I am a great starter. I love new beginnings and fresh takes. While some people hate Mondays, I like them because Mondays are starters. On Sunday nights I’m usually saying, “This week I will…write every day, be on time all week, fold the laundry as soon as the dryer beeps, etc, etc.”
That being said, the beginning of a new year is my time to shine. I will cook all the meals, drink all the water, clean every nook and cranny, read every day, journal my workouts, and overwhelm myself into oblivion. I do it every year. I love starting strong. Unfortunately, I’m just an average middler and an often terrible finisher.
I love the genesis of a project or idea. I love writing things down and planning my steps and processes. I enjoy the “Organize and Get Ready to do Something” part of life. I like steps and procedures and I love rules. But I tend to get so bogged down in preparing to do something that I don’t get the actual something done. Oftentimes I will start an activity or project and get frustrated because the setup isn’t perfect or I’m missing some part of what I need and midway through I will stop what I’m doing and leave it until I can “fix” the situation.
My brain sounds like this:
I want to write a blog post…but the laundry needs to be done…and the bathrooms need to be cleaned…I can’t just sit and write in a messy space…but I don’t feel like folding clothes…and we’re out of Tilex so I need to go to the store…I’ll go to the store now…but I also need to get groceries while I’m there…I won’t have time to write today…I’ll write tomorrow…but tomorrow I need to meal prep and workout before I can write…and do the laundry…
…and the spiral keeps winding.
It’s like this with everything. Books I’m halfway through, meals I want to prep, projects I’m planning. Sometime last year (and by sometime I mean July), one of my house plants died and I began the process of planting a new one. I started by throwing away the dead plant and putting a bit of fresh soil in the pot… Annnnd I have been staring at a lovely pot of soil next to my kitchen sink ever since. What happened!? I don’t know. The middle got hard I guess. All I had to do was go to the store, buy an ivy, and plant it. Seems simple enough, but tell that to the soil pot I look at every time I wash dishes. The truth is, my follow through game is weak and my excuse game is strong.
I stopped making resolutions years ago. My track record was awful and I don’t like failing. Instead, I say a prayer for the year. Doing so puts my year in God’s hands and takes it out of mine. And that makes me feel safe. Sometimes the goals I’d like to achieve are lofty aspirations, but according to Luke 1:37, “nothing is impossible with God.” I can’t see these dreams come to pass on my own, so I usually sit and talk to God about the ever growing list of ideas and hopes I have. I ask Him for strength, support, patience, whatever it is I feel like I’m lacking.
On New Year’s Day Michael and I drove out to Canyon Lake. Maybe it’s just me, but my talks with God feel better in nature than they do in the middle of the city. Being out by the lake, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to have a moment with Jesus. While we were exploring, I walked a short distance away to a quiet spot so I could sit for a time and speak with God.
I knew I wanted my prayer to be different this year. I didn’t want to bring my laundry list of hopes and dreams to Him. God already knows the desires of my heart, so I said a simple prayer that started like this…
“Dear God, give me the heart of a finisher…”
This is all I want. Every goal I have is ultimately tied to doing the work and finishing what I start, so this is my only prayer. I want the heart of a finisher. I want to see things through. Needless to say, my pride in starting strong does me no good if I’ve got nothing to show for it in the end. I don’t want to start working towards goals and give up when I’m hardly out of the gate. I want to push through the hard middle and see things to completion. Middles are difficult. That’s where the meat of the journey is, but if you’re a strong finisher then you’ve got to be a great middler. I definitely need to get better at middles but more than middles, I want finish lines and I want to cross them.
Do you have a resolution or prayer for the year? Are you a really good finisher? If you are, I hope to be more like you by this time next year. In the meantime, Jesus and I are working on getting me there.
Happy New Year!