13 things that I need to get better at in 2013.

These are not listed in order of importance. I am simply counting down because I feel like it. They are all important to me.

13. Admitting that I am wrong. I usually don’t do this, and it’s a pride issue. I don’t like being wrong. I hate it with a passion. I hate it when someone else can prove me wrong, or argues their point better. I need to admit when I’m wrong, and not get angry when someone else has an equally valid point to make that disagrees with mine. I need to stop getting mad or upset or discouraged when someone else is able to argue their point more effectively than I can, and yet I still disagree with them. I need to stop trying to force people into agreement with me.

12. I need to be more humble. This stems from #13. I tend not to be humble. I pride myself on intelligence, and especially on my ability to write. I get a big head and that is why I get so crushed when other people do better than me. I need to acknowledge that I’m good at certain things, but that other areas are not my strengths. I tend to think that I’m stupid, rather than believing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by Christ, whenever I find someone who can do something or knows something that I don’t know how to do, or didn’t know. Which leads to my next topic…

11. I need to have better discernment. I tend to take things to be true just because the person who says it is intelligent, educated, or sounded smart when they said it. This borders on naivety (right word?) and it can be dangerous if I don’t start having more discernment in what people tell me. This can be especially destructive in terms of the gospel, God, and Christianity in general. If I take everything that everyone says to be true, then it can (and has in the past) severely twist my view of myself, of Christ, and of the gospel away from what God says about it in the Bible. Which reminds me…

10. I need to read my Bible more. This is something I’ve been neglecting, and it’s something that I need  to be doing. If I don’t know what God says about me, about Himself, about the world, about Christ, how am I to become more discerning about the Truth? I can’t. If I’m not spending time learning about God, how am I to get to know Him? How will I grow in faith and spiritual maturity? How will I help my future husband, once we’re married, (or start practicing now) if I don’t know what God says about marriage and wives? Which leads me to…

9. I need to spend more time in private prayer. I don’t pray as often as I should. But I should be praying constantly. Not just in hour-long blocks of time that I set aside for prayer, but by sending up thanks for small things that happen, when I’m worshiping in my car, when things go wrong and I need assistance getting through it… This is another way to learn about God, and I don’t do it nearly enough. It is at least as important, if not more so, than academic study of God and His Word.

8. I need to start telling people that I love that I do, indeed, love them. This goes unspoken far too often.

7. I need to read more before bed without checking my phone. My phone needs to not be the last thing that I touch/see before going to sleep. Not only can it cause you to lose sleep (the light causes your body to react as if it is sensing daylight), but I feel that this just enforces an addiction to the phone and whatever is on the phone (usually Facebook). I need to tell everyone good night earlier, stop texting, stop checking social networking sites, and read a book for an hour. The only exception to this would be when I am stuck up late doing homework, but even then I need to not be paying more attention to my phone or computer than I am to learning and my education.

6. I need to get more active. I admit it… I am not as physically active as I need or would like to be. This is partially due to the fact that, for some reason, I’ve been constantly mentally and physically exhausted for no apparent reason, and I suffer from migraines. The only thing that helps the migraines is Hydrocodon-Acetomenophen pills, which knock me out cold within a few minutes. However, I’d like to start making more time to exercise, even just lightly a few times per week. A walk, a strength workout, a run, a bike ride. I hate sitting around. I get insanely bored and then start snacking, or walking aimlessly around the house and can’t focus on anything. I need to stop assuming that “extra time” will just “be there” when I need or want to exercise, and go make the time for it.

5. I need to spend more time with my fiance doing fun things, rather than sitting like a bump on a log like we do too often. I need to invest time in getting to know him even better than I already do, in showing him that I genuinely care for him and finding out what makes him feel loved. I want to spend more time holding hands, talking to each other, and even include him (as much as possible, since he lives 30 minutes from me and currently does not have a car) in my exercising, since that is low- to no-cost, fun, and is a great opportunity for both of us.

4. I need to stop stressing and start praying. I have terrible anxiety, and for some reason, it never occurred to me that I could pray about it. Time to start.

3. I need to care more about other people. I tend to shy away from people. Despite the fact that, to many, I seem outgoing, I’d really rather be in my room with a book for hours on end. (I’m addicted to Harry Potter at the moment.) I’ve always been this way, but at a young age I learned to hide it and pretend that I liked being around lots of people that I don’t know. Long story short, my introvertedness has developed into a general resentment toward people, and I need to be more loving.

2. I need to get better at keeping commitments. If I have a commitment that I don’t particularly care for coming up, I will find excuses to get out of it, usually just to regret not doing it, later on. This includes things I’ve mentioned above, including working out. I find excuses to avoid committing to a thing in the first place, or else I just refuse to talk about it or say anything, for fear that I will commit and not be able to keep it later (this is part of that anxiety stuff I mentioned). 

1. Disconnect. Unplug. Log off. I need to get off of my phone, Facebook, WordPress, and whatever else it is that I do and stop spending so much time online. I need to disconnect for a while. If someone needs to contact me, it can wait. If it’s an emergency, they’ll call. I do not need to respond to everything the minute that it comes up. Nobody is going to die.

Bonus: I need to talk less and listen more, be quicker to be joyful and slower to get angry. Words (written and spoken) in our society are “cheap, excessive, and easy to come by.” (Francis Chan). I don’t want my words to be that way. In the end, we will be held accountable for every. Idle. Word. Will we be proud of our Facebook news feed? Of our text messages? Of our blogs? Of our conversations on the phone, with family, with friends, with coworkers? Will we have talked too much about things that mean nothing? I certainly need to work on this. I cover up my shyness by talking a lot, and it tends to result in lots of “idle words.”

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