Ok, maybe that was a pessimistic way to draw you in, but I promise this is not a pessimistic post, so hear me out. What were your New Year’s resolutions last year? Do you even remember? If you remember, did you follow through on any of them? If so, for how long? I don’t know if I’ve ever made New Year’s resolutions, but I do know that I have never in my life followed one for a full year, if at all. I’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about that fact over the past week, so please allow me to share my thoughts.
First, I think the only reason we make resolutions each New Year is because somebody, long ago, decided he wanted to live life differently. When he made that decision, he went to five of his buddies and enlisted their help. Through his expert negotiating skills or otherwise, he convinced them to make the same resolution – his accountability mechanism. And they all made it through the year, happily living their resolution each and every day.
I don’t know what the real story is behind resolutions, and I don’t know if a group of men were the first to make such a deal with one another. I do know that we feel obliged to make resolutions on January 1st because we all have vices and ways in which we can improve. And for some reason, January 1st seems like a good time to start. The problem? Januarys 1st is no different than any other day. There is no magic potion we all drink, there is nothing that changes within us…
Unless we choose to change. Because change is not a function of time passing, but a function of intentional effort and hard work. Consider this alternative: daily resolutions. January 27th resolutions and July 12th resolutions. What does that even mean?
Well, it means that it is easy to live one day based on an idea or based on a desire to live a better life. It’s not intimidating. It doesn’t require us to change years of bad habits permanently. And it is possible to attain immediate results.
What if Monday were workout day. And Tuesday were read the Bible day. And Wednesday were eat your vegetables day. And so on and so forth. Until all of sudden you figure out that you CAN accomplish change. In increments. In little wins that result in big gains in confidence.
Try waking up tomorrow and making a January 3rd resolution. Maybe, just maybe, with genuine intent and a daily resolution for the rest of the year you can create some new habits. Or at least you’ll accomplish a better way of living each day. So maybe, what I’m trying to say is…. Your New Year’s resolution could be to make daily resolutions… And maybe that guy and his buddies had a good enough idea to begin with.