⏳New Year, New Failures
5 min read

⏳New Year, New Failures

Issue #47: Your Crumbling Resolutions, Daily Bible Reading in Obsidian, Slow Productivity, Being in the Know, Where Big Tech Is Leading You, and more.
⏳New Year, New Failures

Dear stewards,

We’re officially two weeks into 2022. And two weeks also happens to be the average life span of a new year’s resolution. So, even if you’re finding your big plans for “new year, new me” are already floundering, I’d like to offer you a few notes of encouragement.

It’s Good to Finish What You Start

Whether it’s a Bible reading plan, exercise routine, or some other new habit, it is discouraging to find yourself unable to stick with something for even just two weeks.

I had the unfortunate timing of starting 2022 with COVID-19, which really put a damper on my plans to start the year off right. But I’m not ready to admit defeat yet. And I don’t think you should be either.

Stewardship of this life requires grit. And if your goals for this new year were good and your motives noble, it is a good thing to try and finish what you started on January 1st.

Don’t give up yet!

Don’t Quit, Modify

One of the biggest discouragements we face when it comes to resolutions is the broken streak. Maybe you committed to reading the Bible every day this year, but you’ve already missed 5 days. It’s easy to throw your hands up and say, “Oh, well! I’ll try again next year.” But is that really the only option?

Instead of quitting your plan, change it.

It’s easy to set unrealistic goals in December only to discover that in January we didn’t suddenly transform into a consistent person with superhero levels level of discipline, focus, and organization. Likely the reason your resolutions are dissolving is that they were unrealistic to begin with.

Maybe reading the Bible every day isn’t going to work this year. But instead of giving up and having no plan, perhaps try reading just the New Testament this year instead of the whole Bible, or change to reading just a chapter a day, five days a week.

Don’t quit, modify.

Draw on God’s Power to Persevere

Finally, if your goals for this new year come from a desire to honor God, know that you have the most powerful ally in the universe for that mission. It’s God’s will that we would grow (1 Thessalonians 4:8) and if we ask for things that accord with His will, we can be confident God will give those things to us (1 John 5:14–15).

So, PRAY!

It’s funny how quickly we try to solve our productivity problems with new methods, apps, or systems and forget that we are Christians with access to the King of Kings. If you’re struggling with keeping to your goals for the new year, seek the Lord’s help.

Here's a link to a shareable version of this article on my blog.

Now, let's get into this week's Roundup!

✨ New on Redeeming Productivity

My New Book Comes Out Tomorrow

Check out this review of A Student’s Guide to Gaming by Expository Parenting.

You can pick it up now on Christian Focus or Amazon.

▶️ How I Use Obsidian to Manage My Daily Bible Reading (11 mins)

I wanted to be able to track my daily Bible reading plan for the year in Obsidian. Here's how I did that using a few simple plugins.

🎙A Student’s Guide to Gaming (My New Book) (27 mins)

In this episode, we talk about the unhelpful ways Christians often discuss gaming, why video games are so stinking fun, and how Christians should approach gaming. I also share a reading from my brand new book A Student’s Guide to Gaming which comes out this week.

Make sure you're subscribed to the Redeeming Productivity Show so you don't miss an episode.

🧑‍💻The Roundup

It’s Time to Embrace Slow Productivity (8 mins)

“What we need is a movement to reduce the volume of work that is assigned to us in the first place—a movement I call Slow Productivity.”

(Cal Newport / The New Yorker)

6 Lessons for Tending Your Time (7 mins)

“Instead, with both our gardens and our days, we should aim for nourishing and flourishing, for cultivating healthy productivity. What can us schedulers learn from farmers and gardeners?”

(Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra / The Gospel Coalition)

7 Most Effective Methods of Time Management to Boost Productivity (8 mins)

A good roundup of common time management techniques.

(Carl Pullein / Lifehack)

Discipled by Algorithms: Where Is ‘Big Tech’ Leading You? (8 mins)

“Almost everything in life is touched by technology. And because it has become so ubiquitous, we are losing the ability to think critically about its role in our lives. We often fail to see how these very tools, especially algorithms, are shaping our view of the world, including how we see ourselves and our neighbors.”

(Jason Thacker / Desiring God)

The perils of being in the know (3 mins)

“We can’t know what 2022 will bring, but we can control the way we approach the inevitable onslaught of information that is a feature of living in this digital age.”

(Daniel Darling / WORLD)

🖋Quote of the Week

If the level of performance you’re demanding of yourself is genuinely impossible, then it’s impossible, even if catastrophe looms—and facing this reality can only help.

– Oliver Burkeman

Resurfaced with Readwise.

🎓 Redeeming Productivity Academy

Here's a peek at what's happening this month in Redeeming Productivity Academy:

  • Book Club: The ONE Thing. We're be reading The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. Follow the weekly reading schedule and discuss the book together.
  • January Habit Challenge. Come get your streak on with the January Habit Challenge. Choose one habit, mark every day you do it successfully, and win prizes.
  • Toolshed: Beginner's Guide to Apple Shortcuts. We'll be talking about how to use Shortcuts on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac to save time, optimize your devotional time, and be more productive.
  • Offices Hours. Stop by my weekly office hours to get help on a productivity problem, enjoy some casual banter, or just hang out with me and other RPA members.
  • Goal-Setting & The Glory of God. This month’s training focuses on how to set effective goals as a Christian, and specifically how you consciously tie your objectives back to your main mission of bringing glory to God with your life.
  • And much more. The membership also includes to all past trainings, Toolshed sessions, and access to our always-interesting online community.

Join the community to grow in your personal development, get accountability for your goals, and connect with other productivity-minded believers!

Come join us!

🤠 Pardners*

  • Protect your soul with screen accountability software. Try Covenant Eyes free for 30-days with promo code “ROSE”
  • Redeem your commute by listening to audiobooks from Audible. Listen free for one month.
  • When it comes to calendars out of sight often means out of mind. See your whole year at a glance with NeuYear giant wall calendars.

*Pardners are paid classifieds or affiliate links that support Reagan’s Roundup. To enquire about placing a classified ad in Reagan’s Roundup, simply reply to this email.

⌛️That’s All for this Week

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I'll see you next time!

– Reagan