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Looking Outward

Resolutions are one of those things people seem to love or hate.

Love is a strong word, but as a frequent journaler, I get pretty into them. I’m not talking about your ordinary “go to the gym” resolutions, though — I’ve never been able to follow through on those.

I have what I call annual “do something” goals. Each year, I aim to do at least one thing I’ve never done before, go somewhere I’ve never gone before and eat something I’ve never eaten before. The best thing about this is you don’t have to try very hard to make that happen. I like to fill out the list throughout the year, adding experiences as they come. They don’t have to be far-flung or exotic — just new. I love looking back at the lists as a reminder of how I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone and expanded my horizons.

Then there are the more structured goals I come up with each January: do this, prioritize that, get better at these five things. Over the years, I’ve learned to refine these goals so they have a better chance of actually happening (“do this X times a week,” as opposed to just “do this”). Every few months, I circle back, evaluating my progress (or lack thereof). It’s a system that helps hold me accountable, and I’ve been able to follow through on a lot of things as a result.

But many of my goals, I’m starting to realize, are pretty me centered. Work less. Sleep more. Save X amount of money. Resolutions usually encourage me to look inward – as opposed to outward. As a result, I think, the past few years have been pretty me focused, too.

So this year, as I think about my 2019 goals, I’m trying to think outward as much as inward. What can I put out into the world this year? How can I better serve God and my community?

I don’t have all the answers at this point, and that’s OK. Vision alone can steer you forward.

Here are a few of the questions I’m asking myself. Maybe they’ll help you, too.

What are some things that have been weighing on your heart lately?

What is a problem you see — globally or locally — that you can’t turn away from?

What are some things you can do something about it?

What are some ways you can serve your neighbors better?

Who are some people you’d like to focus on encouraging and/or praying for this year?


Brittney serves on the Writing Team at Hoboken Grace.

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