Happy New Year! From my family to yours, I hope that you have a safe, healthy, and prosperous year.
The new year is a time when many people make New Year’s resolutions. Common ones include losing weight, saving money, going back to school, finding a better job, improving or getting out of a relationship, being kinder or more generous, drinking less, and so on.
All too often, these well-intentioned resolutions are short-lived. I think that the problem is that people set themselves up for failure.
Let’s assume that in September I step on the scale and decide that I’ll make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Since this is a future goal, I don’t need to worry about it now and can continue eating what I’ve always eaten.
I know that in four months, I’ll need to change my eating habits and get serious about weight loss, but for now, there are no worries.
The problem is that this gives me four months to further develop and ingrain bad eating habits. Additionally, knowing that in the future I will need to be more careful in what I eat emboldens me to eat poorly now—while I still have the chance.
This only serves to exacerbate the problem in the present and results in more weight to be lost in the future.
A much better approach is to start weight loss efforts as soon as the problem is noticed—in this example, it would have been in September, not January first.
This is why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, as soon as I realize there is something I need to change, I set about doing so right away—before things get worse and while I have the best chance for success. I guess this means that I am making resolutions year-round.
If you’ve made New Year’s resolutions, I wish you the best in keeping them. However, if you stumble or fall short, don’t give up or defer another attempt until Jan 1 of the next year, just forgive yourself for not following through and start over again!
Happy New Year!
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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.