December 30, 2012

Looking Forward - Susan Barclay

It's natural, as the year comes to an end, to look back and reflect on the events of the past twelve months, to consider how far (or not so far) one has come in that period of time, and to consider the year ahead.

Often it's a time when people create 'resolutions' or formulate goals. From my experience and from what I've heard from others, resolutions are usually broken within a couple of weeks. Instead of recommitting and moving forward, people tend to throw their hands up in despair and stop their self-improvement efforts.

Personally, I have moved from making resolutions to setting goals.While I admit that attempts to accomplish my 2012 goals using the Pick Four system failed, I still managed to complete two of the four on that list - finishing a Christmas short story (published in the anthology All Wrapped Up) and losing weight (17 pounds!).

Jan PlanAs I look toward 2013, I have jumped on the Jan Plan wagon, which I found out about on one of the blogs I follow. According to the original post, "The Jan Plan will involve committing to finish one project. One. However you define 'finish'. Just doing what you have to do to get one project out of your unfinished knitting basket." My one project will be the completion of a short story I started this fall. If I successfully "get 'er done", I imagine there will be a Feb Plan, Mar Plan, etc. Please think about joining me and signing up for the challenge!

In the last couple of days, I've also been thinking about how to grow my character this year to become a less critical person. Yes, I admit this is an area in which I struggle. I can be critical of others as well as myself, not even attempting to extend compassion, understanding, or grace - especially if I'm around other judgmental people, who are quick to see the sawdust in another's eye while ignoring the plank in their own (Matthew 7:3-5). From the thoughts and mutterings I was wrestling with yesterday, I know this isn't going to be easy, but I'm determined. It will require me to learn more of God's Word, lean into and depend on Him, and remember that through Christ I have all I need for godly living (2 Peter 1:3). If I come to your mind this year, won't you pray for me?

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  1. Susan,

    First, congrats on achieving those two goals from your 2012 list. Wonderful!

    Mmm... you interest me in 'The Jan Plan'... I like the simplicity of having just one project to focus on. I think for me that is key, because otherwise I get overwhelmed. So I'll be checking that out.

    As for your own personal goal, you have courage, Susan, to share it with us. We applaud you.

    And we know that His grace will enable you to move forward in love one choice at a time. If I can be so bold, I've been learning that if I ask Him to show me 'them' through His eyes, it gets easier to let go of the negative.

    Hugs... and thanks so much for sharing with us!

    Happy New Year,

  2. Not only have I given up new year resolutions, I have given up making any! Much too disheartening.
    I appreciate your not only "Getting it done", but also "improving my character."
    Too easy to concentrate on the former and forget the latter--which is probably an important step to get the former done sometimes.
    Thaks for hte insights.

  3. I appreciate you both leaving these comments. They encourage me to press forward. And I agree, Brenda, to be able to see others the Jesus does is crucial to becoming a more compassionate, accepting person. Thanks for the hugs!


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