5 Resolutions to Keep

New Year's goals that are worth making

This year I promise to do … I really want to … Oh my, maybe I won't make any resolutions this year after all—I never keep them anyway. It's just too hard!

Have you ever felt like this? I have—many times. Yet I've also learned New Year's is a great time to reassess the influence my actions and attitudes have on my children's character development. Here are five resolutions I know I need to keep this year:

1. To reach someone who doesn't know Christ

Perhaps like me, you're tempted to spend all your time with fellow Christians—people just like you. After all, if you want your kids to grow in the faith, you need to expose them to people of faith! Yet at the same time, God commands us to be salt and light in the world (Matthew 5:13-16); that won't happen if we spend all our time with believers.

Will your kids be likely to reach out to non-Christians when they grow up? You bet—if they see it modeled for them in your life.

For example, my friend Sandy took an active interest in a neighbor named Carol. Sandy invited Carol over for lunch, and took her to a craft show. Although Carol and her husband didn't have children, Sandy included her in things she did with her kids. Carol and her husband weren't believers and didn't attend church, but out of curiosity, they soon began attending with their new friends. After a period of time, both Carol and her husband became believers. It all began because Sandy was intent on reaching out in genuine friendship to non-believers—and her kids saw the results.

This year, resolve to befriend someone who's not a Christian. She may be a coworker, neighbor, your child's teacher, even your hair stylist.

While reaching out feels scary, when you take the risk, you'll see God work through you in exciting ways!

2. To become a grateful person

I used to wake up in the morning thinking about all the things I had to do and all the people who needed me. I got depressed before I even got out of bed! I realized I needed an attitude adjustment. So I started meditating on one of God's character traits the moment I awoke. As I lay quietly in my bed, thinking about how awesome God is, my perspective on the day changed dramatically!

No one enjoys being around whining kids. But when they're grateful, it's delightful. In the same way, when we appreciate God, it thrills his heart.

My friend Elaine says, "The practice of thanksgiving is the discipline that helps us experience God's love." Re member, your kids catch your attitude. If you whine, they'll be more likely to complain. If you always see the negative, your kids will focus on what's lacking. Your disposition permeates the atmosphere of your home. Do you want to raise positive kids? Then re solve to become a woman of gratitude. You'll have a positive impact on generations to come.

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