In his first Presidency Message for January 2014, ENSIGN Magazine, “The Best Time To Plant a Tree,” President Dieter f. Uchtdorf writes,
“In ancient Rome, Janus was the god of beginnings. He was often depicted with two faces—one looking back on the past, the other looking forward to the future. Some languages name the month of January after him because the beginning of the year was a time for reflection as well as planning.
Thousands of years later, many cultures throughout the world carry on a tradition of making resolutions for the New Year. Of course, making resolutions is easy—keeping them is a different thing altogether.
One man who had made a long list of New Year’s resolutions felt pretty good about his progress. He thought to himself, “So far, I’ve stuck to my diet, I haven’t lost my temper, I’ve kept to my budget, and I haven’t once complained about the neighbor’s dog. But today is January 2 and the alarm just went off and it’s time I got out of bed. It’s going to take a miracle to keep my streak going.”
In January 2013 I decided to celebrate 13 by doing 13 things in 13 areas. As I looked back at my list I didn’t do too badly. Packing and unpacking 13 boxes and cleaning out 13 drawers or closets was easy since we moved from Virginia to New Mexico. Moving slowed my ability to make 13 quilts and I only finished six and three halves. I am well on my way to making 13 new friends.
But one area sadly I did not even come close to accomplishing.- doing 13 acts of service. Surely this would have been the most important of my resolutions to fulfill.
So I guess my resolution for 2014 is to continue.
President Uchtdorf went on to say,
“There is something incredibly hopeful about a fresh start. I suppose at one time or another we have all wanted to start again with a clean slate….
One thing we need to remember when it comes to setting goals is this: We almost certainly will fail—at least in the short term. But rather than be discouraged, we can be empowered because this understanding removes the pressure of being perfect right now. It acknowledges from the beginning that at one time or another, we may fall short. Knowing this up front takes away much of the surprise and discouragement of failure.
When we approach our goals this way, failure doesn’t have to limit us. Remember, even if we fail to reach our ultimate, desired destination right away, we will have made progress along the road that will lead to it.
And that matters—it means a lot.
Even though we might fall short of our finish line, just continuing the journey will make us greater than we were before.
Become Your Best Self—Starting Now
President Uchtdorf teaches that “personal goals can bring out the best in us.” Consider setting some goals in two or three areas of your life, such as physical health, spiritual health, and friendships, for example. What successes would you like to have in these areas this year? As you prayerfully think of some goals, make sure they are attainable but will require you to grow. In your journal, describe your goals in detail so that you will be able to see your progress when a year passes.”
Have a great 2014