2018: The Year of the Groundhog


Do you do resolutions? I don’t know if I do. If I do, I don’t remember a single one I’ve ever set. Every year it's probably just “do better and don’t die.” Some years I only live up to half of that (I’ve died several times).

This year I don’t really have resolutions, I guess. They're not concrete goals. I have statements? Self commands? I have a theme for the year? They're mantras I want to yell at myself when I get off course. Does that sound like a Self Help idea? Am I becoming a Self Help person? If so, oh well. I promise I won't start posting pictures of myself doing yoga on a beach (I keep those pictures private).

I thought I’d share one of my themes for 2018 because it might hit home for a few of you.

Last month I asked people to anonymously send me their biggest fears going into 2018.

Here are a few of your submissions:

“That’ll it will be just the same as 2017. That nothing will change. That I won’t improve.

“That it will end up just being more of the same crap from this year…


“That I will find myself repeating an experience that will lead me away from youth ministry

“My biggest fear is that this year, nothing will change; that I’ll give into fear that my life will never be anything more than it is now. I’m afraid I won’t take the risks I need to take to move forward and do what God has called me to do, rather than what people expect of me.

It was a real relief to read some of these. I originally asked for submissions because I was drowning in anxiety. I was spending a lot of time with my heart beating way too fast and I needed to hear that other people had to worries too. A lot of these sounded like what was going on in my head. I wasn’t alone (hooray!).

My biggest resolution/theme/mantra/catchphrase for 2018 is


I'm writing it in all my notebooks. It keeps showing up in my calendar and on all my To Do lists. This is what I want to be able to say at the end of the year. "I refused to have more of the same."

It's what a lot of us were afraid of going into the new year. I don’t want to do last year again. I don’t want to do the last 5 years again. I don't want the same frustrations, excuses, mistakes, and problems I've put myself through over and over. I refuse! NOT TODAY, SATAN! Send it back to the chef! Give me something new!

I know I don’t have control of everything that’s going to happen in 2018 but there are things I can control. I want to be really mindful and intentional about not falling into the exact same patterns that have screwed me up in years past. It’s a new year and I want to make sure I’m actively trying to make it AS NEW AS POSSIBLE.

You know how in the movie Groundhog Day Bill Murray lives the same day over and over and over? It feels like that's what I've been doing for the last few years. Except I haven't even noticed that it's the same! I've been oblivious to it. UNTIL NOW, BABY! There comes a scene in Groundhog Day where Murray is tired of wasting the day so he tries to make the most of it and make a difference. That's the part of the movie I'm in.

Refuse more of the same!

And if this year doesn't go well for me, I'm going to steal a groundhog and let it drive my truck off a cliff.

Also, please, no spiders.