So last night I was talking with one of the good friends that I have made over the past almost six months and she asked me if I had made any new year's resolutions yet. I responded and told her that I hadn't and proceeded to tell her why I thought it was dumb to set goals once a year. She replied, "Well these are my goals..." and told me the goals she had set for herself.
They were really good! I thought back to some of the goals I have made in the past. There was the one year when they were all things like "Don't do drugs." Well I've never been into drugs at all so I definitely accomplished those without any effort. Then there was the year when I really wanted to change and set goals of "Don't do this, don't do that, and do this every week." After what I considered a complete failure at those goals, I pretty much tossed them out the window after about two weeks and never thought of them again.
So that's been my experience with the whole new year resolution concept--hence why I have always thought it was pointless! But when she shared hers with me I realized that I had been setting worthless goals all along and that is probably where my bad attitude towards the whole concept spawns from. So, with a little help from my friend, I am setting my new year's goals. I figured a blog would be a good place to share these because it would make me a lot more accountable to achieve them and put the pressure on me to actually make them happen! :)
1) One of the greatest things I have learned from being on my mission is gratitude. So another goal that I have set for myself this year is not only to be grateful, but to express my gratitude more frequently--to thank those who serve me, to serve in return, and most importantly to express to my Father in Heaven how grateful I am for all that I have been given (including challenges).
2) Another goal I have for myself is to be a better missionary and to improve everyday. There are a number of things that go into a sub-category of this goal, but I have chosen a few; to develop the love that God has for all of His children that He has put in my care, to be more focused on what God has called me to do, to be more productive, to be more in tune with the Spirit and know what God would have me do, and most importantly to teach with power.
3) Elder Bednar came and spoke to us last week for Christmas. That was probably the best talk I have ever heard. I felt like it was directed right at me and how I can improve. The main thing he talked about was how we can become more like Christ; how we can put off the natural man (Mosiah 3:19) and bring the character of Christ into our lives. So that is my first and biggest goal for this year--to do what Elder Bednar spoke about and turn outward when I want to turn inward.Through doing this, I have learned that setting goals at the beginning of the year isn't just about accomplishing what you want to do, but rather it is about doing what it takes to achieve who you want to become and who the Lord needs you to be. I still stick with my opinion that it is more effective to set and make goals more than just once a year, but I think the combination is perfect--setting long term goals and then assessing yourself each week or month or however often you decide to see how you are progressing. So thank you Alison for helping me to learn this!