mindset that I sat down with my prayer journal on January 1st. Here's what I wrote:
A fresh start. A new year. But, truly--every day is a New Year in Christ. His mercies are new for every day. Every day is a do-over--and some days include multiple do-overs. That's what His grace and mercy are all about! Let each day be a celebration of a fresh start as I roll out of bed. Give my kids, Chris, my family and friends a fresh start each day, too. Have grace--show mercy. Love big, complain less. Critique less, be LONG on forgiveness and short on grudges. Play more, be more focused on relationships than tasks. Spend MORE time with the Lord, and less time on TV. Spend more efforts on serving others than waiting for them to serve me. Pray more, worry less. Know more about His character than the details of celebrity lives or the details of how to do Facebook. Seek to make HIM more famous than me. Pursue HIM--please HIM, and not anyone else before Him. Be intentional--watch how I use each day, rather than watching how the days use me up. Be swept away in the flood of His love.

Just so we are clear--these are NOT resolutions. Instead, let's call them "hopes" for a new year. And, don't be surprised if I suddenly say to you in April, August--or after a particularly rough day, "Hey! HAPPY New Year!"

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