In just a few short days, we’ll be welcoming the start of a new year. And I love, love, love a new year. A wiping of the slate, a promise of hope, the second chances at starting over again.

But let’s be real: resolutions are merely suggestions. First, our attitudes must change and change in rhythm with our actions – this is the only way to ensure success at any challenge we set before ourselves.

I am a firm believer in the power of our actions. Doing things that we don’t feel like doing because, over time, actions transform attitudes.

I came into the current year with high hopes and aspirations. And, in many ways, I failed. But as a look back and make plans to go forward, the areas where I truly failed were in the ones that I had control and chose apathy over change. Letting my feelings dictate my success.

I just sat down with Shey and wrote out our list of resolutions. Things we want to be better in our lives, our health, our marriage, and our family. Right now, they are words on paper, but they are there, in black and white, and now the choice is up to us. Some will require sacrifice, some will simply require a change in perspective. But they do require. And they are all worthy of the time they will take. Most of them will take months to make a true difference. But habitually being intentional about them will make them realities.

I have succeeded in life at many things, and I know from those successes that they did not happen overnight or without many, many days and nights of wanting to give up.

So I guess it comes down to motivation. Why do we want to be better? For me, it’s about the people around me and the God that created me. They deserve my best. And in many ways, they haven’t been getting it.

I will begin and end with only what I can do. I cannot control my husband or my daughter: their resolutions and aspirations are their own. But I can control my thoughts, and more importantly, my actions.

A new year, a new day, is such a blessing. I pray that yours is filled with successes that keep you motivated, and failures that keep you humble. I pray that you let go of what is beyond your control and that you embrace your talents and strengths. I pray that, if at the end of the day you know you have not given your best, you will forgive yourself and reach higher tomorrow.

I pray this for you, I pray this for me.