3 doable New Year’s resolutions

One extreme – Unreachable resolutions

I really hate most New Year’s resolutions, mostly because they’re like fad diets. Easy to start, but really difficult to maintain. I think that’s because many of us are more confident in ourselves than we should be. I was reminded of this as I was watching an old episode of Survivor. Our children are obsessed with the series and are going back to watch already aired seasons. In one particular season, the leader of one of the tribes had to leave the show because he physically could not do it anymore. Dehydration and exhaustion got the better of him.

As I watched that bit of the show, my heart broke for this man. He was tough, no doubt. Extremely strong and a good player. But he was overly confident in what he thought he could push his body to do. His body just said, “Nope. No more.” And there was zero he could do about it. There were no encouraging words that could revive his body to obey his will. He was just done.

The other extreme – No reach resolutions

The other end of the spectrum is to embrace low expectations. When we have low expectations, we tend to not strive towards goals that we have been called to do. It leaves us feeling dissatisfied, lazy, and ambivalent. Low expectations put us in a place in which we never accomplish anything significant- not because we try and fail, but because we never move beyond what’s comfortable and never dare to move beyond what’s already been done. Teddy Roosevelt says it best:

“…The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Theodore Roosevelt

So where does that leave us? Generally, it means allowing ourselves to be a little uncomfortable for small chunks of time. That starting place is different for everyone but it’s a line we need to be honest with ourselves about.

Here are some thoughts on doable New Year’s resolutions:

Doable resolution #1 – Be consistent

This is a struggle for just about everyone who is upright and breathing. There are areas that we enjoy that are much easier to be consistent about, and therefore we are. But those nasty areas that are not so fun we tend to avoid any semblance of consistency.

For example, exercise and/or diet. Many hate the thought or more likely than not, don’t even think about it. However, right now is not the time to put off our health. In case some of you may not have noticed, there’s this virus going around that can knock you for a loop (not to mention all the other germs and diseases we can potentially get in any given year).

If there’s a way to build up our own natural immunity, we should. And one way to do that is through exercise and diet. Even if it’s starting to exercise once a week for 20 minutes. Or only eating fast food on Fridays. Start small. Get used to being on a schedule, and move on from there. Don’t bite off more than you can chew (pun intended). You have nothing to lose and much to gain.

Doable resolution #2 – Be intentional

I confess – I can be so awful specifically with respect to being intentionally present. Does anyone else struggle with looking right at one of your children and thinking to yourself that the child may as well be speaking Greek? I have no idea what they just said. My mind is elsewhere.

There are times when our minds need to be elsewhere, granted. We all have tons of responsibilities and many of us are process things at different rates and various ways. But when someone needs to speak to us beyond, “Where are my shoes?” or “Can I have some water, please?” we need to unplug and stay present. Even if it’s just for a 2-minute conversation.

Being intentional about the choices we make is incredibly important. It’s easy to go with the flow and figure it out as we go. But if we can choose to accomplish even one thing a day, that’s a win. Or maybe it’s simply spending 5 minutes with each of our children, face to face with no distractions, every day. That would make a difference in both their lives and ours. Life is precious and fleeting, but the more intentional we are, the bigger impact we can potentially have on those around us.

Doable resolution #3 – Be humble

This one is not very obvious but is one of those subtle things we need to be aware of. Being humble means we do our best and recognize we have limitations. And in those limitations, we praise Jesus and trust that He will use them for our good and His glory. That could be accomplished even by being in God’s Word and realizing who He is and who we aren’t. God is not on our side. We are on His side (as Believers). It’s not just semantics. It’s an entire paradigm shift. As C.S. Lewis puts it: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

I hope you chew on these resolutions and resolve to carry out at least one of them. I’m hoping to as well! As an old Spanish proverb says, “Poquito a poco” which means, “Little by little.” Rome wasn’t built in a day. But we’ve got to go get some bricks if we expect it to be done at all. Find an accountability partner if that helps! Minimally, pray for strength and wisdom to do whatever the LORD is calling you to do.

And Happy New Year!

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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