Each year I resolve to do one thing that will improve my life.

Whether you love resolutions or think they are dumb, here is a list of 17 things that could improve your quality of life in ’17.

  1. Read one non-ministry book a month: Readers are leaders, but to keep your mind fresh you might want to read things that have nothing to do with ministry. Pick up a novel, a memoir, or a cookbook.
  2. Write each week: Write every week about your week in ministry. You can use this to keep record of the things you do, to journal about what you’re learning in ministry, or to share with your team or supervisor.
  3. Use all your vacation days: My goal for 2016 was to use all of my vacation days, including recovery days after trips and retreats. Sabbath is the most important thing you can honor as a leader.
  4. Spiritual disciplines: Take each month to focus on a new spiritual discipline. I did this one year, using each chapter of Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.
  5. Unplug from your email: Turn off your email notifications and don’t touch your email on your Sabbath days or after hours.
  6. Exercise: Commit to exercising three times a week. Consider joining a group that will help you with your goals.
  7. Use your preventative benefits: Use all your free healthcare benefits and get all the appropriate physicals, screenings and dental cleanings.
  8. Bible in a year: Use a Bible-in-a-Year devotional so that you open the Bible outside of work.
  9. Get counseling: Like anyone else in the “people business,” we need a place where we can vent our struggles and grow as an individual.
  10. Send one card a week: Send one card a week thanking a volunteer, writing a note to a parent, or sending a message to a student.
  11. Mentor someone in ministry: Find someone younger in ministry and mentor them, committing to walking alongside them in their journey.
  12. One word: Praying, ask God to help you to identify one word you might focus on next year. Write this word on your mirror, on your office wall, or on a bracelet. Pray over it throughout the year.
  13. Find one activity outside of church: Find one thing to do that has nothing to do with ministry. Join a dodgeball league or an art class, or frequent the disc golf field. Interact with people who don’t rely on you as their pastor.
  14. Date: Commit to regular dates with your significant other. If you’re single and ready to mingle, set a plan for dating. If you’re content single, go on friend-dates and #treatyoself.
  15. Learn one new recipe a month: Mix things up in your diet, and have fun cooking with your family!
  16. Work from a coffee shop once a week: Mix things up and get out of the office for one afternoon or morning every week. Use this to build relationships with your community.
  17. Start every day on your knees: Put aside the tendency to start your day on your phone or hitting the snooze three times. Start each day by rolling out of bed and onto your knees to begin the day in prayer.


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About The Author

Heather Campbell is a Middle School Director in Indianapolis, working with a talented and diverse team of staff and volunteers to create environments where tweens can thrive. Heather has the privilege of writing on various youth ministry platforms across the interwebs, but you can find her blogging about her life in ministry over at heatherleacampbell.me. You can follow her and her one-eyed cat on Twitter/Instagram @heatherlea17.

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