The onset of the New Year has arrived and many individuals, if not all, are overtaken with excitement, joy, expectation, and hopefulness. There may also be an occurrence of other emotions such as overwhelm, apathy, or loss of hope. Where do these emotions come from? Well, when we think about what takes place throughout a full year, there are 365 days that are each different from one another and can range from a great day to a hellish day. The range of accomplishments and difficulties that take place throughout the year compels people to categorize the fading year as either good or bad. Regardless of how people view their previous year, we all tend to develop a hope that the New Year will be much different. We all want the chance to start over, clear the slate, turn a new leaf, or accomplish more goals.
There has been a long history in many cultures across the world to develop an outline or plan to make the New Year better. This plan is called New Year’s resolutions. Since we were young children, we made it a practice as many others have, to create resolutions. What we have come to find out is that these plans look so nice written or typed out, but carrying out these individual goals is what becomes challenging or even troublesome. Change is so glamorous in theory. But in practice? Pretty ugly! The Resolution Madness proves we are just obsessed with the idea of change but the reality is many of us don’t really like change once the work sets in. We can see the big picture of our conceptualized lives, but sometimes we become irresponsibly hopeful in thinking that we will mystically change into our desired selves.
Every year, we seem to find ourselves repeating the same cycles. We are in love with the idea of change in January, by June the thrill is gone, and by December, desperation has set in. This cycle that we engage in throughout the year is an automatic set-up for failure for many of us. We set goals, put too much pressure on ourselves to see them through, get burnt out from trying, lose motivation, become frustrated with our lack of progress, doubt ourselves, and go all the way back to setting more goals.
So how do we stop this futile year-in-year-out cycle? How do we go about goal setting at the onset of the year so as not to perpetuate personal disappointment? Well, in our opinion, it is more advantageous to throw out the notion that you have to start change at the beginning of the year. January is overrated when it comes to change! We are not electronics that have an automatic upgrade alert that goes off on January 1st! We are humans with personal choice who can change any day of the year that we want. Don’t put so much stock in the month, date, and time change should start. Why not start upgrading yourself now? Why not challenge yourself when you first recognize the need for change? January 1st at 12:00 a.m. is no more magical than any other minute, day or month of your year!
To stop the Resolution Madness we have to relieve ourselves of the pressure we self-induce on January 1st. Much of the Madness develops when we leave God out of the resolution to change. We think we can master it all on our own. When we really put our lives in God’s hands we will know that our plans are not always His and we can accept His timing. We can depend on His power to both change us and give us the will to be and do better. We can’t get so caught up in our own way that we miss His will for us. We will fail every time! So try getting in sync with God 365 days a year and stop the Resolution Madness.
Proverbs 19:21- Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.