Some people never make new years resolutions, but if we’re honest, most of us have at least a slight twinge of thought about whether we might try to improve something about ourselves. Of course, for you, it might not be something to improve; it might be more of a hobby you always thought you might try?
Whatever it is, whether it’s a serious change to help your mental or physical health or just something fun, I’ve got some excellent news for you. Your resolution isn’t silly, and it doesn’t matter if you fail.
Articles written about New Year’s resolutions generally begin by stating that 80% of them are lost in a sea of disappointment within a month. (Which, I guess I’ve also just done)
Interestingly, someone like me is always likely to write encouragements for highly successful habit formation. The problem is that we’re all different, and I often worry that telling people they need to turn a resolution into a life-changing habit isn’t helpful and might even damage the trust we have in ourselves to change.
I don’t know about you, but when I know something isn’t working perfectly in my life, I will often begin by ignoring it, especially when it’s something with the potential to overwhelm me. It’s almost as if I’m waiting for a catastrophe or some natural event to make it all go away. Except that’s just wishful thinking at best and not at all helpful for peace of mind.
I’m sure we all do it in one way or another. We wait and let things get bad. Then, when there’s a big reset button, like New Year, it’s easier to give that a shot. Especially given that so many are going to be doing the same thing. And why not? It’s far less exposing to try and change when everyone else is!
And here’s the thing. If you’re feeling vulnerable, in need of a change. If you’ve been building up a problem, holding on, waiting to hit that big reset button, the message that you now need to take it all super seriously to turn the resolution into a habit can be overwhelming and, in some ways, quite cruel.
So, instead of encouraging you to become highly effective agents of change, I’d like to encourage you to make your resolution and to keep making it every day regardless of your success.
If I were to use the example of my own faith. Although the Bible is full of important, complicated lifestyle stuff, one little verse in Luke chapter 9 may be the most helpful and relevant to you today. It say’s “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
In this context, It’s talking about following Jesus, which I’d love for you to do too, but Jesus here is simply saying, “you want to do this? Great… 1. Put your own desire aside; it’s holding you back. 2. Make sure you begin again with this new decision every day.”
What’s lovely about this is that there’s no talk of success or failure—just a commitment to renewing your commitment every day. And that’s what I’d like to leave you with. There is enough grace for you to fail a thousand times, and there’s plenty of room for you to grow as far and as fast as you’re able.
Just take whatever it is, and give it a shot today.
Happy new year!
There is enough grace for you to fail a thousand times, and there’s plenty of room for you to grow as far and as fast as you’re able.