September is here, and with it brings new beginnings; a time, a concept, a feeling that I love. New beginnings bring me so much hope and motivation. I'm a firm believer that you can have a new beginning in any moment; a new week, a new month, when starting a new adventure or simply just in a new breath.
Something happens; heartache to joy
A new beginning.
But there's something about September, my birthday, and January that inspires me to challenge myself, better myself and reassess myself.
I used to find goals and resolutions very pressurising. I'd make a list of "I will's" and "I won't's" but I'd feel disappointed with myself when I remembered the forgotten resolution, or I'd put myself on such a tightrope to achieve that I'd fall off.
When I started university last September, we were asked to complete 'Personal Development Plans' which outline our personal, ministerial, professional, academic, theological and community-related goals. My sheet was very vague and bare; two or three word answers in half of the boxes. I felt like this was a way to put myself back on that impossible tightrope, so my sheet stayed bare. A year later and I'm in a different place. Any of my tutors reading this will be pleased to know that my Personal Development Plan will be complete this year!
Some of my goals this year
I'd like to read all of Psalm and The New Testament this year. Recently, I've been sat in a Church service when someone has read out a parable or proverb and I've thought, "wow, I didn't know that was there".
This summer I've been able to go to lots of seminars, worship sessions and festivals that have really blessed and fed me, something I feel I haven't got a lot of in the last year. I'm reminded of the quote, "you can't pour from an empty cup" and so this year I'd like to make time to be fed spiritually, whether that's traveling to a conference, or it's watching a seminar from my laptop at home.
I'd like to paint more, draw more, write more, create.
There are areas in my personal life that I'd like to not just grow in, but blossom in. Some are very little changes of habit that will be easy and simple to follow through with, but others will take a few deep breaths and 'cheerleaders' around me to even begin thinking about.
This time, this new beginning, all goals, from simplistic to giants, are written with the peace of knowing that it's okay to have a new beginning on the first of September, and need another one on the second.