Between special Christmas Eve services, a children's Christmas play, and many other events, you probably haven't had time to think about the coming new year.
If you haven't considered yet how to make the New Year even better than the last, here are a few potential New Year's Resolutions for you:
Resolution #1 I will take 5 minutes to plan the day ahead
There are so many great time management and productivity tips out there that it's easy to get overwhelmed. This one tip, however, has made the biggest difference in whether I have a productive day or not. At the end of each day, take five minutes to think.
- What did I accomplish today?
- What do I need to complete tomorrow?
- What's coming up the rest of this week?
Repeat this process at the end of your week. This time, focus on the upcoming week with the same questions. Apply the same concept at the end of each month. This helps me plan ahead and unwind at the end of my workday. Even if I didn't complete everything I wanted to that day, at least I've documented those tasks so I won't forget them tomorrow.
Resolution #2 I will take care of my health
Yes, New Year's resolutions are often health related but I'm not referring to a gym membership here. Your health is more than how many pushups you can do it's your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. If you want to stay strong in ministry for the long haul (and I'm assuming you do), then you've got to make time to take care of yourself.
- Schedule workouts, devotional time, and rest on your calendar (what gets scheduled tends to be what gets done)
- Listen to a sermon or a leadership development podcast during your drive to work
- Take a 15-minute walk before lunch
- Have coffee with a good friend and talk through a challenging situation you're facing
You won't have much to offer others if you're exhausted and drained. This may require you talking with your boss about your schedule or responsibilities. It's better to have that conversation now before you're nearly burned out and you're able to think straight to come up with a solution.
Resolution #3 I will invest in my volunteers
This may sound like I'm adding to your already full to-do list, but this resolution can actually end up saving you time.
Think about your current volunteers. Which ones are reliable, have a great attitude, do an excellent job no matter what you throw at them, and have leadership potential? Invest in these potential leaders to disciple them and help them grow in leadership capacity. This isn't just about getting them to do more it's about helping volunteers find how they can grow spiritually and how they can best contribute to their church family.
- Ask for their input and ideas
- Take a few minutes at volunteer meetings to introduce a spiritual leadership principle and discuss it with the group
- Make sure they know you appreciate their servant's attitude
- Find out what they do for a living; what unique skillset each person has and how they'd like to use those talents to serve their church family
- Connect volunteers with roles that best fit their skills, personality, and spiritual maturity
- Send hand-written thank you notes
These are fairly simple, uncomplicated resolutions. However, they can help you be more effective so you can better serve others.
Plan ahead, take care of your health, and invest in volunteers. That trio can help you build upon or sustain momentum in the new year.