Emily Edwards

A new year brings new opportunities. A blank page, a clean slate. How ever you may look at it, it is a new beginning. It is up to you to make the most of it. Have you written any New Year’s resolutions? Have you told someone, “This year will be different?”

If you have, great! If you haven’t made any resolutions, that’s okay, too.

However, now is the time. Today. Do not wait until next week or next month. Make a plan.

I laugh when I tell you this because you cannot imagine how many “plans” I have made for my life. If you only knew the times I have written out or thought through some great plans for my life and later looked back and it didn’t turn out at all like I thought.

So, why make a plan? Well, it is important to have a direction, focus or a goal.

This is the the end of one year and the beginning of another, it is symbolic of closing one door and opening another.

The dictionary defines resolution as: a firm decision to do or not to do something, the quality of being determined or resolute. Resolutions are usually made at a time when we are looking back and trying to change old habits or start new habits to improve our lives. Often these life changes are to lose weight, eat better, be more active, save more, pay off debt, etc.

We should make goals that are S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. It is easy to set a goal of losing weight; you may have already joined a gym or bought some “healthy” food. The hard part comes with having the resolve to follow through. I mean tell the truth, how much produce has ruined in your fridge?

It usually helps to have a support system—some family or friends that encourage you toward your goals.

Take stock of where you are and what you want out of life. Don’t just continue to do what others expect of you or what you think might make you seem or feel more successful or more appealing. You have to make resolutions or set goals that are self-motivated.

Every choice I have has a consequence. Some are good and some are bad. If I neglect my health and do not go to the doctor, I will have the consequences. If something needs doing, it is better to go ahead and do it.

The longer we wait, the more likely the problem is to get worse.

For me, it is most important to pray for direction and make sure all my decisions are filtered through the hands of Jesus. My plans have failed many times because I wasn’t filtering them through Jesus. Many times we get caught up in materialism or “keeping up with the … whoever” and we fail to pray and consider what God wants.

You can choose to follow your own path and make your own decisions. While these choices might not always seem bad, you will surely be on a path to destruction. Anytime that you are choosing yourself above others you are on dangerous territory. So what is so new about this new year? Maybe it is you. The choice is yours.

Emily Edwards is a staff writer for The Southeast Sun and Daleville Sun-Courier. The opinions of this writer are her own and not the opinion of the paper. She can be reached at (334) 393-2969 or by email at eedwards@southeastsun.com.

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