I hate New Year’s resolutions. I love the idea of them, but I often get discouraged when I don’t keep them all… “Go to the gym each day” is a great goal, but let’s be honest, as much as I try, I’m not going to keep it every single day of the new year.
So instead, I like to write some simple goals that are measurable, but flexible enough to be achieved over a long period of time, not just in one year. Simple habits that can change your life when developed over time…
So here’s a great big list of New Year’s resolutions from different people on our team, in no particular order! They’re simple habits and decisions that aim to inspire you, to increase your creativity, and will hopefully draw you nearer to Jesus this year!
Have a read and see if any of them really resonate for you in 2017, and commit to it… I bet you can’t pick just one 😉
1. Read the Bible from front to back
2. Write once a week
Whether it’s songwriting, blogging, poetry, short stories, journalling… get in the habit of writing. It takes time, and it takes work, but develop a consistent outlet for your creativity. God will keep pouring into us as we keep pouring out!
3. Learn a new skill
A new language, a new instrument, a new genre of music… learn how to cook, or paint, or play soccer, or write computer code… Learn something new! Why not join our 100 Day Creative Challenge?
4. Take more risks.
I don’t want to live a ‘safe’ life, and I don’t want to lead a ‘safe’ team… take risks on people, take risks on ideas. Don’t be reckless, but don’t hold back!
5. Serve in a church service every week
If you’re not already serving in your local church, why don’t you make this the year you start! No more excuses, just start and see how God blesses you and those around you for your obedience! And be consistent with it – commit to doing it once a week and make a habit of partnering with Jesus in building what He would build… the Church! (Matt 16:18)
6. Worship more than you rehearse
We practice and rehearse and work hard to bring our very finest offering before God… but don’t just get up caught up in the ‘doing’ that you forget to sit at Jesus’ feet and lavish your love on Him in your own devotion. (Luke 10:38-42)
7. Stop and celebrate the wins
We all have full lives, it can be so easy to just keep moving on to the next thing. But take the time to stop and celebrate the wins… in your life, in your church, with your team. Celebrate the wins and celebrate the people that made it possible!
8. Create more and push the boundaries
Imagine if Steve Jobs stopped after he created the iPod … what if Da Vinci stopped after he painted The Last Supper … we wouldn’t have the Mona Lisa, we wouldn’t have the iPhone, the iPad, the iWatch and whatever else Apple intends to create …
Let’s not stop creating, let’s keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible! Let’s push the boundaries in the way we lead worship, in the way we write songs, the way we create, in the way we serve our churches!
9. Make practice a habit, not an exception
I don’t think this one needs much explanation … practice, practice, practice! We never graduate from the basics.
If you’re a musician, our drummer/composer/musical genius Harry Wood talks more about practice here
10. Mentor someone
New Year’s resolutions can often be focused on ourselves, so why not commit to mentoring someone this year, and teaching them what you’ve learnt and helping make THEIR life better.
11. Less coffee … look after your voice!
We all love coffee. And Krispy Kreme donuts. And black forest chocolate. But what a waste of the gifts God has given us if we make silly choices that destroy those same gifts… Plus it’s healthier, and that’s a whole New Year’s resolution by itself 🙂
If you’re a singer, read more about How To Care For Discipline Your Voice
12. Be the new people’s team
Don’t just leave it up to the ‘hosts’ or ‘new people’s team’ to connect people into the life of our local churches. Don’t just build your creative team, but commit to meeting new people and help them find godly community!
If you’re interested in how we connect new people at Hillsong Church, you can read more about it here
13. Listen more, talk less
Listen to new music. In conversation, be the first to listen than to talk. Make a habit of silencing yourself before God and listening.
14. Make new friends
We’ve all heard the saying “show me your friends, and I’ll show you who you are”… if we want to grow our lives this year, what better way than to make new friends! Maybe with people that challenge us, maybe with people that are very different to us… new friends will bring new experiences!
15. Find a teacher
A vocal teacher, a music teacher, a mentor, a pastor — someone who has more experience and skill than you. Find someone you can actively learn from. Get lessons. Be proactive to place yourself under someone else’s teaching!
16. Get lessons
Enough said… 🙂 No matter how good you are, there will always be someone you can learn from. No one graduates from learning.
17. Smile when you’d rather frown
Serving in church, building teams, leading worship… there’s bound to be opportunities to be frustrated, because we’re working with people, and people aren’t perfect (including me!). So when you get frustrated, make a decision to smile rather than frown. Make a habit of responding with joy and grace!
If you don’t believe me, check out what my enthusiastic husband Rich has to say about it 🙂
18. Read a book
An e-book. An audio book. A good old-fashioned paper book.
Here’s what I’m reading at the moment:
19. Plant a vegetable garden
We recently moved to a farm, and we love planting vegetables and trimming our fruit trees and tending our honey bees!!
Gardening requires patience, consistency, regular nourishment, an awareness of seasons — principles that are worth developing in our own lives!
20. Laugh everyday
Laughter is the best medicine. With your family, at work, in rehearsals, during church… like our pastor Brian always says, “Church is to be enjoyed, not endured!”
Be a volunteer – in your spirit, with your time. Do you serve because you HAVE to, or because you WANT to?
(Read more about How to Grow Your Worship Team)
22. Read a Psalm every day
I love the Psalms. They teach about worshipping God in the good times, and the bad.
As worshippers, what better way to learn about the heart of worship than from the Psalms in the Word of God? (Join our team as we go through the Psalms together)
23. Plan to be generous
Create space in your budget for generosity. Be generous with your words, with your encouragement, with your gifts. Make a plan to be generous!
But generous people plan to do what is generous,
and they stand firm in their generosity.
24. Put your phone down
It’s so easy to live your life with your head down, looking at your phone and letting it rule your life… Responding to messages, writing emails, checking your notifications on social media…
Look up. Put your phone in your pocket when you’re walking. Hide your phone in your bag when you’re having a coffee with someone. Leave your phone at the door when you get home. Try it.
25. Call your family
You might love talking to your family, or it might be something you haven’t done in years. Pick up the phone and call your mom once in a while. Send them a card on their birthday. Don’t just think about them, but let them know you’re thinking about them!
I’m a mum, trust me when I say it goes a long way 🙂
26. Dream big, dream often
I love dreaming and imagining ideas. I love dreaming with people! Let yourself dream big, and do it often enough that it’s not scary or intimidating. Get used to dreaming big!
(Watch “The Imagineers”, a message I preached on this topic)
27. Drink water and eat fruit
Again, common sense that’s not so common. Bring a refillable water bottle with you. Buy a small bowl for your desk and keep it full of fresh fruit.
28. Spend time with someone much older and wiser than you
I love Proverbs 4 and what it teaches us about learning from the wisdom of our elders. It’s just common sense! I don’t know everything, and neither do you. Have a coffee with someone who you look up to and has more life experience than you. Let them teach you what they wish someone had taught them at that age…
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom
Spend time with someone who has lived many more days than you have 🙂
29. Say yes more than no
What’s your default answer? Are you a person that leans towards ‘no’? The Bible teaches us to honour our ‘yes’ and ‘no’ (Matt 5:37)… Consider the opportunities that God puts in front of you everyday, and say YES to them!
30. Keep a journal
Even if it’s just once a week or once a month … write down your prayers, your thoughts, what God is speaking to you. It’s amazing to look back and see God at work through the seasons of the year.
31. Look someone in the eye, ask them about their life, and listen
Not just “Hey, how are you?” as you quickly walk past each other…
Ask questions that matter (look them in the eye when you do), and listen and care about what they have to share. It’s usually when you ask that one extra question that you’ll make a meaningful connection…
What’s new in your life?
Are you enjoying your job?
Tell me about your week…
How can I help you?
32. Schedule reminders to encourage someone
Set an alarm on your phone or send yourself a recurring calendar reminder … a phone call, a text message, an encouraging word in person… Make a habit of proactively encouraging others (not just when they do something great) and take the time to say what you appreciate about them!
When you walk out your front door in the morning… When you comb your hair… When you set your alarm clock. Take something you do every day and make a habit of praying every time you do it!
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances ; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thess 5:17)
For me, it’s when I brush my teeth… I pray for a different person on our creative team each day.
Well there you have it !! Pick one or two or seven and commit to them and don’t stop when 2017 is over 🙂
I pray that you will have the very best year and that you will look back in 12 months time and be amazed at what God has done in your life!
Happy New year !!!