New Year’s Resolution’s
Making New Year’s resolution’s is easy … Sticking with it is hard …
“Why?” we ask ourselves, as we contemplate the creation of our New Year’s Resolutions which always seems to be a terrific way to start a new year. This is a long-standing tradition because of its universal hope to change something or several things, for the better. The positive intention hooks us into a compelling sense of wanting to create possible opportunities for the things we did not quite accomplish yet or would like to begin. The “audacity of hope” is what a former president called this phenomenon.
There is a universal appeal in hope, an elusive beacon reminding us we can always do more, we can conscientiously do better. So, we declare our resolutions, we plan, we prepare our motivational self-talk, then we look forward to the distant goal post, knowing all the while making good resolutions is important and easy—sticking with them is hard. Most of the time we fail within a few weeks, if not days, after making our resolutions. Let us explore how and why this happens.
Committing to the goals we create for ourselves can be difficult, and they can leave us feeling defeated if we do not achieve them. Too often, setting lofty goals in our resolutions results in making us feel overwhelmed and before long we succumb to the weight of the pressure, which we often forget—is self-imposed.
Most common New Year’s resolutions focus on personal/physical lifestyle—with familiar recurring themes like health and fitness, improving finances, learning new things for personal development. These previous resolutions may be familiar to you:
• Exercise more
• Lose weight
• Live life to the fullest
• Spend less and save more money
• Travel more
• Spend more time with family
• Seek a new hobby
Last year, because of the pandemic, we experienced many challenges that changed the trajectory of our lives. When planning resolutions for 2022, a good and first place to start is to reflect on your 2021 resolutions. We all faced challenges last year, marked with prolonged COVID-19 related measures—lockdowns, isolation, anxiety and even depression. Living through such difficult and stressful times can show us a better appreciation for life—we are more resilient and able to bounce back with a higher appreciation for being alive and greater determination to use our time with deeper awareness and gratitude.
Maybe this year’s new resolutions will focus more on the good which gives more meaningful awareness and can uplift our spirit and bring lasting joy to others. Here are some New Year’s resolutions you may want to consider:
• Practice the act of kindness for strangers
• Offer forgiveness to those who may have wronged us
• Send encouraging cards to someone who is alone, feeling lonely
• Find a cause that you can be passionate about
• Write thank you cards to teachers and healthcare workers
• Have more intentional conversations with neighbors
• Give brotherly/sisterly love to the unlovable
• Express and share gratitude for and with others frequently
• Be more patient, less judgmental
• Share a genuine smile with strangers
• Extend grace to all
In the words of Zig Ziglar:
• Be strong, but not rude.
• Be kind, but not weak.
• Be bold, but not bully.
• Be humble, but not timid.
• Be proud, but not arrogant.
Let us make our 2022 New Year’s resolutions a reflection of God’s character and make them count to bring happiness and joy. Like the Holy Bible says, “Let’s be doers of the Word, and not hearers only.” And, “Faith without works is dead.” In David Mathis’ Advent Prayer during the Christmas season is a reminder the “joy in us, through Christ, would rise to the level of sweet, encouraging, upbuilding, hopeful words. Make our mouths to be foundations of contagious joy in Christ. May Jesus be honored in our words and may the hearts of our friends and family be enriched, rather than encumbered by the things we say.” Yielding to God’s Word will make our New Year’s resolutions more meaningful, achievable and will bring us closer to “a more perfect union.”
Happy New Year!