Well, we’re only a couple days in. How are things going? You know, with those New Year’s Resolutions that is. Whether you cringe or get an adrenaline rush from speaking those words, it’s inevitable; the new year is here. Have you decided that you’re going to go for it this year and have already made some new resolutions? Or are you not even going to “waste” your time because you feel like you will fail anyway?

Don’t you think that it seems like there needs to be an extra week at the end of the year between Christmas and New Years just to be able to plan what your resolutions will be?  How can it be that we go from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas in what appears to be days? Before you know it, it’s time to watch the big ball drop in New York and there’s nothing written down to accomplish for the year.

Can you relate?

I’d venture to say that we all know the agony of just trying to decide if we really want to make the list.  The long list that is basically acknowledging just how many things you need to improve in your life. Seems so daunting. But, you decide to go for it.

The typical first week, you’re feeling good about yourself.  You’re “on” 7 days in a row; what’s another 358 days, right?! But in reality, we all know week two and week three arrive. Life happens. You miss a day or two. You get behind. You feel guilty. You quit.

Another year goes by. And in a spiritual sense, isn’t this exactly what the devil wants? For us to stay exactly the way we are…not growing, defeated, stagnant, the same. How can we stop this cycle?

What if we shifted our expectations of what “success” is and not be so hard on ourselves? Last year, I wrote down a list of resolutions. No, I did not excel in every area entirely; but, I progressed in a good majority of areas. Even better, I gained some perspective along the way. I got to the point where I asked myself, “Why am I trying to reach perfection in all these areas?” That accomplishment would be too much for the most driven person around.

Are your feet pointed in the right direction? Are you growing and further down the road in an area than you were last year? Give yourself some grace. Call that progress. Jesus does.

So, let that give you courage in making resolutions for this year.  Remember that a resolution is really just a firm decision to do or not do something. Don’t complicate it. Author Francis Chan puts it this way, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter”.

Follow Joshua’s example in having resolve, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”. There’s no muddy area here. Have the same kind of resolve in your resolutions each day.

Go ahead. Grab a pen and paper or a seat at your computer. Make the list.