Why Bother With New Year’s Resolutions?

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It’s tempting for me to want to jump on the throw-away-the-resolutions bandwagon. I mean, why set myself up for failure, right? But the truth is, not being intentional about my life is setting myself up for failure.

I love the feel of a new year. It’s like a fresh beginning. And because I’m not the type of person who likes to remain where I am, I need some direction to continue to move forward.

 2014 - A New Beginning

New Year’s resolutions are simply one tool I utilize to make that happen. Maybe some people don’t work well with resolutions. But resolution is just a fancy word for “goal” and it’s important to have some aim in life.

In the past I would make a long, very detailed list of things I wanted to change about myself or wanted to accomplish. I learned that, for me, that wasn’t the best approach because seasons change and rather then tweaking my goals, I’d just scrap them, feeling defeated.

Now, I don’t make a resolution (or goal) with the intent on following it perfectly. I also don’t make a resolution with the intent that it’s going to change my life forever. That’s setting my standards just a bit high and I am bound to be disappointed. It definitely wouldn’t make me want to make more in the future!

I use resolutions to help me take steps in the right direction. They are meant to keep me moving forward. Even if by baby steps, it’s better than standing still.

Will this approach work for everyone? No. Because we aren’t all wired the same way, and that’s OK! But if you are in a place where you need some direction but just don’t know where to start, sit down with a pen and notebook and jot down some ideas of where you want to go.

Then, begin to narrow them down by focusing on what will work in your current season. One thing we fail to take into account when we make year-long goals, is that we don’t know what life might throw at us. It’s important that we allow ourselves to be flexible and not hold these resolutions too tightly.

Here are a few tips if you’re the resolution-making type like me:

Keep resolutions simple.

Creating a goal that is a bit open-ended will lend you a little breathing room compared to mapping out every little detail to be completed by a certain date. This won’t do anything but stress you out.

For example, if you have been wanting to eat healthier, don’t start off by cutting out everything bad you eat. Trust me, I’ve tried that and it only makes my body rebel. Start small. Instead, go for smaller portions of treats and work your way down to saying “no” to them more than you say “yes”. Make it kind of a weaning process.

Focus resolutions in your current season.

It’s really hard to know where you’re going to be a few months from now simply because we don’t have control over how life will unfold. Create resolutions that will work within your season now, and not in a season you wish you were in.

If you really want to wake up early in the morning, before your children, but you just had a baby, this is probably not the best season to start this goal.

Keep resolutions in their place.

Resolutions are nothing more than a tool. They are not meant to be a lifeline, but I find, for me, January 1st is simply a good starting point for fresh goals, and then I reevaluate and add (or remove) more throughout the year.

What are you hoping for in the coming year?

{photo credit}

Christin Slade

Christin Slade

I have a heart to encourage and equip women in aspects of discipleship, marriage, mothering, writing, blogging, and community. My biggest ministry is to my family and I realize how beautiful, hard, overwhelming, and exhausting motherhood can be. My passion is to encourage mothers who need a challenge and a bit of encouragement. I have been married 13 years and have 7 children.
Christin Slade
Christin Slade
Christin Slade

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5 Responses to Why Bother With New Year’s Resolutions?

  1. Just peace with God. Everything flows from it.

  2. A friend once told me that “Each day can be the start of a new habit.” At least for myself, I don’t make New Year resolutions, because I figure that if it’s something I want to do or ought to be doing, then I can and should start whenever the time is right. :)

    But then, I also don’t keep a “dedicated” journal, because I found I wasn’t writing very often because I couldn’t always find it easily. Instead, I keep a bunch of simple spiral notebooks all over the place and write in whichever one is available (or in a text file on my computer, if I’m on the computer when I have time and impulse to write). At least for myself, if I limit myself to resolutions only at the time everyone else makes them, or to journal writing in the “proper” book, then I lose so much. :)

    • Christin Slade says:

      You make an excellent point, Rebecca and I agree!! I use the new year as kind of a spring board for the rest of the year. It’s not the only time I make goals, but it is a time of evaluation from the year and allows me the opportunity to really reflect and begin afresh.
      There are times I need to do this mid-year as well, so it’s not just a one time thing. But I totally get what you’re saying and agree it would be too restricting. Blessings in your new year!

  3. Nana says:

    A family member told me yesterday that an 85% improvement in an area is nearly as worthwhile as 100%. I took this as some much-needed encouragement! While I’m trying to improve my diet, eating 1 cookie at the end of 2 days is still progress! I wasn’t eating sweets all day long, and that’s going to pay off.

    I love the grace and freedom in this idea. Thanks for sending out such redemptive messages!

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