10 Commitments to Make (and Keep) in 2018
Updated: Jul 11, 2020
If you’re following fifteen thirty-one, I’d like to believe that you are 100 percent committed to living like the Virtuous Woman God has called you to be; that upholding Godly standards has become one of your top priorities; that you’re more excited than ever about discovering your purpose and pursuing your passions; and that you are compelled to live a life that inspires others. I don’t expect you to fail in any way. I expect you to be great and to do phenomenal things in the year to come. Committing to (and actually sticking to) these 10 things can help get you off to a great start:
1. Authenticity. The only thing that makes you exactly like anyone else is the fact that you were created in God’s image – and the fact that Christ died for your sins. Beyond that, everything else about you – your looks, your gifts and talents, your mannerisms and abilities – is all unique to you. So, stay true to who you are. Don’t get caught up in comparison or feel pressured to change, either to fit in or to appeal to someone's ego. You are God’s masterpiece, and every detail of your design is connected to the purpose for which He created you. (Ephesians 2:10)
2. Forgiveness. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, harsh words, and slander…be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32) Don’t take dead weight into the New Year by holding onto the past. The only way to live in true freedom is to forgive. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Always and without conditions. Jesus died for us as a demonstration of His willingness to forgive every sin we’d ever commit. In return, His only requirement is that we also forgive – not die, just forgive. Seems like we got the better end of the deal.
3. Learning a new skill. “The wise hear and increase in learning.” (Proverbs 1:5) With the wealth of information available – much of it in the smartphone you tote around, there’s no excuse not to learn something new -- whether it’s a skill that will help you do your current job better, increase your marketability for the next gig, or something you’ve always wanted to learn just for fun, but didn’t have time to pursue, put it on your to-do list for 2018. Pressed for time? Audio books (many of which are available for free through your local library), YouTube videos and podcasts are great resources to tune in to on your daily commute for on-the-go learning.
4. Maintain a healthy life, family and work balance. You’re busy. You’ve got goals. You’ve got obligations. But don’t let that stress you. Be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6). Instead, pray and seek God for wisdom on how to successfully balance your priorities. Find resources – books, apps, checklists, worksheets – anything that will help you stay focused on managing your obligations and meeting your goals without neglecting the things that are most important to you, like your health and family. And as much as possible, don’t over commit. If you’ve been accustomed to doing it all, try relinquishing or delegating some of your responsibilities in 2018 if it will give you peace of mind.
5. Improve your health. No plans you have for the New Year will matter if your health isn’t intact. Maybe you’re not ready to commit to that year-long gym membership. But what changes can you commit to in order to improve your health over the next year? Add a few minutes of physical activity to your daily routine? Cut down or eliminate certain foods from your diet? Increase your water intake? Can you see your body as the temple that it is (I Corinthians 6:19) and commit to treating it as such?
6. Use your talents to help someone else. God has given you gifts and talents. Why not use them to do good? “And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God,” (Hebrews 13:16). If there are things you do well, find a way to use those things to help someone else and build up the Kingdom of God in the process. A great place to start is within your local church. Other places to consider sharing your talents: your child’s school and community organizations – especially those that support causes you’re passionate about.
7. Cultivate new relationships. In the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the author, Robert Kiyosaki talks about how he surrounded himself with wealthy people – not because they were wealthy, but because of what he could learn from them about building wealth. He didn’t let fear or differences stop him from cultivating relationships that would later transform his life. In 2018, step out of your comfort zone -- beyond physical, social, economic, and even intellectual differences -- and work to build genuine relationships with people from whom you can learn – and possibly teach a few things yourself. Remember, iron sharpens iron. (Proverbs 27:17)
8. Be fearless. God has not given you the spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Even in the face of death, your Heavenly Father did not fear. So, if you were created in His image and his likeness, that means, like Him, you too can be fearless. In this New Year, think big and dream big. Don’t succumb to fear. Don’t let anyone talk you out of your destiny. Don’t let people scare you into believing that their experiences have to be your experiences – especially if their experiences are rooted outside of a relationship with Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with boldness to pursue your dreams and to do His work.
9. Move forward. Maybe you didn’t accomplish everything that you’d hoped in 2017. That’s okay. You now have an opportunity in 2018 to move forward, forgetting those things which are behind you (Philippians 3:13) – challenges, fears, insecurities, opposition, failures. Commit to achieving your goals and doing what God has called you to do. Maybe you can’t accomplish everything within the year; but identify your top two or three priorities and work diligently to complete them. Move forward with no excuses.
10. Treat yourself. Try to avoid making the whole year about everyone but you. You deserve time alone, time out with your girlfriends and most definitely one-on-one time with your man. If you’re single, allow yourself time to be social and date (because Bae probably isn’t going to just show up at your doorstep). Take a vacation – a stay-cation even. Buy yourself a few new outfits or some new jewelry. Book a sitter so you can enjoy a night out with your husband. Treat yourself to things and experiences. Treat yourself like you matter…because you do!
I pray God’s very best for you as we enter 2018, and I hope that you’ll continue to follow my blog. More importantly, I hope that you’ll share with me the phenomenal things you accomplish in the days, weeks and months to come. Have a Merry Christmas and an amazing New Year!