I’m not much into the whole “New Years Resolutions” thing.  I’ve tried it in the past, and I think for the most part, resolutions don’t last.  At least for me, it seems that doing New Years Resolutions are a convenience thing…something we only look at doing once a year.  How many New Years Resolutions fall by the wayside when the newness fades away and the reality of the commitment and sacrifice they require sets in.  While I understand the concept, the notion that making a change in our lives only once a year is not something I agree with.  I believe that if it’s time for a change in July, then make a change…why wait until the end of the year?  That being said, I do understand that the end of the year is a time to look back the events of the previous year…a time of reflection for what’s gone well and what’s not…what’s working, and what’s not.  In looking back on my 2011, I’ve decided it’s time for a change.

I have a lot of things going well in my life.  I certainly have no room to be disappointed.  However, I believe God has bigger plans in store for me…and for us as a family.  I believe that I’m holding myself…and our family…back.  It’s time for me to make some changes…to break old habits and start new ones.  I also believe in the plan.  Every successful person or organization started with a plan…and followed it.  There are several key areas of my life that require a change, so the new plan is this:

1.  Spiritual
I intend to spend more time with God, strengthening our relationship, and my dependence on Him.  To do that, I will:

a.  Spend one-on-one time with Him in prayer daily, away from the world…just me and God.
b.  Read through the entire Bible this year.  Your mom bought me a chronological Bible, and I’m well under way and enjoying my time in the Word.
c.  Take part in an adult Bible study, to deepen my understanding of the Word.
d.  Read the Bible to you more and spend no less than twice a week discussing it in more depth, even if for only 5 minutes at a time to start.

2.   Family
To ensure that my actions reflect my words…to show you how I value our time together and how much I value our family time, I will:

a.  Take your mother out on a date night at least once a month.  With friends or alone, does not matter.  It’s important for us to have a strong relationship with each other, so that our relationship with you is healthy.
b.  Schedule regular one-on-one time with each of you, at least once a month.
c.  Schedule a family outing at least once a month and take you on a family vacation.
d.  Ensure we continue to have dinner together at the family table no less than three times a week, preferably 4-5.
e.  Read to you more.  Both books you enjoy, and the Bible.

3.  Physical
To improve my overall physical health, I will:

a.  Run two half marathons and at least two smaller 5k or 10k races.
b.  Begin preparing to compete in a triathlon by 2013.
c.  Make healthier choices in my eating.

4.  Financial
To improve upon our financial position and provide a stable financial future for our family, I will:

a.  Start doing the family budget again and live within it.
b.  Make payments above the minimum toward the one debt we have left, the house.
c.  Go back to the “envelope” system, paying cash for most day-to-day expenses.
d.  Put a hold on unnecessary, discretionary purchases for 2012.

5.  Mental
To improve my overall mental health and reduce the stress in my life, I will:

a.  Read one book for every month of the year.
b.  Re-enroll in college classes toward completing my Bachelor’s Degree.
Prayerfully, and with the power of God through Christ who lives in me, I will make progress toward these goals…toward being the man God is calling me to be.

Love,

Dad

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