Friday, December 28, 2007

Today Resolutions

This is the time of year when many people make "New Year's Resolutions" which they plan on putting into effect on January 1st, saying "2008 is the year that I will finally..lose weight, do my devotions daily, not lose my temper at my kids, send everyone I know a birthday card (on time,) spend more time with family, keep the house sparklingly clean, make sure my car has all needed maintenance on schedule, tithe regularly, go on a monthly date with my spouse" get the idea. Then they go out and do whatever they want for the next few days with the idea that they'd better get in all their fun before they have to shape up and start living up to their resolutions. I'm not saying that it's wrong to make some decision to change for the better, or to make long-range life goals. In fact, I need to make some of those resolutions myself..or maybe all of them. But why wait until January 1st to start? Why not start today? One resolution I have made is to stop procrastinating. I read Mick Huckabee's book Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork: A 12-Stop Program to End Bad Habits and Begin a Healthy Lifestyle recently, and one of his main points is that people need to stop putting off change for lame reasons that don't really matter. So my problem with New Year's Resolutions is two-fold. First, if you break them it's too easy to say, "Well, I didn't make it this year, I'll try again next year" or to just give up, thinking that you have no will-power. Second, we try to make these changes on our own, as though somehow if we just wish for it enough or think about it enough, we'll change. A better approach would be to look back over the past year, confessing to the Lord the ways in which our lives have not pleased Him, and asking for His help to change. Change may be painful, but it can happen slowly and steadily in our lives.

So I propose making Today Resolutions, which would sound something like this: "Today, with God's help and under His guidance, I will strive to (insert resolution here). If we fail at it, we ask God's forgiveness and make the same resolution the next day. We lean on His strength and not our own to change. We enlist accountability partners to check on us and our progress. We scrutinize our lives for what small things need to change in order to effect change on a grander scale. And speaking of scales, that's my first Today Resolution: never get on a scale again Instead of worrying about the scale, I need to exercise daily, eat healthy balanced meals, and avoid refined sugar and fried foods. But I can only do this with the Lord's help. I'm not waiting for January 1st to make some resolutions in my life. I'm starting today.


Renata said...

Hooray! I hope you threw that scale away already.

Alice C. said...

Hey Renata! I didn't throw it out, but I haven't gotten on it in three days. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree completely! I have been thinking along these lines myself, for the last month or so. For me it was my daily devotions. I found myself saying, "On January 1st I am going to start being more faithful about doing my daily devotions." And then this little voice said, "Why wait." So, I didn't. Its funny how we are such a linear society that we have to have a specific starting point. "I'll start on Monday." "I'll begin on the first of the month." etc. We aren't guaranteed a the next Monday or the next first of the month, or the next January 1. It seems foolish to wait.

A friend

Alice C. said...

Dear friend:

You are 100% correct. We don't ever know how many days God has alloted us, so we need to start things as soon as the Lord burdens our heart, whatever the burden may be. I'm a terrible procrastinator, so I love setting a "future date" for things. I'm learning that it's much wiser to just go ahead and get started. Thanks for your insightful comment.