New Year’s Resolutions seem to have fallen out of fashion. I can’t even remember seeing any articles or watching any video pointing to the tradition this year (though I guess I have been seeing more advertisements for businesses connected to exercise and dieting, which would seem to suggest that health resolutions are still a part of the cultural consciousness). Still, I often like to use the advent of a New Year to think about setting goals. And not just physical health goals — but multi-faceted goals for different areas of life. “Goals” feel better than “resolutions” to me because they’re more aspirational. Not as resolved. Since the New Year has rolled around, over the course of the last week, I’ve been thinking about my Goals for 2023. I’m zeroing in on a few possibilities.
And even though it’s kind of risky — putting things down in black and white and sharing such goals with others — I think it’s good for me to do stuff like this every now and then. I once heard a friend talk about thinking through goals using an acrostic: “PIES.” The “P” stands for Physical Goals. The “I” for Intellectual Goals. “E” stands for Emotional Goals. And “S” represents Spiritual Goals. So, here are my (tentative) PIES Goals for 2023:
There are a couple of trail races coming up in 2023 that intrigue me. And I’m generally convinced that I need to work on flexibility and core strength, as I age. But the primary physical goal that I think I’m going to aim for in 2023 is to Drink More Water. Specifically: three liters per day. I think this goal will help to support all my other physical goals — and I like the specificity and measurability of the water consumption goal. A friend recommended an app called Water Llama, so I’m playing around with that. But in any event, I’m hoping that a habit of drinking more water will serve me well.
Our family is hoping to travel back to Europe (for the first time in nearly a decade!) in the summer of 2023. So, I think that most of my intellectual goals fall along the lines of a general goal to Strengthen My Dutch Language Skills. But some of the specific ideas that I’m toying with include resetting the language preferences on several apps on my phone… using a new version of the Bible in Everyday Dutch for my personal study… checking news headlines on Dutch sites and apps… and maybe even reading a Dutch novel that’s been sitting on my shelf since 2012. We’ll see. Doing all of those things seems pretty ambitious. But even if I can just manage one or two of them, I feel pretty confident that I can strengthen my Nederlandsvaardigheid.
Generational dynamics are shifting: my children becoming more independent, my parents becoming more dependent. So, I feel compelled to Prioritize Family Connections in this new, 2023, phase of life. Marci and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this year, so we want to make something special of that. Our family’s aforementioned trip to Europe should be a special way to connect with each other and with a part of the world that’s been very special to us. And I might even try to visit some of the younger generations in my extended family this year. We’re spread out across Texas, Minnesota, and Virginia these days. So, this could be a challenge. But maybe a fun challenge.
My spiritual health is very important to me. Even so, this was one of the harder areas in which to come up with any meaningful goals for 2023. More regular journaling? Continued Bible translation projects? Sharing the Good News more regularly? I’m kind of still figuring this one out. But I’m currently leaning towards a goal to Memorize the Verses of the “Romans Road” to enhance my own appreciation of the Good News and to share it more readily with others. I’ve seen different versions of this “Romans Road.” And, of course, there are a hundred different Bible translations. But I think I’m going to work from this listing of the Romans Road verses, using the New Living Translation.
If any of you would like to join me in any of these goals, I’d love to have some company and some accountability. Either way, I’m excited to be cooking up these PIES goals for 2023 — and I wish all of you a very Happy New Year!