Hey, we’re already in 2016, in case you didn’t know. Time sure does fly when you’re having fun, huh? I think we’re all shocked that another year has come and gone and that we’re one year older (hopefully one year wiser, too). On January 1 of 2015 I was in Buenos Aires, Argentina devoting 100% of my time to teaching people about Jesus Christ. It was a phenomenal year. On January 1 of 2016 I was and still am a college student in Utah, USA striving to be a disciple of Jesus Christ among the muck that often corrupts this world. It might sound crazy, but it’s a lot easier for me to devote 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to the work of the Lord than it is to chisel out a few minutes of every day. The beginning of this year is different, but I think my goal is still the same: serve my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
While serving in Argentina, I found an article by Dieter F. Uchtdorf entitled “The Best Time to Plant a Tree”. I studied the article over and over again, trying to get all the insight I could about becoming the best I could be. In the article, President Uchtdorf talks about new beginnings and the invigorating feeling of a fresh start. Sometimes we get weighed down by the weight of our previous mistakes or feel we have done enough when viewing our previous successes. As the year comes to an end, I find myself asking some really hard questions that we should all answer.How have I improved since January 1, 2015?
- How have I regressed since January 1, 2015?
- Am I reaching my potential?
- What does my list of priorities look like?
- Am I closer to Jesus Christ now than I was on January 1, 2015?
No matter what our answers may be, we need to keep going. We need to learn from our previous successes and mistakes and become even better. Let’s have our resolutions to eat better and run more but never exclude the truly important things in life and eternity. Thomas S. Monson said, “Among our resolutions for this year, did we resolve to make time in our lives and room in our hearts for the Savior? No matter how successful we may have been with such a resolution, I am confident we all wish to better. This… is the perfect time to examine and renew our efforts.” President Uchtdorf used an old proverb to prove the same point, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” We have the perfect opportunity to start fresh, 2015 is dying and 2016 is coming to life. Let’s come to life too and enjoy everything this year has to bring!
Along with spiritual resolutions we all have our mental, physical and material goals as well. Maybe you want to stay fit, eat healthier, be more grateful or work on that thing that the dentist tells you to do daily but you never do: floss. All goals are extremely important to our progress and success in life. Here are four easy steps to making and keeping a resolution:
- Think about last year: What do you want to improve or change?
- Write it down, don’t make it too lengthy
- Make plans to accomplish the goal
- Don’t try to do it all in January
Beliefnet said, “If your goals are worth attaining, they will take time”
We completely agree. Patience is necessary. No great change can be accomplished without hard work and time.
We are ridiculously excited for this year. No matter what year your birth certificate has on it, we’re all young and can enjoy life to the fullest if we just decide to do it. I’ll head out with one last question: SO WHAT? You’ve reviewed the past year, saw your proudest moments and some things you’d like to forget. So what are you going to do about it? Go plant your tree. There’s no better time than now.