Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 4, 2012

New Year’s Resolutions

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

We are a few days into the new year.  How are you coming with those resolutions you made?  Have you gotten started?  Will you hold to your commitment?

Easy for me to ask such questions . . . of you!  But don’t ask me about mine.  I didn’t make any.  I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions.  Oh, I remember those younger days when it was in vogue to make them.  I remember not only would the teacher ask us to do a list in class, but at New Year’s Eve parties — private or at church — it was like a game.  You had to make a list . . . and usually the sheet of paper that was provided had numbers.  You were expected to come up with 10 resolutions for the new year.

I remember specifically one such occasion.  It was a church function.  It was to be a serious list.  I cannot recall what all I put on the list. Trying to be cooperative, I probably listed things like:  be faithful at church, be kind to my family, read my Bible, don’t curse, help people, make better grades, etc.  But after making a “spiritual or serious” list, I suppose I reverted back to my usual attitude.  I remember exactly number 10.  On that last line for resolutions, I wrote for resolution number 10:  “I resolve to do my best to ignore the previous 9.”  You can imagine how that went over with the adult leadership!

I am not saying resolutions are not good.  They have an important place in the development of our life.  But they need to be made when we recognize the need and not just at the beginning of a new year.  Resolutions are a commitment we make — certain goals to reach.  They may be to break some habit or to begin some habit.  Such evaluation of our life is important.  But when we make resolutions, do we also have a plan of how to accomplish such a goal?  There must be a strategy.

I was fascinated with a reported list of the top ten resolutions made this year.  The language varied among list, but the intent was the same.

1.  Spend more time with the family. 2. Get more exercise.  3.  Lose weight.  4.  Quit smoking.  5.  Enjoy life more.  6.  Quit drinking.  7.  Get out of debt.   8.  Be more educated –study.  9.  Help other people.  10.  Get my life organized.

I agree with you — those are all worthy goals — if you have the need.  Most of these speak of failure already in our life.  Habits have been formed that are recognized as dangerous to health, emotions, and relationships.  Seems to me that the list is inferring that we need to get control of our lives.  Again, just listing resolutions does not bring accomplishment.  There must be a plan . . . and a discipline to stick to the plan.  The old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”  Strategy is not difficult.  Look at that list and you could quickly give suggestions.  Though the one with a drinking problem could list many things to do, it may just start with not hanging around people that drink too much, etc.  Or the one about getting out of debt — it begins with spending less, etc.  Making plans to reach a goal is not difficult.  It is the discipline that is hard.

I have learned that whatever habit I want to break . . . or habit I want to begin, I just cannot accomplish it by myself.  I have good intentions . . . I may discipline myself for a period of time . . . I may even sense that I am accomplishing them, but soon time passes and I realize that I have not stuck to it!  Thus, I just give up.  Do you identify with that?

But those intentions are possible.  I have discovered the strength I need to accomplish those worthy goals.  It is through the strength and inner presence of Christ.  Oh, there must still be a desire and discipline to allow Him to accomplish in my life those needed corrections and goals, but His presence in my life seems to hold me to accountability.  Though I have a long way to go in some of those desires, I am so thankful for some habits that have been forfeited that could affect my life — health-wise, emotionally,  financially, in relationships, attitude,  and I could go on.

If you truly desire to make some changes — let me offer to you the power of Christ in your life.  It will make the difference!  If you want to make those goals and resolutions . . . you can start today . . . you don’t have to wait for a new year!

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:13)

Lawson

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