How I wrote my goals and resolutions
Hiya! It’s this time of the year when everyone is making their New Year’s resolutions. Due to FOMO (fear of missing out), I decide to join the party and make 22 of my own, just to suit the year 2022.
Okay, not really.
Jonathan Edwards wrote his famous 70 Resolutions as a young man, and – mind you – his was not a list that comes and goes every New Year. They were 70 LIFETIME Resolutions. What’s more, Edwards reviewed his list at least once a week to keep his mind focused and renewed. Talk about self-discipline!
Inspired by his example, I decided to start with 22 resolutions this year, and hold myself accountable by sharing them on my blog.
I also want to make them more intentional. In the past, my New Year’s resolutions were often couched in action statements, without any thought as to WHY I wanted to do them in the first place.
So, I refer to Jonathan Edwards’ and Simon Sinek’s ‘Start with Why’ principle in his golden circle to craft my goals and resolutions:
I try to write every one of my resolutions as a ‘goal + action’. As far as possible, I will start with an action verb to remind myself to be proactive and take action.
Most importantly, I want my resolutions to flow from an overarching, God-centered vision. Matt Perman articulates it best in this poster, and this has been something I use on my smartphone screen for years:
“We glorify God by doing good for others Radically, Creatively, and Abundantly.”– Matt Perman
(Click here to find out why I recommend Matt Perman’s book on productivity, What’s Best Next.)
I also categorize them into 5 groups: Personal, Family, Work, Ministry, and Blogging. Under each group, I make my resolutions on the key roles that I believe God is calling me to be right now (husband, father, teacher, lay leader, blogger). With God’s help, I hope to be faithful in each of them and make resolutions that are accountable, intentional, proactive, and God-centered.
Here are my 22 goals and resolutions for the year 2022:
- Live a vibrant relationship with God through daily journaling and prayer.
Journaling is a really helpful spiritual discipline for me to pen down my thoughts. Journaling prayerfully helps to center my mind on God and pour out my soul to Him.
- Keep a biblical worldview by following our church’s one-year Bible reading plan.
Whether through listening to an audio Bible or reading from the Book itself, the idea is to fill my mind with God’s Word so that I see the world in a whole different light.
“I have treasured Your Word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.”– Psalm 119:11
- Maintain a healthy body by exercising at least 3 times a week.
This will be mainly jogging and home workout. Exercising also improve my mental and emotional health, and I aim to do at least 30 minutes per day.
- Build spiritual friendships with 2 to 4 brothers-in-Christ in a 3-2-1 setting.
I hope to start at least one group this year with two of my church elders, so that we do not see each other merely as co-workers, but as friends in the Lord.
“24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25 not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.“– Hebrews 10:24-25
- Grow as a learner by reading at least 2 books each month.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reading for personal growth.
- Nurture the faith of our children by having family devotions in the evening (at least 5 times a week).
Family devotion is a time where the whole family gathers at the table to read the Bible and pray. It is a precious time for us to share about our Christian faith. Thank God that this has become a routine since 2020. But during busy periods, 5 times a week can be a struggle for us. Keep us in prayer, ok?
- Build a stronger marriage with my wife by going on a date at least twice a month.
Actually twice a month is too few, but it is better to set a target we can stick to. I’m sure those of you who are husbands can relate =)
The idea is that, as a married couple with children, we can get so busy talking about kids, work, ministry, finance and committments to our parents, without really talking with each other. Going out on a date is an intentional effort to work on strengthening the marriage (Eph. 5:22-33).
- Enjoy God’s rest and presence by keeping the Sabbath every week.
On this day (usually on Sundays), we try to cease from work (yes, including their homework), enjoy each other’s company, and do something leisurely. Sometimes we visit people or spend time with our friends from church. It keeps the family unity and our sanity as well.
- Cultivate the family’s love for nature by visiting a park or nature reserve every week.
Less screen time, more green time!
- Grow as a Senior Teacher by completing the Teacher Leaders’ Programme 1 from January to March.
This is a milestone course for us. There is so much learning from it that I plan to share some of my thoughts in a series by itself. It is also a good time to meet Senior Teachers from other schools and learn from them. Ideally, this should be conducted on NIE campus, but because of the pandemic, we have all our lessons online through Zoom.
- Build stronger relationships with my students in all my form and subject classes, and the Boys’ Brigade CCA.
I am back to being a form teacher again, after 10 years! In our school, the form teachers are known as Class Mentors. I like this term as it reflects the nurturing aspect of our work. Boys’ Brigade is always a CCA close to my heart, and I look forward to build closer ties with the students after I come back from my course.
- Mentor other teachers to grow together in our teaching competency, specifically differentiated instruction in assessment, and e-Pedagogy.
Actually, ‘mentoring others’ can be a tall order. More often than not, I find myself learning from them! Blessed to have a superb team to work with!
- Deepen my craft as a Chinese Language teacher, by reading up on research literature and exchanging best practices with other teachers.
- Practice self-leadership and self-management by using Todoist and Evernote as my ‘go-to’ commitment tracking system.
The idea of ‘Commitment Tracking System’ is from Jordan Raynor, another of my favorite authors. He advocates a life of excellence for the glory of God, and one key step is to manage our commitments under one app. This way, we offload our minds and manage our tasks effectively. More on this in the future, I promise!
- Be a servant-leader to my brothers and sisters in church, loving them through faithful and self-giving service as a deacon.
The Bible holds high expectations for elders and deacons (1 Ti. 3:1-13). Whenever I read the passage, I ask myself if I am worthy to hold the role. By faith, I come to realize that I am not serving with my own righteousness, but Christ’s righteousness. I can love others, because God first love me. (1 Jn. 4:19)
- Preach gospel-centred and Christ-exalting sermons on the pulpit as a lay preacher.
The word ‘preaching’ may have fallen out of favour in contemporary times, but it is the primary means that God’s people communicates His Word to the world. Lewis Allen writes that preaching is “declaring God’s truth in Jesus, to the praise of his name.” As a lay preacher, I am deeply aware of my own inadequacy and frailty for the task. Every time I prepare a sermon, I can feel the constraints on my time and energy. But it is a task I am willing to give my life to, because I have experienced how the glory of Christ and His gospel so powerfully transform my life. Hence, I am on this learning journey to train myself to be a better communicator of God’s Word each time I stand on the pulpit, so that the glory of Christ can be revealed in the Scriptures.
- Exhort the young people to ‘think Christianly’ about real-life issues through holding monthly talks at the Young People Fellowship.
Reaching out to the young people will be a new step for me this year. Pray that my team and I can lay a strong foundation for their character formation.
- Develop the church website through forming a collaborative website team.
We are currently working on our media vision and strategy. If you know of anyone who can help us, do reach out to me and let me know!
- Align all future blog content and activities to the mission of ‘inspiring readers to discover and embrace their calling’.
Darren Rowse on Problogger raised this question: “Instead of thinking about what you want to achieve in 2022, try thinking about what you’d like your readers to achieve.” That sets me thinking about what the mission of my blog is, from a reader’s perspective. This mission statement (again, work in progress) encapsulates what I hope to do for my readers through this blog.
- Create quality content that inspire and edify my readers, by posting once a fortnight.
Every blog post is a labor of love. While most blogging experts adovcate 2-3 posts per week for SEO reasons, I realize that is just not realistic for me. Once a fortnight will be more manageable.
Of course, if you can help me out with guest posting, check out the next point:
- Network with other like-minded bloggers and explore guest posting.
As I explore the blogging world, I notice many Christians in Singapore and globally who are actively engaging the culture and writing quality content. By inviting them to write guest posts here, I hope to open up more conversations and build a community of Christian writers, generously sharing new ways of embracing our unique callings.
- Interview at least one person every 2 months to look at how people embrace their calling in various ways.
These people may not be bloggers but they are unique individuals in their fields. My niche is exploring the world of teaching, and I am excited to converse with some of them who have agreed to share their journeys with us. But I’m also looking for Christians coming from diverse walks of life. If you have a story to tell, do drop me a message or look for our Facebook page, and I’d be more than happy to connect with you!
What are your thoughts?
As I look through the list above, I have to admit that it looks pretty daunting. Maybe I was too ambitious. I have no idea if I can accomplish even half of the list this year.
But at the same time, creating this list also helps me crystallize my thoughts and focus on what is really important.
I need to remind myself that, “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1). By faith, I entrust these plans to God and acknowledge that I can do nothing apart from Christ (Jn. 15:5)
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.– Psalm 16:3
So, what do you think? Are there any similar goals and resolutions you would like to achieve this year? What new insights do you see? How might we better envision our goals for the year?
Share your thoughts in the comments below! If you have your own new year resolutions, you may also share them here so that we can keep each other accountable!