Last night, I sat in a room with some of my closest friends, bringing in the New Year with laughter. As we sat and read the texts, tweets and FB posts that appeared on the screen, it continued to be people wishing for world peace, health and wealth, and to break bad habits. These are all great things, but what are these people doing to actually get there, to encourage world peace or to find wealth?
Why is it that we wait until December 31st to make goals or decide to break unhealthy patterns?
Each year, I come up against this, and each year it seems to hit a little harder.
Shouldn’t we be spending each day working towards goals and dreams that we have set for ourselves? Why does it take a specific, and for some a special day to make goals and even decide the steps it will take to get there?
I’m not saying that New Years resolutions are a bad thing, but we all know how often they are not kept or pursued. Often times, we get to the end of the year, and can’t even remember what we decided for the year before. It seems that we’ve set up this system that wants greatness, wants betterment, and yet there is nothing there to support it. These things don’t simply happen, they take effort, work and ultimately drive.
I remember when I was quite a bit younger, and was babysitting with a friend a couple nights before New Years Eve. I told her that my biggest New Years resolution was to stop gossiping. Her response to me was that it was impossible not to. That challenged me, in many ways, because the Bible warns us of gossip and what sort of character that builds (Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 6:16-19, Psalm 101:5). Gossip ultimately destroys relationships, and even at the age of twelve, I saw that and wanted no part in it.
Here my friend was, telling me that my biggest goal, was unattainable. That automatically set a low standard for me and my resolution changed from stopping gossip, to gossping less.
If you made resolutions this year, I strongly encourage you to have an accountability partner. Someone who can keep you to what you decided against or for. Not someone who will tell you it isn’t possible, or that when you fall and mess up, to just give up.
This year, I didn’t set any goals. The past two months of this year, have proven to be very promising and I have set goals months ago that I will continue to work on throughout this year. It didn’t start today, and it doesn’t end tomorrow, it is continuous.
I had an extremely challenging 2013, yet I would do it all over again, given the chance. I grew in ways I didn’t know possible and changed in very positive ways that completely God’s doing. I do not want that to be something I let go of, ever. I don’t want to get to the end of 2014, and not be able to say the exact same thing.
I believe that having a successful year, involves challenging the very core of your being. It means putting yourself in places that you have the opportunity to be used by God, and to grow. Be with the friends that challenge and encourage you. Let go of the relationships that draw you to take steps backwards. Make attainable goals, long and short term, and have someone keep you accountable.
There is an amazing Saviour that offers us a new beginning each and every day (Lamentations 3:22-23). That is the biggest encouragement to me, to know that the same One who knows all my faults, screw ups and mistakes, gives me a fresh start every day. Just as He offers me a clean slate, so I should offer myself that same new beginning. It shouldn’t be a yearly decision, but a daily decision to start anew every morning!
Don’t let this be another year of missed, forgotten or given-up resolutions. Instead take every day as a chance to be a better version of yesterdays shadow.
Have a blessed day, and a Happy New Year!