re·solve [ri-zolv]: to come to a definite or earnest decision about; determine (to do something): I have resolved that I shall live to the full.
Before you even begin reading this, you should probably know I’m a rebel at heart. If you say “up,” I’ll have to resist the urge to say “down” just for the heck of it. It doesn’t matter one bit that I may have been thinking “up” at first. I know. I know. I’m working on it. From time to time, I ask my husband if I’m getting any better, and depending on the day, he sometimes tells me I’m making improvements.
I suppose I could make a New Year’s resolution or something. And therein lies the rub.
I am not a New Year’s resolution maker. It’s not that I’m against resolutions in general. I’m all for goal-setting and for desiring to make the world a better place. I’m an ardent fan of new beginnings and for turning over a new leaf. Really, I am. But—and this is just me—New Year’s resolutions make me queasy.
Call me jaded. Tell me to buck up and get with the program. Forgive me if I sound too harsh, or if my New Year’s resolution rebellion makes you cringe. I hear you, and because it’s not my goal to make you cringe, I asked you what you think about the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions. I also asked a few of my friends on my own Facebook page, as well as the editors here at The High Calling. My question was simple: “Do you make a New Year's Resolution each year? Why, or why not?” Here is a sampling of the answers I received:
“I do not. I have never been able to keep one, well except the year I made the NY Resolution that I would quit making them!”
“I make a resolution every day to follow God more closely and try and be nicer! No point in waiting for New Year's.”
“Yes because I would like to have a goal that I can look back at the end of the year and see how I've changed...”
“No, but for the last several years I (and my team) have picked a word that resonates and guides us into the new year. My word for 2012 was 'perspective' and, oh my, did I gain plenty of new perspective. Still reflecting on what 2013 word will be.”
“No... not really. I do think about goals and plans, but not really ‘resolutions’ per se. Not that I'm against them. I just use the time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future... but usually don't ‘resolve’ to make big changes... probably because the goals I consider at the new year are part of a bigger plan already in place.”
“I like them. I like the clean slate. I like making goals...not for the whole year, but I find this time inspiring nonetheless.”
“Resolution is a four-syllable word for goals. I like goals... My resolutions are usually personal and whimsical. And I don't feel pressure to actually achieve them.”
“No specific resolutions this year. I always want to do better--in every area of life...spiritual disciplines, family time, work life, exercise...the new year is a stone of remembrance for me; a marker that kind of spurs me on to try harder. But I learned a long time ago to leave room for grace.”
“As a recovering good girl (HT: Emily Freeman) I'm trying really hard to stop trying harder to be a good girl. Does that make sense? Something about resolving to do better in the new year seems to me to ignore something fundamental about my ongoing need for the gospel. I can't just decide to do better and then do it. And, usually the shortcomings I'm aware of tend to be just the surface junk. So thankful for the work of the HS in me, revealing my sin and transforming me from glory to glory.”
I know myself. And I suspect there are others out there who, despite our best intentions, often miss the mark. I am dependent upon grace. So I will join the rank and file and count my calories, log the miles, and search through Pinterest for the best storage and organizing solutions. I will clear out space at the beginning of each day to read my bible and to hear from God. I will make time with my family a priority, and I will not feel guilty about time spent alone.
And I will most certainly fail. Not always. But I am fairly certain each night, when my head hits the pillow, I will whisper at least one confession to the God who knows me better than I know myself and whose definite and earnest decision is to love me anyway.
So, how about you? New Year’s Resolutions: Yes, or no?
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