How I'm Making Decisions in the New Year

January 8th.  This is it. This is where the rubber meets the road. On New Year’s Day, we write out our resolutions. For the next week, we embrace them with zeal. On January 8th, we are in the weeds. We’re doing the things we set out to do to make the New Year a better one than the last, even when we don’t feel like it.

I used to be a serial resolution maker…and breaker. In my 20’s, I made and broke resolutions faster than the Kardashians pop out children.

In my 30’s, thinking that resolutions are too stringent, I’ve dabbled with the “word of the year” thing. Authenticity. Confidence. Peace. All of those sounded like things I should be striving for, so I chose them as my “words” hoping they would act as a guide for my life that particular year. 

Unfortunately, a word—or even a resolution--mean very little when you’re confronted with life and the daily choices it puts in front of you. Do I eat that donut, buy that pair of jeans, take that job, or try for that third baby? (The latter is not a question I am asking myself, in case you’re wondering.)

We make resolutions because we desire the new, the better, the different. But what if 2018 is characterized by the old, the same or even the worst case scenario? What if life throws us a set of circumstances beyond our control that renders us unable to keep our resolutions?

So, this year, I’m trying something different. Rather than resolutions or words, I’m creating a framework. Three questions (ironically, made up of words) that I want to ask myself before making important—or even trivial—decisions:

1.) Is it simple?

2.) Will it bring me and/or those around me joy?

3.) Is it the right thing to do?

I’ve said before that 2017 wasn’t my favorite year of life, and I think that’s largely due to the fact that I overcomplicated my life and schedule, failed to recognize all that I have been blessed with and in many ways, chose to do things out of my own selfish desires.

I realize that some decisions cannot be boiled down to “simple”, “joyful” and “right.” But for the less complex choices, it seems to me that if I can’t say yes to these three questions, I probably shouldn’t do whatever it is I was thinking of doing. OR, I should at least think twice about it.

What about you? Did you make resolutions, come up with a word or create a framework for 2018? I’d love to hear what they are!

And, if you need some inspiration, here are a few things I’m planning to read, put into practice and use to make 2018 my best year yet!

To simplify: 2018 in 2018 Decluttering Challenge from Nourishing Minimalism

To find joy: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (I know. I can’t believe I haven’t read it either!)

To grow in my sense of what is right: Journaling Bible, Experiencing God (I read this in high school and loved it. Russ and I are planning to go through it together; and I think as an adult, I will appreciate it even more and be able to better utilize it to discern what God has for me and my family in 2018.) 

Here's to a new year and a fresh start!