I am a type A, driven, goal-oriented, intentional leader who has a Love-Hate relationship with New Year's resolutions.
For the last few years I have resolved to not make resolutions because the failure rate in the past was so high. This seems to be a common experience but something deep inside of us makes us want to submit ourselves to the slavish practice of swinging for the fence and not be satisfied with a base hit.
Reflecting on why my resolutions have not lasted seems to be a common experience from others. Here are my top reasons why my resolutions have failed.
Reason #1: My resolutions are made during the break between Christmas and New Years when I am overstuffed, under exercised and have had too much time to think about myself. It is when I am away from the battle of life that my greatest temptations come to the surface. Reminds me of King David.
Reason #2: My resolutions are usually attempts to improve myself apart from the ongoing work of gospel sanctification which only God himself can bring about. The remnants of the White-washed, Pharisee-made and "try harder next time" sinful nature can be a strong but ineffective motivator to write those resolutions.
Reason #3: My resolutions are motivated by a prideful comparison to men of greatness and my insecurity in who I am created to be. I remember reading Jonathan Edward’s 70 resolutions and I wanted to open the nearest manhole and just live there for a while. I was crushed by my smallness, my insignificance, my utter failure that I could not keep my 5 or 6 resolutions from the last year.
Reason #4: My resolutions are fueled by my forgetfulness of my identity as a beloved son of God because of Jesus. My puny resolutions fortify my identity when I share with friends from January 1-15 what I am going to do. A few times in the past, my friends who really love me and took me serious asked about how those resolutions were going after January 15 and usually all 6 have fallen by the way side. I'm thankful those same friends took me back to Jesus through waltzing with me the 1-2-3 of repentance-belief-obedience.
Reason #5: My resolutions are dependent only on me to carry it out. I usually don't seek out someone who will engage my heart with the gospel so that I have the power to carry through over a longer period of time. I don't access gospel accountability so when there is failure it doesn't become final. I am experiencing the power of coaching to see real progress and lasting change. I only wish I knew about this many years ago.
So for now I'm not making any resolutions for next year but am continuing to do the simple things in a devoted way. Where I lack devotion, I'm thankful that my Master's devotion to me is my hope.
What is your perspective of New Year's Resolutions?