As the back-to-school season approaches, I’m reminded of the excitement and anticipation that accompanies a new academic year. All things new: books, backpacks, shoes, clothes, and the list goes on. It's a time of fresh beginnings, but change isn’t exclusive to the classroom; it’s a force that impacts all of us.
Recently, I came across a Christmas in July t-shirt that humorously read, "mid-year report: still naughty." This witty reminder got me thinking about the often-forgotten New Year's resolutions we make at the start of each year. How have those gone for you?! Frankly, I can't even remember mine! It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new beginning, however, as the months pass, life's demands can cause us to veer off track, leaving our resolutions unfulfilled.
One thing I keep learning and re-learning is that life's journey is ever-changing, and what might have seemed important a while ago shifts with time. It's okay to adjust your goals to match your current circumstances and aspirations. Allow yourself the freedom to set new goals or modify existing ones, just as teachers adapt their lesson plans to meet the needs of their students.
Maybe like me, you need a mid year evaluation. Here are a few ideas to help you start anew, even if it's not January 1:
- Reflect and Refocus: Use the back-to-school season as a checkpoint to evaluate your resolutions, celebrate successes, and identify areas for improvement. I want to stress the words "celebrate successes." So often we get frustrated without ourselves and forget to see all the good changes we've made. Find yourself a good book or a journal that will encourage you on your journey.
- Adapt and Set New Goals: Have your circumstances changed? Were some of your resolutions unrealistic? Give yourself grace and flexibility to set new, achievable goals that align with your current aspirations and values.
- Embrace Change Anytime: Remember that change is not limited to a specific time; every day is an opportunity for a fresh start. There's something about the beginning of a new month that gives me a clean slate and the motivation to get back to my goals.
The verse below is one of my favorites, reminding me that no matter what I do, the Lord's mercies are new every morning. How grateful I am for this!