On New Year’s Day I had lunch with my parents after church. We caught up with what we had all been up to and how we spent our New Year’s Eve. My stepmom asked me what my goals were for 2023. I knew I would be asked this eventually. I’m not entirely sure why, but this question is a source of anxiety. I worry my resolutions aren’t good or cool enough. I worry people may wonder why on earth I chose what I chose. I also feel so much pressure on myself to actually follow through with the goals I set for myself.
Will anyone know if I meet my goals or not? Not unless I tell them. Will anyone care if I don’t meet my goals? Probably not.
A few years ago, I changed my outlook. I let myself make one goal/resolution for the year that was obtainable. For example, one year I wanted to be more active. I didn’t exercise every day, but by the end of the year I was far more active than I had been the previous year! Last year I wanted to read more and to reconnect with some people in my life. In 2022 I read 18 books and strengthened some friendships! (Side note: I know 18 books doesn’t seem like a lot, but grad school absolutely destroyed my love for reading, so that was a huge accomplishment!).
I shared with my parents that my goals for 2023 were to continue reading more and to be more positive. Instead of focusing on everything that is wrong like I usually do, I want to live in the moment and enjoy what is going well. I want to identify the bright spots every day.
I spent some of my time off reflecting on the bright spots from the holidays. The first year of the Christmas Village went well. I was surrounded by friends and family that I love so much. I had time to myself to rest and relax. My best friends and I participated in the Christmas Eve Service. I got to see family I hadn’t seen in over 15 years. The youth had a coffee hang out and they shared what they had been up to.
During my reflection, I wondered if I had changed at all from the beginning of 2022. Was it a good change? Was not changing, okay? What in the past year had stayed the same?
I thought of the phrase people tend to use with the new year: New Year, New Me. Yes, it’s a new year, and yes, I may be different than I was at the start of 2022, but there was in fact one thing that never changed. God’s presence. He was there every day. He has guided me through, just as He has guided you through the years.
I am not the same person I was in high school.
I am not the same person I was when I started college.
I am not the same person I was in 2020.
Through all the hardships and celebrations, God was there. I may be a new person with a new mentality, but the same God has been by my side, and He will continue to be there, no matter what. And I think that thought right there is the best bright spot to kick off 2023!