After several years of unsuccessful attempts, I’m abandoning the typical idea of making New Year’s Resolutions. Yup, I’m giving up.
It usually goes like this: In late December, I’m thrown into a weeklong debate over whether or not to make New Year’s Resolutions at all. I eventually decide yes, come up with a list of tasks, spend the first few weeks of January beating myself up for not doing those tasks, and then give up. Maybe you know the feeling.
The bottom line is that none of us need a longer to-do list. But I can’t escape the truth that New Year’s Resolutions tap into a deep desire we have to become better people and strive for a more fulfilling and faithful life than the one we’re living now.
That is worth rewarding and pursuing.
So rather than make a list of tasks to chase this year, I made a list of people to be. This year isn’t going to be about performing a longer to-do list. It’s about becoming a different person. (Sounds kind of like faith, right? Good model.)
Confession: I’m a big dreamer. So I let myself go when I made this list.
These are lofty, intangible ideals because I’m dreaming about the person I want to become. There is no “achieving” or “accomplishing.” It’s about moving in the right direction. And it certainly isn’t going to be done on December 31. I’m hoping this list sticks around – with maybe some tweaks – at least through my twenties.
So I’m sharing some of my “people to become” here with you. Most of them are modeled after a person I respect or pointed at something I think is holding me back. And if your New Year’s Resolutions have fallen by the wayside, give this concept a shot.
- I want to be a person who models his life after smart and intentional mentors.
- I want to be a person who handles conflict comfortably and constructively.
- I want to be a person who navigates deteriorating friendships in a gracious way.
- I want to be a person who sustains regular, genuine communication with God.
- I want to be a person who leads himself and his coworkers toward a fulfilling a deep purpose.
- I want to be a person who can read people and diagnose situations quickly and accurately by seamlessly shifting from the dance floor to the balcony.
- I want to be a person who rests well.
- I want to be a person who provides a best friend to himself.
- I want to be a person who absorbs a broad range of information quickly and can apply and share it effectively.
- I want to be a person who makes responsible financial decisions for the future.
- I want to be a person who has a growing understanding of how God works in my life and the world.
- I want to be a person who demonstrates value for other people by using names often and remembering personal details.
- I want to be a person who leads himself and his coworkers toward excellence and innovation.
- I want to be a person who is a responsible and active citizen of the world. I want to continue a liberal arts education.This is grounded in the belief that the world and its leaders are accessible and that I personally will have a role in changing it.
- I want to be a person who helps the church navigate how same-sex relationships interact with the Christian faith.
- I want to be a person who develops diverse circles of friends and acquaintances.
- I want to be a person who supports other people and organizations with his money.
- I want to be a person who has regular, meaningful interactions with a community of faith.
- I want to be a person who finds valuable identities outside of his career.
Ryan Struyk (’14) graduated from Calvin with majors in political science and mathematics. He currently covers the 2016 elections for abc News in Washington. He’s also done political polling in New York City and reported on the Idaho state legislature for the Associated Press in Boise. In his free time, Ryan enjoys talking about inferential statistics, music theory, and his beloved Detroit Tigers.