The New Year is here, but it’s not too late.

It’s the time of year the idealist and the planners dream of. People get all jazzed up with lists of goals and the hopes that this year will be different, this year will be better. I have to admit, I’m guilty as charged.

I love New Year’s Resolutions

But I haven’t always. I can’t even keep track of the number of years I’ve ‘committed’ to working out with more consistency. Then, a few years back I started making goals and following through for the whole year – it was fabulous. I started crafting. I read at least a book a month now. Who knows what’s in store for 2014?!

‘Resolution’ is a heavy word

The weight of the ‘New Years Resolution’ can be intimidating. If you haven’t already come up with yours, you probably think its a lost cause. Wrong! Let’s try to ditch that baggage. You can start today, tomorrow, or forty days from now. You can make a commitment, change your life, or set some goals any day. But maybe today is a good day to think about it?

Ultimately what you call it doesn’t matter. What does is setting SMART goals. You want to set yourself up to be successful. Taking on every sustainable practice along with every spiritual discipline most likely will turn into a list of rules and expectations you don’t meet. Also, have fun with your goals. Ask a friend or small group for accountability.

Consider Ecology in the New Year

So here are a few ideas relating to the environment and spirituality:

  • Consider taking a Sabbath. We are called as Christians to rest. Our current culture tells us this isn’t an option, however finding time to unplug is crucial in living a balanced life. I read Almost Amish by Nancy Sleeth of Blessed Earth a few years back and she provides some wonderful tips on what a simpler, restful life can look like.

  • Maybe you and your family want to invest time and energy into making your home more sustainable by turning off lights or taking shorter showers. Talk about your goals together. When you voice them you’re more likely to follow through.

  • Take time each week or month to spend outdoors and away from screens and malls. Do this with friends or alone. Reflect: what are you seeing? What do you love and appreciate most about Nature? If you don’t love it you most likely won’t be willing to advocate for it.

  • Find a cause in your community and be the advocate. Maybe that means asking your town council for curbside recycling or volunteering at a local community garden or food pantry.

You Need a Passion

At the end of the day it’s about doing something (or not doing something) you’re passionate about. When we evaluate our values and check them against our actions we can typically identify the needed changes.

So ETR community, what are your New Year’s Resolutions?

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