Thinking about New Year resolutions…I stumbled across this post from 2010. Shockingly, I could have written it yesterday. On the big stuff, I’m so in the same place. Do we ever really change? My updated comments are in blue.
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Approaching a New Year…carrying hope and optimism that the coming year will be sweeter, richer, healthier, thinner, safer, more fun, and less stressful than the last one.
I’m making some truly new resolutions this year – things I might actually achieve – because for the past fifteen years, I’ve had the same three goals:
1. Like zillions of other people, I always determine to lose weight. Two years ago, I did shed 20 pounds. It was forced on me by inflammation issues. However, I have gained back 15. ARGH!!!!! So, that’s on the list again. Or still. And I imagine, glumly, for the rest of my life. So depressing. 🙁
2. I always resolve to bite my (hard to admit) critical tongue. That usually lasts about a week. If I ever master this, I’ll only have half a tongue. Sadly, my tongue is still fully here.
3. I always resolve to gripe less. One year my son (who was about twelve at the time), who tended to gripe too, (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree) and I made a deal. We vowed that we would not be so negative, and that we’d call each other out on negative remarks.
It worked a little. But then we discovered that when one of us was displeased with something, the other would agree, Oh yeah, that’s crummy. Which just confirmed our view that life was full of annoyances and worth complaining about.
Low-bar goals. (And the Styrofoam thing might make me just give up on #3.)
I’ve decided New Year’s resolutions don’t work for me.
I’ve suspected this for several years, because I keep making the same ones. There’s a quote about doing the same things over and over, expecting different results = insanity. I don’t know about insanity, but futile and silly come to mind.
It hit me that, in light of eternity, one year is just a snap of the fingers. And the human heart is stubborn. I’ve tried repeatedly to change for the better, but the slide back to “normal” is short and easy and often very appealing.
I was only able to get healthy two years ago by relying on God’s strength (because I didn’t have any.) Change, for me, is a spiritual issue. My flesh is a lazy, gluttonous master. Disgusting, but true.
So the question for me is always, Do I want to give God this issue? Do I want Him to correct this wayward heart, my self-focused tendencies, my lazy streak? Yes, I do. The answer is always yes, but the journey He takes me on is always challenging, because it involves growing up.
That’s what hard. That’s what’s painful. And I’m not sure we ever fully mature in this life.
I don’t think God cares whether or not I mop my kitchen floor, but He does care if my words hurt others. He cares whether or not I take care of my body, and He cares about whether or not I’m grateful, or just full of complaints. So, the New Year is helpful in that it’s a time to pause and see how I’m doing, but the good news is that God gives me a lifetime to get it right. Or better. As long as the path I’m on is “doing my best to honor His design for my life,” I’m doing OK.
We had some challenges last year, and some heartaches, but I still trust that God is in control, I still trust that He has a plan, I know He’s always with me, I know He is the only unchanging force in my life. I have not been swayed from any of that, so I’m doing OK.
I’ll keep working on the three weaknesses listed at the start of this post, because they affect so many things in my life. But I’ve adjusted my expectations. I don’t want January to be the month I look back at how I’ve failed anymore. Or, even the month where I give myself another 365 days to correct my flaws.
January will just be a pit stop pause where I thank God for what He’s shown me in the past year, and how He’s going to guide me through the challenges in the next.
Welcome, 2017, where I’m stumbling towards heaven, one year at a time.
I resolve to eat at least 1 piece of cherry pie next year. It could happen as early as January.
Jo-Anne Meadows says
At least you succeded on some points me I would fail on every point if I was one to make resolutions which I don't because I am to lazy to think of any………lol
Frances Stiles says
Mare, in spite of all our attempts, it is SO hard to change our habits and attitudes! I like the idea of using an old list and updating where you are with it now. Is your tongue at least a little bruised from trying to bite it?!? 😉 Happy New Year!
Annalisa Crawford says
Sometimes it's the small goals that get overlooked. I identify with the charitable giving – one year I resolved to put my small change in the charity pots when it was handed back to me in a shop. Five years on and I still do it, although not as obsessively – the year of that resolution I found myself walking around with change in my pockets because some shops didn't have charity pots!
Happy New Year. (PS. dusting really doesn't matter – I've pondered this and decided!)
I'm keeping my goals somewhat vague this year. I think that might just be the ticket for me!
Happy New Year, mare!
Annmarie Pipa says
hope springs eternal!
happy New Year!
I'm going to resolve to eat more cake pops. I think I'll be successful. You're one smart lady, and I'm taking you up on the "aim low" theme. I may also resolve to do less laundry.
Lisa @ Two Bears Farm says
I mopped the floor once a week when our house was on the market, and it was such a nightmare.
Lynn Proctor says
haha you always make me laugh, sometimes out loud—and yeah i hate to admit it but as ridiculous as it is, i wish i could master that mopping thingy ;)–happy new year mare <3
Susan Flett Swiderski says
Happy New Year! I resolve NOT to make any resolutions. (Although it sure would be nice to lose a few pounds of lardage…)
I resolve to mop my floor twice a year, whether it needs it or not! That's about as far as I've gotten, but I guess I have all day to come up with a list! Happy New Year!
I resolve to mop my kitchen floor before my mom comes for a visit in two weeks! 😉
Yes I think we all have repeats every year. And really it is the specific goals with steps to them that are more likely to happen than the lofty grand ones.. so the trick is figuring out steps to make the lofty grand ones happen.
Becca Acker says
I'm with you on #2 and 3! I highly recommend the book (or audio series) by James MacDonald "Lord, Change My Attitude Before It's Too Late." It's helped me really think about my attitude, and I resort back to it on occasion…
My goals always seem to remain the same too. I look back 10 years ago, and yep, still the same, lol. Here's to making this the year we accomplish them – Happy New Year! 🙂
Cake pops suck