Tonight we ring in a new year. There is something special about this time of the year for me. It’s an occasion to wind down the old and start the new. There is probably nothing magical about the beginning of a new year, but somehow it just seems like a good time to put things in order to move forward.
Many of us make resolutions or plans for a new year. Planning can be a good thing. Planning helped me to achieve many of my goals. It helped me to become a lawyer, lose weight and get out of debt. But as I look back over my life, I see that I also accomplished things that I did not plan.
For years I wanted to live abroad, but I did not put much thought or effort into making it happen. Then one day out of the blue, the opportunity for me to move to Finland appeared. Moving, especially more than 6000 miles from home, was not in my plans at that moment. I was torn between staying in Texas and pursuing the plans that I had at the time, or taking a detour and going down a path that I had not considered. After much deliberation I packed my bags and headed to Finland.
Much of my time in Finland falls into the category of ‘unplanned and unexpected’, but living in Finland was one of the best experiences of my life. During my stay there I came to understand the value of living rather than planning to live. It’s easy to get so caught up in planning the future that we forget to live in the present, or to get so frustrated when our plans go awry that we cannot see the opportunities that are around us.
I have a vision for my life, but I stopped making New Year’s resolutions several years ago. I decided to plan less and live more. I believe that plans have a place in our lives, but they should help us not hinder us.
I’m curious as to what some of your experiences have been with resolutions. Do you make them? Do you find resolutions to be helpful? How successful are you with sticking to your resolutions?
I wish you a blessed and prosperous 2011. Happy New Year!!!
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21 NIV)
See. Live. Enjoy.