It’s a new year and for many people a new year equates with the beginning of something new…something in the form of what we call resolutions. New Year’s Eve often brings a sense of renewal, a feeling of hopefulness or for some only the dread of another year. Resolutions are often made in the hope of starting anew, changing or growing in some way…a vow made to lose weight through healthier eating and exercising more, taking a class to learn something new or perhaps stepping out in faith and starting a new business. But making those resolutions, the ones declared excitedly out loud or kept in hopeful silence, is the easy part…perhaps too easy.
Unfortunately, it is the keeping of those resolutions that is often the hard part. After only a few months or even just a few weeks into the new year, normal routines start back up and those resolutions suddenly do not appear so exciting or worth the time and energy necessary to make them a habit. It is said that to make something a habit, you have to do the same thing over and over for about twenty-one days, give or take. And in our “want it now” society, resolutions are usually pushed aside if immediate results are not seen. After all, who has the time to add one more thing to their already busy life?
Several years ago I decided to take an honest look at what my goal was for making a resolution. Why was it so easy to make them yet often times so hard to keep? What was it I was really hoping to achieve? The conclusion was really pretty simple, and why I think most people make, try and often times fail to keep resolutions: I was striving for change in my life in the hope of finding happiness. We make resolutions to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, learn something new, spend more time with family and friends, start a new business, move and start over, or whatever it may be…yet those things do not guarantee happiness. Oh, there may be a fleeting sense of happiness, but trying to find happiness in things and people will only, and always, find us disappointed.
That was my light bulb moment, the moment the light illuminated what it was I hoped to achieve by making resolutions…hope of a happier life and something better from this year compared to last. That was the year I realized my focus was in the wrong place. Happiness was not achievable on my own, it would not come in the form of losing weight or eating better or starting a new blog, those things are all fleeting. Happiness comes from the only true constant in our lives…God.
Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing ever wrong with setting goals whether for a new year or at anytime, but when God is the center of our goals and resolutions we cannot help but have better results. When I’m sitting at His feet each morning, asking for His direction of my days and showing gratitude for all He does in my life…when I put Him first and foremost, He helps me in forming new habits, achieving resolutions and finding true happiness. Even if by day three into the New Year I no longer feel motivated to keep some resolution I so excitedly thought would change my life! 😉
What do you hope to accomplish in this new year? Do you have a goal? A plan? I would love to hear what hopes and dreams you have for this new year.