Plymouth Congregational Church

God for All

Ok … let’s discuss those New Year’s Resolutions

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It’s the time of year when everyone writes or talks about their New Years’ resolutions.  Pastor Bill mentioned on Sunday that he doesn’t make them as he always breaks them.  Me, too.  Today is January 5th, and already I’ve broken two of mine!  Not too encouraging …

According to the Newsletternewsletter, psychologist Cliff Arnall calculated that the Monday in the last full week of January is the most depressing day of the year based on a combination of bad weather, Christmas debts, broken New Year’s resolutions and the end of the holiday break.

Wikipedia gave the definition of a New Year’s resolution as this:  “a commitment to a personal goal that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit.”  It goes on to say that “recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. Men achieved their goal 22% more often when they engaged in goal setting, (a system where small measurable goals are being set, such as, a pound a week, instead of saying “lose weight”), while women succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends.” 

Only 12% actually achieved their goals.  Again, not too encouraging.  Kind of makes you feel like not even trying. 

However, one of the first messages I received in the new year from “On this day, God wants you to know” was …

“ …each day is a day in the making.  At any moment, you can make|
a different choice about what you are doing, how you are feeling
and what you are focusing on. 
It is never too late to start over again and make new choices.”

And the first few lines from a poem I ran across, author unknown, read …

I am the new year.
I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.
I am your next chance at the art of living.
I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned
about life during the last 12 months.

Now that sounds encouraging!!

Maybe the reason I’ve failed to keep my resolutions in the past is because I’ve chosen the wrong things to work on.  Does it really matter if I am more organized when I should really keep the goal of bringing my Bible to church every Sunday? Does it really matter if I am a better housekeeper when I really should strive to love and forgive more?

To make resolutions or not … did you, and what were they?

And in the long run, aren’t we blessed with the knowledge that God knows we are going to fail, and loves us anyway!  In his eyes, we are … forgiven … redeemed … loved.

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One thought on “Ok … let’s discuss those New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Too much pressure is applied to the concept of New Years Day resolutions (IMO). As you rightly note failure lurks around every corner. When we don’t reach the goal (break the resolution) what is the resulting feelings? Depression, anxiety, disappointment, failure, defeat, hopelessness. There is a force in this world that says “rely on your strength to accomplish this thing”. When we fail (as that force and stats verify) he says “see, why even bother, you can’t do it, etc). That demon uses pride and self focus to set us up for falling short and then uses the defeat to keep us down and out.

    I don’t think God uses a calendar. Everyday is the first day of a new year (the next 365 days will come until the end of Revelation). God doesn’t care how many times we fail to do this or that. Get back up, dust yourself off and get back at it. I’m finding it more strength (not mine) if my focus is how God is honored by my changes. Do I want to loose weight so “I look better”? Pride goes before a fall. God wants me to take care of his temple (my body)and treat it with reverence. If I ask Him to be the reason, power and if it’s his will then better results flow.

    I wish I could say every thing I do is motivated by first taking it to God. That’s my resolution – to surrender my will and seek his will for me before I act more regularly. I’ve already failed today, but the rest of today is a clean slate that is ripe for success.

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