I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.
I don’t see the value in making year-long commitments to things just because the calendar has changed. I can see how it could have meaning for some people, and that’s fine. A new year can feel like a chance to start over. There are plenty of people who make (and keep) resolutions. As for me, I’ve never thought that it made any difference whether I act to change things in my life on New Year’s Day or on March 27th. It’s not the date that matters.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t start projects at the beginning of the year. In 2010, for example, I joined with a group of friends and family to read through the entire Bible in one year. I’m going to be doing the same thing again this year, on my own. But that’s more of a project than a resolution.
I suppose that one reason I don’t make those sorts of promises is that I always find that for me, they are motivated by momentum and “because it’s traditional.” I also think that a lot of the resolutions I used to make were made not from a genuine desire to change, but from a sense of obligation or a failure to see what I really needed to change. In other words, I might make a promise to change something “easy” or that I would have changed anyway without much effort, or something that I didn’t really need to change anyway. It kept me safe from having to make important changes in my life.
Just because I don’t make New Year’s resolutions doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. Yesterday’s message at church was a good reminder of how to start the year making changes in the right way, a way that is healthy for us and puts God first. You can listen to the podcast here.
I don’t look at the new year as a chance to start over. I look at every new day as a chance to do the right thing, love others, and honor God. I intend to continue doing the same in 2012.