For starters, I never took my “resolutions” seriously, which absolved the word of any real meaning in my mind. I would argue that most of us approach the New Year with more lip service than actual resolve do achieve something new.
Here’s why I’ve ditched the culturally obligatory New Year’s resolution list and you should too:
1) The majority of our resolutions are made out of shame.
We don’t really want to make difficult changes, even if we know they will benefit us in the long run. The flesh’s natural inclination is to take the easiest course of action, sometimes none. Which is why gym memberships get cancelled by February and we can’t seem to hack it without trainers and coaches.
We overcorrect, making ourselves accountable to the world at large by posting and talking endlessly about what we intend to do to better ourselves. We trash talk ourselves thinking shame will motivate us. Even if we do speak positively, there is often an underlying shame or regret motivating us.
We have fallen for the lie that if we feel bad enough and talk about how bad we feel, it will foster lasting change. But there’s only one thing that permanently renews the human heart & mind.
That one thing is grace.
Scripture says we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds. And how can our minds be renewed? By refusing to conform to worldly culture and staying focused on grace.
You are gifted and valuable in the eyes of God (which is all that matters), and He has a better way of transformation than the unrealistic, shameful pressures of this world.
2) The fruits of the Spirit are FAR more effective.
I memorized them with this gospel song about a decade ago.
God has already equipped us with everything we need to succeed! When I press into Him, focusing on spiritual disciplines instead of vanity metrics, my health and other important goals start falling into place. And I can KEEP my commitments to see them through!
Want to get fit? Remember that your body is a temple. Want to stop worrying about finances and manage money better? Read about how the Lord loves you and will always care for you.
The solid foundation we need is in the Word and experienced through worship, prayer, etc.. God gives us the gift of “Spirit improvement” (which is everlasting) instead of self-improvement (which gets us, maybe, to April).
We should be exercising this divine gift every day, who brings me to my final point…
This last one is pretty simple but the most difficult to implement.
You know how the grand finale in a fireworks show is always the best part? Ever wonder why that is?
All the beautiful colors and shapes they create are firing off in the perfect patterns at the same time. Even the sounds seem meticulously synchronized to leave you in awe and wonder. Yet they are the EXACT same explosions as you watched for the last 45 minutes, maybe with a few bigger booms worked in.
It’s the consistency!
Successful people do regularly what unsuccessful people do occasionally. We will never see the results we want so long as we are disjointed and sporadic with our attempts. New Year’s resolutions are practically synonymous with shoddy, inconsistent behavior.
So here’s the last reason you need to ditch New Year’s resolutions altogether:
3) Daily resolve, 365 days a year, will get us the results that New Year’s shame lists will never generate.
Don’t make resolutions when you could start a REVOLUTION!
Simply put, a revolution is “a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something.” THIS, my dear friends, is where the staying power is!
We need to resolve that every day will be the day we go to battle against our flesh, whatever it’s desired indulgence may be. Revolt against the status quo you have created for yourself! Things don’t need to stay the way they are, but they will not change unless YOU do something about it.
More importantly, we must invite God into that place of difficulty and let Him lead our revolution. He’s pretty good at getting results and if you’ve read this far, you probably feel like you could use all the help you can get. Why not go to the one who made that temple you’re trying to tame?
As we commit to constantly do battle (pray on that armor y’all!) we will begin to see harmony and beauty more clearly in our lives. As always, I’m praying for your success and boldness to revolt this New Year! Will you keep me in prayer as well?
2020 is the year of finishing what you started. Let’s get these goals locked in, by the power of the Holy Spirit!