Like many others, a few years ago I switched from making resolutions to fixating on a single word focus at the beginning of a new year. All of my words tied to specific passages of Bible scripture, equipping me with a support system for my resolve. And they enhanced my writing, as well as general life choices.
In the past, various encouragements came to mind:
- Joy — Nehemiah 8:10
- Choice — Deuteronomy 30:19
- Patience — Psalm 40:1
- Invest — Matthew 25:27
- Love — 1 Corinthians 13:1
- Obey — 1 Samuel 16:4
- Learn — Job 34:4
- Peace — Proverbs 12:20
- Teachable — Exodus 33:13
- Resolve — Daniel 1:8
- Call — Jeremiah 33:3
All very positive affirmations. And each one transformed me more into the person I wanted to become.
But this year, I’m compelled to focus on a very different word. Mostly opposite of concentrated efforts in my past. This year, I guess God’s using a little reverse psychology on me. My New Year focus word?
As in, don’t be the wicked and lazy servant who buries her talents. Matthew 25:14-30.
Besides the spiritual application, there are practical applications as well. Especially when it comes to succeeding as a published writer.
- If I fritter my time away on television, or other useless endeavors, I can’t be about my Father’s business of writing.
- It takes practice, learning as a good apprentice, to become a professional.
- Allowing myself to wallow in tiredness stifles my ability to be a doer, and makes me a dreamer only. (I’ve learned I can talk myself out of being tired, can move around for a few minutes, or even allow myself a short nap to revive. Sometimes, fatigue is a mindset.)
- A person has to start where they are in order to get where they want to go.
- I only get so many seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and months in a year, and wasting them will only leave me discouraged, guilty, and depressed. This can spin me into a hamster wheel of failure.
- Publishers don’t like working with lazy writers.
- Being lazy with my marketing means missed opportunities to get my message into the world.
- Building a writing career takes time, energy, and persistence. Laziness steals momentum from what we’ve invested thus far.
The reason I’m writing about this now, versus week one or January 1, is I know myself. Often, about six weeks into a focus of this nature, I start getting lax, allowing apathy to override my renewed concentration on a specific act. I need something to propel me into my Writing Cave.
So this post isn’t just about you, although I certainly hope it encourages you to revisit your resolution or New Year’s focus, but it’s also about me. I’m creating a tickler for myself, to help me avoid the pitfall of so easily forgetting the promise I made to me, before God.
Ecclesiastes 5:5 says, “It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” A resolution or word focus is a vow you make to yourself.
I’m not saying this to make anyone, including myself, feel guilty. But I can’t ignore the truth of the statement, and the reminder that I need to do a better job of acting on my God-given ability and opportunity. After all, a lazy attitude toward learning new things, or accepting new challenges, will make me stagnate.
As the tagline on my website says, “It’s Never Too Late for a Fresh Start with Fresh Faith.” I believe it, and I live by it.
So this year, my focus is on the word lazy — something I hope to learn to live without. Each day dawns bright with new hope, and each moment burns deep with opportunity.
What have you resolved? How are you doing in your renewed efforts?