Rather than list resolutions that are either forgotten by February, or given up on by March, I want to lay out my list of 10 characteristics I want to pursue more heavily in 2013. These are not things to objectively accomplish by December 31st, but traits in which I can subjectively measure progress and growth.
1. I look forward to spending more time in prayer. I have found myself falling into the bad habit that simply thinking on heavenly, noble, godly, theological things is good enough. I miss spending considerable time in prayer.
2. I look forward to spending more time studying and reading God's word. I have fallen into another trap that suggests reading good books about the Bible is good enough for spiritual growth. God has gifted us today with many great Bible teachers. However, God never said their teaching was infallible or profitable for doctrine, reproof, teaching, etc. There is definitely a place and a need for good books about the Bible, but it is God's word -- not good books -- that accomplishes what He sent it out to do.
3. I look forward to spending more time memorizing God's word. In years past I memorized large portions of the Bible. I found it edifying because I could meditate on it even when I didn't have a Bible handy. This year, I have a plan to get back into memorization.
4. I look forward to being more usable by God. I respond to promptings to share the gospel with others when times are ripe for them, but there are many, many times when I ignore the opportunities because I'm "too tired" or "don't feel like it". I want to be that guy whom God calls upon when He needs something done or said because He finds me dependable.
5. I look forward to being more dependable for my family. I am not the handiest of guys when it comes to home improvements. I'm good with many of the basics and some of the intricacies of maintaining and repairing vehicles, but I am a 3rd grader when it comes to home care and repair. My wife, on the other hand, grew up learning from a father who is a "jack of all trades". Me, not so much. Therefore, I look forward to growing my interest and abilities in home improvements.
6. I look forward to spending more quality time with my wife. My wife and I have worked very hard at repairing and maintaining our marriage, and I like her and want to keep her around. One of the big helps came in spending more time together, whether we simply sit on the couch chit-chatting, or play Scrabble together. I want to have more date nights, hopefully at least once per month.
7. I look forward to spending more quality time with my sons. I try to make it a concerted effort not to tell them "no" when they ask me to play a game, or read, or "fight" with them. But there are many times when I just am too selfish and want to serve my own selfish ambitions. I'm already failing at this one, because my son just asked me if I'd play Lego's with him. I told him, "Not yet." I will, but "not right now." See?
8. I look forward to advancing in rank in my vocation. I am at the point in my career where I would like to be done "chasing tail lights", and instead want to pursue an expertise. I have enjoyed working the road so much, but I am now at the point where I need to consider what I will do for a post-retirement vocation. Advancement in a specific expertise will aid in that.
9. I look forward to being more financially generous. I want to give more of my money to local people in need. Maybe a youngster needs money for camp, maybe someone needs gas money. The possibilities are endless, and I want to give more away.
10. I look forward to being more available and helpful to others in unplanned events. People are in need of simple and complex things. While I may not be too handy, I can be helpful, and even use those opportunities to learn something new. I want to be more helpful during unplanned events or spur-of-the-moment needs.