By Aaron Earls
Entering a new year, many self-evaluate and seek improvement. Unfortunately, even our resolutions can become stuck in ruts.
Instead of making the same goals this year, why not examine eight specific areas of your life to find opportunities for growth and places for resolution?
Spiritual — As a Christian, this should almost always be the first area to consider. How can you grow as a disciple and fall more in love with Jesus this year?
Evaluate your Bible reading and prayer habits. Examine your local church involvement. Honestly grapple with sins that frequently ensnared you last year.
Craft resolutions about your spiritual life that are actionable and directed at increasing your devotion to Christ.
Missional – The Great Commandments tell us to love God and love others. And the commission Jesus gives to all followers is to make disciples of all nations.
As you make your New Year’s resolutions, think of ways you can advance God’s kingdom this year.
Are there any behaviors or practices you need to develop to engage others with the gospel?
Relational — In 1 Corinthians 10:24, Paul says, “No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person.”
Think about the relationships in your life. How can you better seek the good of the other person instead of yourself this year?
For some, it may be improving on a solid foundation. Others might need deepening. Some may even need repentance and restoration.
Your relational resolutions should keep each of these in mind and contain practical ways to seek the good of the other person in each one.
Personal — Who are you as a person and what changes did last year bring?
The New Year can be an important time to think about ways to grow as a person. One way to do that can be to evaluate your life based on the fruit of the Spirit.
What are some specific ways you can be more loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled?
Professional — Think about the jobs God has given you. How can you improve there?
No matter whether you work full time, part-time, or stay at home, there are aspects about your job for which you can be thankful and areas where you can grow.
Plan on being a better employee this year. What changes can you make to become more productive? What shifts could allow you to produce better work?
Most importantly, how can you glorify God more in both your daily tasks and long-term career work?
Technological — For many people, adapting to new technology comes easy. For others, it takes significant effort. But everyone can learn more.
What technological issues have held you back this year? Maybe it was as simple as learning to use Facebook and Twitter. Or maybe you really needed to learn HTML code.
Perhaps, you were too wrapped up in technology last year and need to make a pledge to put the smartphone down more this year.
Whatever it may be, take practical steps to make improvements in your technological life.
Cultural — Christians can best reach a culture they know. Get to know your culture this year.
Read a best-selling novel or watch a hit movie to understand what is resonating with people around you.
Visit a local museum or art gallery to see the types of artifacts people in your community are curating and creating.
Like Paul knew the Greek poets and could reference them on Mars Hill, learn to build gospel bridges using the culture of the people around you.
Physical —LifeWay Research found 57 percent of Americans have addressed their health in previous New Year’s Resolutions—the most of any subject.
It’s what we often think of when we think of resolutions. I need to eat better. I’ve got to exercise more.
While those aren’t all Christians should think about, living healthier lives and being good stewards of our bodies should be one of our priorities.
Think of a physical limitation you had this past year. Now, take some steps to fix that in the New Year.
When developing resolutions or thinking about ways to improve, Christians should consider these eight categories.
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.