Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

Why I Still Make New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's Resolutions

Why I Still Make New Year’s Resolutions

Call me old-fashioned, but I still make New Year’s resolutions. Whether you would identify them as resolutions, goals, or whatever term you would use to label them, I find them helpful. They take my good intentions to a much higher and more attainable level.

At the beginning of 2014, I found myself in a holding pattern. I had known for a couple of months that I would be stepping aside from my small groups pastor’s position and stepping out on faith to begin a new career as a writer and speaker. The announcement had not been made public at that point, but many of my resolutions pointed in that direction.

I made nine of my resolutions public in order to add a level of accountability. Now, I’m back with a report card:

My Resolutions for 2014

Resolution #1

Read God’s Wisdom for Today devotional (from Psalms, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes) daily, along with the rest of the Family of Five, my brother, my sisters and their families, and my parents.

Grade: A  I didn’t interact with the others as intentioned, but I faithfully kept up (or caught up) and read each day’s passage, even finishing a couple of days early.


Resolution #2

Study of the book of Romans using the method from Enter, Impress, Interact, Apply.  I found it on YouVersion‘s Bible reading plans.  It is set up as a 31-day plan, but I plan to take 31 weeks.

Grade: C-  Not only did I not complete the plan in 31 weeks, I only finished through chapter 5. I plan to pick this one back up in 2015 along with another reading plan.


Resolution #3

Complete and publish my book, Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales)

Grade: A+  I published Lines in the Gravel in April and have signed a bunch of ’em.



Publish at least two more books.

Grade: A+  I published Abboisms (and Other Such Samuncrium) as a fun, free book just for signing up for my email list. Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life) hit the (virtual) shelves in November.


Resolution #5

Complete Biblical Ministry Certificate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Grade: A+  I didn’t make the trip to New Orleans for graduation, but I finished the 2-year program in December.


Resolution #6

Go on a mission trip to Haiti with the Little Fella in February.

Grade: A+  What a great experience! The Little Fella’s question before we left was about coming back. Doesn’t look like the answer will be “in 2015,” but we will go back.


Resolution #7

Launch speaking page and schedule limited engagements.  I feel compelled to share the values storying message with clubs, ministries, teams, businesses, organizations — whoever can benefit from legacy building.

Grade: B-  I was able to schedule several speaking engagements, but I would love to do more. For me, speaking is really more about teaching. That’s my spiritual gift, my background, and my passion.

Oh, I did launch the speaking page. It will undergo a big transformation in the weeks to come as I add some topics based on projects on which I am working. If you need a speaker or trainer for your organization, let’s talk!


Resolution #8

Make some changes to the blog based on user feedback.

Grade: C  I made some changes to the blog like moving to this format, but I’m still learning what my audience wants to read and learn. One thing is clear: stories reach more people!


Resolution #9

Update my About page.

Grade: C+  I updated the page a couple of times, but it badly needs another update. I know this is one of the most important pages on my site, so I need to do much better about keeping it updated.

Why I’ll Continue to Make Resolutions

I’ll continue to make New Year’s resolutions because of this report card and others like it. I may not knock all my resolutions out of the park, but I will move toward every one of them.

Most of our accomplishments happen because we resolve to do them. That seems a simple enough statement, but resolving to accomplish a goal takes us much further than just hoping it will happen.

So…I’ll be taking the fire pit, a chair, a journal, and my Bible out to the back of our lot today to set 2015 New Year’s Resolutions. In the process I’ll be prioritizing several important projects that I can’t wait to begin! I’ll release my list on New Year’s Day.

Won’t you join me in making some resolutions for 2015 and moving toward them? The world will be better because of it.

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About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

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