My New Year’s Resolution

Because I am a teacher, my New Year does not begin in January. It begins in August.

I have always enjoyed the start of a new school year, even as a student. I liked the smell of new school supplies, the feel of a new backpack. I wasn’t terribly academic, but I did enjoy school, my friends, extracurricular activities (anything to do with drama or music). And I walked into every new school year hopeful – “this will be the best year EVER.”

As a teacher, I feel much the same way. I want every new school year to be better than the one before. I want to be a better teacher, a better mentor, a better mom, a better wife.

In the last month, I have started exercising more regularly. I have read books that will stretch me, not just the books that I want to read. I have evaluated my lesson plans and looked for ways to improve them. I have evaluated my life, looked back over the past year, and tried to make changes that will enable this year to be a better one than last year. I have, in short, made New Year’s Resolutions.

In the past, I have mocked people who make actual New Year’s Resolutions. “We should make changes at any time during the year. Not just in January!” But I realized, as I’m resoluting (yes, I just made that word up. So??), that I laugh at folks in January because January is like their August to me. It is mid-year. The beginning is as far off as the end, and the last thing I want to think about then is change.

But I am thinking about it now. And I am resolving to make this year better. And I am convicted that, while reading good books, and getting off my rear, and improving my lesson plans are valuable, they are shallow goals. And they are resolutions that, come January, could be forgotten, lost under a pile of essays to be graded and soccer games to attend.

God has been revealing to me, as I make these outward changes, that the “inner me” is far more important. My relationship with him is what will give me the strength and grace and perseverance to achieve the goals I have set for myself; and, more importantly, to recognize the goals HE has for me. If I get to May and all I have to show for it is a smaller body and a bigger library, I have missed out. Big time. I have allowed myself to be focused on myself – never a good thing.

So more than anything this year, I resolve to be focused on my Savior. I want to follow him passionately, to seek him wholeheartedly, to make his goals my goals, to throw off anything that doesn’t bring him glory.

In short, I resolve to make this the best year EVER.

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