I'm writing this while it's still Advent, though I know you'll be reading it after the New Year has been rung in.

As I sit here, a few days before Christmas, it's hard to think of how motivated I'll be to change and improve and resolve in less than a week.

It happens every year, without fail. Just as I can't walk into an office supply store without at least pining after a new pen or file folders or a deliciously blank notebook, so I can't stand on the eve of a new year without thinking of the possibility ahead of me.

Maybe this will be the year that I don't fail in all the resolutions that are time-tested and Sarah-approved. What adventure lies ahead?

For the last two years, I've used one word resolutions. Two years ago, I felt almost called to the word "peace," and it's been a resolution I've never really lost or finished. Last year, I chose "listen," and I could stand to practice that more. (In fact, until I looked it up, I had forgotten that it was my one word resolution for the year.)

It's not really a question of resolving or not resolving, not for me. I can't help it: I will resolve this or that. Knowing that, here's what I'm going to keep in mind:

1. Prayer first, me second.

Though God cannot be outdone in his ability to make a crazy resolution come to pass, resolutions aren't wishes. They are action items and, as with anything that's life-altering, it's best to consult with God before I commit myself.

2. Small steps go farther.

I like to take the long view. I love to think of the destination. Because of this, I often forget the journey that's necessary. That journey isn't done in one big jump or even one long marathon. It's composed of many small steps that usually mean cooperating with the grace God sends me.

3. Sometimes, you just have to laugh.

I take myself far too seriously far too much of the time. Laughter is medicinal and when my well-laid resolutions are lying about me in shambles, sometimes the best reaction is a hearty laugh (followed by a large chunk of chocolate, a snuggle with something fuzzy, a phone call to a girlfriend, and, best of all, a visit to see Jesus).

image credit: Decibel Magazine