Why I Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

Happy 2018, friends!!!! I’m so excited to introduce y’all to my friend Amy Lloyd today. We met back in 2010, when we were living in Washington, D.C.

Back then, Amy was busy with two little ones just as I was. Even then she was singing, which is her passion. But here’s a little known fact: Amy used to be a staffer on Capitol Hill. Her background is actually in writing. She was working on the Hill the day of 9/11…y’all help me convince her to share that story with us next! (You can do the convincing in the comments section below.)

Psst! Also check out the links to amylloyd.net to hear her beautiful voice!! (What Child is this is my favorite!!!)

Today Amy is here to talk about our New Year’s goals and the more satisfying, encouraging way that she has found to plan out her year and keep her focus straight.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions

guest post by Amy Lloyd

 I have a love-hate relationship with the New Year. I love the fresh start and the excitement of a new chapter waiting to be written. Oh, the possibilities! However, over the past few years, I have found the New Year’s goal-setting process to be extremely counter-productive. I stress over priorities for the coming year. Then I become irritated with indecisiveness. And, finally I rehearse each failure from the previous year as I write that same goal once again.

 

I think we all agree time is a gift to be used wisely, and I still believe that setting long and short-term goals is a great tool to help live a life intentionally. I won’t go into how to set goals here. There are plenty of other blog posts with those details this time of year. (And if you cannot find something free to read, there is a billion dollar self-improvement industry pushing products and services to help you.)

 

What I am here to say is that Providence does not always work on a calendar year, and you don’t have to either.

 

What if your current season in life or profession does not move on an academic or calendar year? I am a mom and a singer. Although there are some aspects that work with a calendar, often both of these occupations require a lot more patience than a calendar year to see results.

 

Or, what happens when God’s plan is to turn your world upside down with some kind of trial? In the last four years I have had a major surgery with lengthy physical therapy, we have relocated to Indianapolis after living in the Washington, DC area our entire adult lives, and my husband has worked four different, very demanding jobs.

 

A year ago, I had almost given up on the New Year. In an effort of self-compassion, I decided that I would wait until February to do my annual goal setting…or possibly not make them at all. Then, on December 29, while scrolling through my Facebook news feed, I saw the headline of a post by my blogging friend Moriah that read: I DON’T DO RESOLUTIONS. I was curious. Her blog introduced me to #oneword365.

 

Moriah explained that she picks one word that she applies to all aspects of her life for the entire year. Simple. Profound. Game-changer!

 

I decided I was going to try this. While being incredibly indecisive on picking my one word for 2017, on January 1, my teacher Peter posted on his blog that he was not making resolutions. Instead, he was making “renewals.” That’s it! My word for 2017 was renew.

 

I loved that the word renew reminded me of Bible verse that says: But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31, NKJV)

 

I needed to renew my strength in all aspects of my life so desperately. I was determined to apply my one word, so I wrote it as a reminder every day in my Panda Planner. Consistently writing my one word was key. Although I highly recommend a written journaling planner, the same concept works for a pocket or wall calendar. After a year of writing my one word again and again, I can look back at 2017 and be encouraged that the word renew permeated my life.

 

So, what did I do with those long and short-term goals? I renewed them, which helped me prioritize and gave more purpose. My goals are long-term fixtures that are evaluated as needed as God guides and directs my life.

As I wrap this up, you might be curious as to what word I have chosen for 2018…my new word is steadfast. I started with “discipline” (too harsh), then debated upon “consistency” (too boring), then I was reminded of a book I read, A Steadfast Heart by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Steadfast means abiding, determined, enduring, persistent, relentless, resolute and unwavering. I am looking forward to studying this word more and applying it in 2018.

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! (Psalm 57:7, ESV)

Maybe you set goals but want to try one word to help your focus. Maybe goals are not your thing, but one word is simple and something you can do! The #oneword365 blog says: Remember – Your one word is intended to be your guide, not your harsh standard. It’s not about doing more, but about being who you were created to be.

 

If you choose a word for 2018, I would love to hear about it! Comment below, on Facebook, or send me a message through my website. Happy New Year!

 

Amy Lloyd is an Indianapolis-based worship artist. When she is not driving her daughter to ballet, she is driving her son to tennis. True to her central Illinois roots, she is a St. Louis Cardinals baseball fanatic. For bookings and to check out her music, go to www.amylloyd.net. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @lloyd_amy_.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2015 Year End Christmas Card Letter

No, I don't have one for 2015 yet. I need a little more time.

No, I don’t have one for 2015 yet. I need a little more time.

Remember how excited I was to see last year end? I wanted to take the 2014 chapter of leaving my beloved Virginia, saying good-bye to all of our friends and family, moving to California, beginning home school, having messed up fingers, the return of the chronic pain, and being a stress machine and burn that chapter in the fire!

No, I’m not being dramatic. 2014 was not my favorite.

2015 was different. It wasn’t easy, but it was abundantly blessed. Home schooling was still hard, but I lowered my blood pressure about it, for sure. We made new friends. We grew in patience, and character, and love for one another.

The boys at the San Diego Zoo, with the sweet baby of one of my college roommates! Good-bye shouldn’t be forever.

–I saw that I can change the character problems in my children by simply working on the character problems in myself. Flip out Mom meant Flip out kids. We turned that around even better than I expected in 2015…..

….which means I met my one major goal of 2015: to chill. No, I know. You may have seen me lose it a time or two. I can be emotional. However, let’s just say if you thought that was bad, you obviously didn’t spend much time with 2014 April.

–My children are sweeter than ever.

–And because they are home constantly, and I figured out that I cannot actually ever “do it all,” I taught them to do more chores.

Oh, and also I hired a part-time nanny. Best decision ever!! Analise comes every single Friday, and she is something I like even better than strict. She is FUN, and the boys love her already. She plays with them. What do I do when she comes? Well, I go to physical therapy, the chiropractor, or doctor appointments….yeah..

JD

JD

–John David is so well pee-trained that he wakes us up in the middle of the night to take him to the potty. Every silver lining has a cloud….

 

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That was Day 1. He wears a helmet now. I promise.

–Daniel, at the tender age of 4, taught himself how to ride a bike, refusing to let us help him.

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–Caleb developed a love for playing baseball (Daniel did too.), and they all made so many new friends right on our street, that I still feel like I hardly see them! They spend so much time on their bikes and getting poison oak in the woods.

Don’t worry. We’re taking a long, necessary break from the woods.

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Father’s Day Lunch in Destin

–Joshua taught us to remember the poor and helped me so much with his little brothers that he could almost be on the payroll.

road trip with friends

(I realize I look goofy, but you should know that is not uncommon for me.)

–Alan and I both made more friends, and for two sanguines like us that is more important than I know how to explain.

 

–We had visits with all the grandparents, visits with friends from far away, a trip to LegoLand,a vacation in Florida, and 2 trips to Yosemite.

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happy moments

–Alan is now head basketball coach for Joshua and Caleb’s team. That’s right. They finally get to play on the same team.

–Inspiring books were read. People came into our lives who taught us so much that we can never be exactly the same. Don’t you love friends like that?

–I’m telling you, God moved in our lives this year.

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–And I feel like I am finally learning to say no to crazy. I’ll never voluntarily sign up for another thing that I don’t have the emotional, physical, and realistic capability to handle.

–So even with the medical problems, the frustrations of unrealistic expectations, and the home-sickness that does not end, 2015 is not a chapter that I close with any eagerness. It is a chapter that I will hide in my heart and think back on for the rest of my life. I only hope that every year could be this rewarding. 

18And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.

Luke 2:18-20

I hope you all had a year of growth and wonder too. I pray that each of you will have some happy moment from this year to keep in your hearts as we move into 2016. We miss you all so much! Merry Christmas!  

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Much Love,

Alan, April, Joshua, Caleb, Daniel, and JD