Are Resolutions A Waste Of Time?

Resolutions In Years’ Past

How many years have you been pledging resolutions for the new year?

If you are anything like me, then on those years you make resolutions, you typically do not manage to keep them for any real length of time.

How many of these sound familiar to you?

My resolution is to lose weight this year.

My resolution is to save some of my income towards retirement this year.

My resolution is to improve my relationship this year.

My resolution is to attend church more often this year.

I could name a hundred more but you probably get the point by now.

Why Resolutions Fail

My guess is that if you have resolutions like these, they probably failed at some point in the year.

One of the biggest reasons resolutions fail is because they are not specific enough. Another reason might be that a year is a really long time to pledge to do something. When was the last time you did anything for a year? I’m not referring to a job to make money to have a place to live and pay your bills. I’m talking about things like those listed above?

It sounds extremely difficult to me.

Possibly A Better Way

Maybe a better way would be to come up with very specific short term goals instead. Rather than making a resolutions for the whole year, have a standing resolution to re-evaluate your resolutions each month.

Here are a couple of examples.

I resolve to save 10% of my income and put it towards my retirement in January. Four weeks. That’s it. At the end of January, revisit your resolution and decide if you are going to do it again in February. Maybe in February, your resolution changes to paying off a credit card debt instead. Maybe it is to continue and save another 10% of your income towards retirement.

I resolve to attend church and Sunday School every week for the month of January. Once this is accomplished, you can re-resolve for February. Who knows – maybe by March you will have formed a habit of attending and want to add participation in an outreach ministry for March.

Conclusion

Don’t try to take on too much at once. Start small and add something as the months go by. Having 15 resolutions that all fail is pointless. Why not start with three for a month and then add some as the year goes on.

I think I will start my new year with organizing my office in January. Maybe in February I will take on another room of the house or the garage. I’ll let you know around February 1.

Have a Happy New Year!

An Update For Jim

Home For Christmas

Jim and Dorothy received an answered prayer. Jim was able to go home for Christmas. Currently he is not very capable of walking since he has been in a hospital bed for a couple of months. However, at last report, he was transported, they have a hospital bed at home and a nurse who comes eight hours per day to help care for him.

Appetite

Jim currently has a strong desire for mac and cheese. It’s to the point that he eats it three times per day. Dorothy says that he has never asked for mac and cheese during their entire marriage until now.

Songs

Jim and Dorothy’s grandchildren spend lots of time at their house singing songs for “Papa Jim.”

Health

Asking for additional prayers for Jim, for continued physical healing, the ability to walk on his own, and for his family.

Let Me Introduce You To My Friends Jim and Dorothy

Meet Jim and Dorothy Lipscomb

JimDot

I worked for almost 20 years with Jim as an Electrician at Kimberly-Clark in Paris, TX. I met Dorothy many times over the years and hear stories from their family. For a time, they took in foster children in addition to the children they already have. Kyle was one of them and he stole their hearts. They adopted him.

Jim was there when I was thinking about leaving work to go on disability after my brain surgery. He helped me get assistance with school when I finally made the plunge and left work for good. He was also instrumental in helping me work through the process of writing my book.

The Diagnosis

Jim was preparing to retire after a long career. He had a music ministry that he used at his church. I can remember nagging and prodding Jim to get his album made and distributed. He finally did it and I am happy to report that I have a signed copy of it.

Jim and Dorothy’s plan was to outfit their RV and travel around the country for the summer, sharing his music ministry and seeing if they liked the traveling lifestyle. About five days before Jim was to retire, he became very weak while working on the RV. After going to the doctor, the diagnosis was clear. Cancer.

Jim canceled his retirement plans and immediately began treatment for the disease.

I remember when Jim began his treatments at the hospital. Knowing they would be there for a while, they literally moved in – complete with computer and electric piano. Often, the nursing staff was treated to music coming from their room as Jim would sing and play the keyboard. You can hear some of Jim’s music here.

Tragedy

Kyle

Kyle had graduated high school. He was very active in his church and was having fun. I did not really know Kyle very much other than what Jim had talked about at work. One month after Jim’s diagnosis, Kyle was killed in a four-wheeler accident.

I remember going to the funeral. Lots of people went. I remember many kind words being said about Kyle but the thing that stood out for me the most was when Jim stood up and started praising God during one of the songs. Although they had lost a precious child, they found strength in their faith. It was a blessing to many people that day.

18 Months Later

MeJim

My wife, Sharon and I have met with Jim and Dorothy over the last year and a half on many occasions as he continues to go through various treatments. He had a bone marrow transplant from his brother that worked. The cancer is gone! However, the treatments caused many other issues because of his now compromised immune system. There have been some very difficult times for Jim.

Talking with Jim and Dorothy the other day, everyone agreed that no one that we worked with seems to be aware of the struggles that Jim has faced. My wife and I have been privileged to be able to go through this walk with them. We have seen him at home a couple of times but more often, we see them both when they are in Dallas.

Faith

Jim and Dorothy have such a strong faith. Even on the days when they feel like they cannot go on anymore, they turn to Jesus for strength. I love that Dorothy treasures the good days. She also praises God on the bad days. Often, she will share a scripture that is on her mind through Facebook. The love they share has no comparison.

I’ve learned many lessons from them about their faith as a priority in their lives.

Dorothy shared a song with me that I had not heard. “Though You Slay Me” by Shane and Shane. Their daughter shared it with them and they in turn shared it with me. As their daughter said, it is a hard song to accept but very relevant to them. I shared the song “Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns. I think it says a lot about their story. No matter what the ups and downs are in his treatment, they will Praise Jesus every step of the way.

Thank you for taking the time to read this story of faith.

I would simply ask you to please keep my friends Jim and Dorothy in your prayers.

Paperback Book

cover

eBook

As you may recall, I wrote a book and published it last July. I published it as an eBook through Kindle Publishing and it is available on Amazon.com. The title of the book is The Little Debt-Free Book and has a cost of $5.75.

It took me a long time to publish it because of feelings I had about myself. I thought no one would like it or purchase it. I’m happy to report that although I have not sold a million copies, I have sold some and have even received a couple of reviews that were quite good.

At the time, I did not know anything about the publishing process, investigated how to format the document, created a cover and did the whole thing without cost.

Since then, several people have asked me how they can get a hard copy of the book. Unfortunately, there is no hard copy right now but I am looking into it.

Paperback

The idea of publishing the book as a paperback intrigued me after people asked about it. Since I did not know anything about that part of it, I began looking into it. Here is what I found.

  1. I can go through com and have a print on demand book for free. I just have to break it up a little differently than the ebook. For instance, I need to submit the title, authorship, etc. on one page; submit the cover in another section; and the interior in still another section.
  2. I am required to have an ISBN for the publication. An ISBN is a numerical code that identifies your specific publication. You need to have a separate ISBN for each version so I will need an ISBN for the eBook, the paperback, the audiobook if I choose to do that and another for a video version of the book.
  3. I can get a free ISBN through CreateSpace.com which makes it easy but there is a catch to it. If I choose the free ISBN, then CreateSpace becomes the publisher. This is not a big deal if you only ever plan on writing one book or if the book is specifically for family, etc. It becomes a bigger deal if you want to get noticed.
  4. com offers ISBN’s for sale. For one ISBN, the cost is $125.00. For 10 ISBN’s, the cost is $275.00, and for 100 ISBN’s, the cost is $525.00. They are on sale right now. Why does this matter? If I purchase my own ISBN’s, I am the one listed as the publisher of the book instead of a third party. Why does this matter? Well, if I only ever plan on writing one book, then it probably does not matter. However, since I plan on writing more, then having my own ISBN will make it easier to find my book since I would be the publisher and I would be listed in the book of publishers. That’s a pretty big deal since I am currently not an award winning author.
  5. That gives be bragging rights. I can state that I am not only an author but a print publishing author.

Keep in mind that nothing changes as far as the authorship and copyright. I wrote the book and it is mine to do with what I choose. If you are interested in writing more, keep this in mind as you go forward.

As for me, I will be purchasing 10 ISBN’s so that I can use one for my eBook and one for the paperback that will become available soon. That will leave me with 10 others for future publications.

See you in the bookstore.