I had originally planned to make a post with a ton of various New Year's resolutions and advice on how to keep them to bring about long-lasting change. After all, that's what I feel is the expectation for people in my vocation: you know, compile well-researched suggestions for change and share them, despite knowing that most would give up on resolutions within weeks of making them. Then I saw this meme, and the whole thing bothered me; let me tell you why...
I believe it is wrong to worry about the outcome of New Year Resolutions. In the same way, I also think it is wrong to believe that Resolutions don't matter. Extremes are dangerous. Have you considered how New Year's Day is no different from any other day? The day after New Year's Eve and the day after are just days. So, I don't think we need to produce a laundry list of things we need to fix or enhance at some random moment in the time-measuring system we've developed. We also shouldn't avoid having resolutions or goals.
Either way, I don't want to downplay the joy of the New Year or any other holidays we've decided to observe. In fact, I enjoy major events just as much as everyone else. I mean, I am already counting the days until February 24th... The day Spring Training will officially begin. lol.
I am convinced that New Year Resolutions "NYR" fail because they don't come from real awareness or genuine breakthroughs.
NYR are often desires from comparing ourselves against others or homework based on the calendar. What is worse is that the things we put on the NYR only address the symptoms of our sadness and frustration rather than the source. NYR frequently fail for reasons that have little to do with intention or willpower. They fail because they are just smoke screens, self-inflicted smoke screens.
Some resolutions are wise for our overall well-being, both physically and emotionally. Losing weight, quitting smoking, and improving stress management are all healthy goals. However, if we don't address the underlying causes of our urges to abuse alcohol, buy double bacon cheeseburgers, and worry ourselves into fits of hysteria, anxiety, and self-doubt with a side cleaning, we have gained nothing but more wounds.
So, maybe rather than attempting to make a New Year's Resolution, make a "Today Resolution" -- don't wait until tomorrow or the weekend; today is just as good a day as any. In the same way, rather than treating the symptom, begin by acknowledging that there is some deep soul searching to be had. Get some real help, and build some accountability. Remember that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens... Ecclesiastes 3:1
Don't make promises to yourself with NYR simply because there is a calendar change, but also don't limit yourself from pushing for a better you (like the meme recommends!) -- Know that if you need to talk to someone, you have a friend in me.