Monday, January 12, 2009

confessions of a resolution rebel...

With a new year comes the inevitable ever-present talk of New Year's resolutions. You may have noticed the lack of comment on my blog about this particular topic.

The reason? I am a resolution rebel. I refuse to make New Year's resolutions. I mean, really, what is the point of them? Have you read the statistics about how long they are actually kept? Grim. Truly. And yet, year after year, folks all across the good ol' USofA start off the new year with these great intentions--plans to save money, to get in shape, to lose weight, to spend more time with their families, to .... whatever it may be. They're great plans and, usually, really, really good ideas.

I've seen many new joggers and walkers on my way to work in the morning. Gyms are full. Budgets are being made and receipts saved and documented. Calories are being counted. Closets and desks and living spaces are being organized at a terrific rate! The Bible is being read religiously. And I do believe these resolution-makers truly intend to see these resolutions through to completion. But, something happens along the way...

Just ONE morning of sleeping in instead of getting up to jog before work. Just ONE day of skipping the gym. Just ONE extra frivolous purchase at the store. Just ONE cinnamon roll with coffee. Just ONE... which is usually followed by one more and then one more and then, one day, the resolution has truly been left by the side of the road, and the resolver realizes they're right back where they were on December 31st.

And, not only are they back to December 31st. Now, the cherry of discouragement sits atop that sundae of failed-New-Year's-resolution.

I'm one of those who is a great starter, but I am not so great at being a finisher. Because of this, I do not make New Year's resolutions. I know my limited attention span for such things. I know my limited amount of self-discipline when all that is holding me to my 'resolution' is that I had good intentions.

A few years ago, I decided I would examine myself at the beginning of each year and write down what I would like to see changed--about me, my life, my habits, etc. Then I would write what I would like to see as the outcome and the small goals it would take to get to that place. I could then measure each month where I was at in regards to reaching the outcome. It's been a better plan for me.

Maybe it's because I don't see it as a resolution but as a commitment. (I had a great little piece to include here about resolutions vs commitment, but I have suddenly misplaced the paper. Note to self: resolve to be better organized!!!) I looked up the definitions of those two words, and they are as follows:

resolution: to reach a firm decision about
commitment: something pledged; the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled

Hmmmm. Not a lot of help there, except that, to me, "commitment" seems to be more about action, activity. And it seems much more solid and binding than "resolution."

What really struck me, however, was an extra explanation in the synonym section: "commit may express the general idea of delivering into another's charge or the special sense of transferring to a superior power or to a special place of custody." Now, wait a minute. I think we have something powerful here....

"...delivering into another's charge or the special sense of transferring to a superior power..."

Yes!, my heart cries out! That's what it's about!! It is about "delivering [the change, the great idea, the desired outcome] into Another's charge." It is about "the special sense of transferring [the commitment, the task, the need for strength for the carrying out of the task] to a Superior Power."

It is about me giving it to God and asking Him to be the Author and Finisher of my faith, of my tasks, of the change I seek in myself and in my life. It is me asking Him to change me and to make me into the person He wants me to be... in my finances, in my fitness, in my faith, in my family and friend relationships. That's it. It's not about me going it on my own--resolving and carrying it out in my own strength, but about me delivering the desire into my Father's charge and then walking it out together with Him, in His strength.

Me committing to Him--to seek His face, to talk with Him, to listen for His voice, to keep Him in the forefront of my every day.

And Him committing to me--to be the Author and Finisher of my faith, my strength when I am weak, the Keeper of my heart, my Provider, ever-present, ever near.

I think I'll start my new year off with that...

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. ~Hebrews 12:1-3

...but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~Isaiah 40:31

...unrelated to above--answer to Friday's "fire and ice" guessing game in the comments section of that post...thanks to those who joined in the game! : )


  1. Thanks for sharing your insight, Sharilyn. The verses shared shall help me through, especially times when I am weary.

  2. I like your ideas here, relying on God rather than yourself. I'm going to have to try this.

  3. your post does makes me feel better, I am not a good finisher myself. My new year resolutions were all forgotten by the end of January. Talking about persistency, I think I am pretty bad.

  4. Hi Sharilyn,

    Great ideas!

    Best wishes,



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