I have long contended that the person who sets goals and who strives to attain such is the master of his own fate. – Carlos E. Asay
For the first Family Home Evening (FHE) of each New Year, Andy and I review our resolutions of the previous year and then make new ones together and individually.
Our family resolutions from 2015 are pictured below. Going on dates was our biggest fail. I think we went on three. Maaaayyybe five. On one of those dates, Andy stopped to help a lady change her tire and then the people in front of us in the ticket line bought the last tickets to the movie we were trying to see. So we just came home.
Andy’s resolutions from 2015. Good luck deciphering. He crossed off multiple goals because he is a dedicated and awesome human being.
Here is my list from last year. I crossed off none. ZERO. Because clearly, I like dessert more than I like being a dedicated, awesome human being like Andy.
This FHE is one of my favorite family traditions. Even though I sucked at them last year, I love making new year’s resolutions. It feels like a great way to start off a new year. Last Monday, we read and discussed passages from a BYU speech titled, “The Time for New Year’s Resolutions” by Elder Sterling W. Sill. Here is an excerpt that we read aloud:
What I would like to talk to you about is the important period that we call the New Year. This is a time when we make New Year’s resolutions. This is the time when we could make some determinations about the things that we have been thinking about during Christmas. Sometimes after some great event is over, we close our minds on it and forget about what we have done. That is, after Christmas, we repack our boxes of ornaments and tinsel. The Christmas themes are taken off the radio, and we go back to doing the things that we did before. Of course, when we do that, we miss one of the greatest values of Christmas. When we lay down the ideas that we have associated with during this high point of the year, we frequently have a corresponding recession in our lives. Someone has expressed the opposite of this idea in verse when he said:
When the song of the angels is heard no more
And the Bethlehem star is gone out of the sky
When the kings and the Wisemen have returned to their homes
And the shepherds are back in the fields with their flocks,
Then is the time when the real work of Christmas should be eagerly begun:
To spread the Christian message, to lift up the broken hearted;
To convert the unbelieving, to purify the national purpose,
To break the bonds of sin, and to exalt the purpose of all mankind.
The New Year is the time when we should establish in our heart
Those great ideals that were given us by the Son of God for the Christmas season.
The Christmas season loses much of its constructive purpose when we repack our tinsel and forget about it
I love the idea that creating New Year’s resolutions is a natural extension of the Christmas season. It is another another way to keep our lives focused on Christ. Elder Sill also writes about “pre-living,” or visioning the future we want, and setting goals that will help us get there. Andy and I took this idea and spent time privately pre-living two distinct periods of life: Carter’s middle school phase and Carter speaking at our funerals.
What do we hope our relationships, family and life to be like, look like, feel like? What do we hope he learns from us? What kind of parents do we hope to become? What do we hope he will say about our lives and our characters when we are gone?
We discussed and not surprisingly, shared many similar ideas. We hope that Carter will come to us for anything; we hope he will be able to and want to talk to us about his life, worries, joys, troubles and seek our comfort and advice. We hope we counsel together as a family. We hope our children look to our relationship as an exemplar of marriage. We hope that our children will love being home and want to bring their friends over. We hope our home is a bastion of love to our children, their friends and those seeking warmth and laughter. We hope our children know our testimonies of Christ through our actions.We hope we are examples of service and love. We hope we can help our children develop their own testimonies of Christ’s gospel. We hope we have dance parties in our sweats and undies even when the teenagers complain they are not cool. We hope we are always goofy and laughing together. We hope to go on many family adventures. We hope our children learn that they can create change in the world. We hope our children know that they are our priority, that we love and support them in all things.
There is more. But, here is what we ended up with for this year:
They aren’t SMART goals, nor is it a comprehensive list. Writing with fat chalk on a small blackboard has a way of limiting a brainstorm and, we don’t need to get all technical on these resolutions to get the spirit behind them, right? In any case, it’s something to work towards for two doofus-brains like us!