Tuesday, December 29, 2015

No More New Year's Resolutions

I never make New Year’s resolutions. I’m too hard on myself when I break them--which I always do. Then I end up feeling guilty, and that’s a waste of time. So I set goals instead, and post them on my bedroom wall, where I review them every couple of months to remind myself of what I’m shooting for. I have six month goals, one year goals, five- year goals, even lifetime goals. But I have noticed something about them over the years. They change.
            It used to be important to me to look younger than I am, and be known as a classy lady. Now I just try to hide the wrinkles and gray hairs, and treat people with respect. I figure they may not notice the lack of ruts on my upper lip or the label on my purse, but they will remember if I make them feel special and important.

               When I first began presenting in public and writing, I based my success on how many compliments I received after a gig or book review  If someone snoozed while I was singing or speaking, or gave me a two-star review, I took it personally. I had actually bored them to sleep. How much closer to horrible can you get?
             Then my focus changed from a need for affirmation to a desire to be genuine and help people know my loving Father. It’s fun to entertain. It’s more fun to know you have made someone’s day by lifting them up. If a person went to sleep while I was singing or speaking today, I’d silently chuckle and pray they’d have good nap! If I got a one or two-star review on a book, I'd be happy that the world could see my reviews are genuine!
                I can’t name the date and time this radical change took place in me. I recall no magical moment in time when I heard God speak in thunderous tones: “You are focusing on the shallow. I hereby change your heart, so you are more interested in character than image.”
           But I began to observe people who who are genuinely happy and fulfilled. Those whose have a spring in their step and a light in their eyes, who like themselves. Those people maintain a sweet, abiding relationship with Jesus. They are not as affected by their circumstances or the negativity all around them as they are their faith in the living God.
            I don’t notice how those faith-filled people look; I simply feel good when I’m around them. And I want to make other people experience that goodness when they share the same spot in the universe with me. Therefore, I decided to focus on my attitudes instead of my achievements. It’s one of the lifetime goals…
I have a ways to go before I'm 102!

Not that I won’t be still working on getting rid of wrinkles and grey hairs when I’m a hundred and two.  But hopefully I’ll be so sweet by then no one will notice.   

P.S. If you'd like to win a copy of my newest book, Shock the Clock: Time Management for Writers and Other Creatives, please join me on Darlene Franklin's blog today.