Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Make A New Year’s Resolution!
I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. The very thought of them makes me cringe. Still, at the beginning of this year, I sat down with my fun, bright neon pen and fluffy, big notebook (because I’m a born-again diva) and tried to think and plan all the changes I wanted to make this year. I want to lose 40 pounds (again). I want to wake up each morning at 6 am to spend time with Jesus and go to bed by 10 pm so I can get up at 6 am. I want to exercise for 30 minutes daily (knowing I can’t even stand on a treadmill for 10 minutes). I want to finally tap into my inner Joanna Gaines and remodel my bedroom, which I have been trying to do since 2020. I want to finally commit to self and soul care and take a Sabbath each week like I’ve longed to do since I became a mama of two. I want to write an inspiring blog each week so that you and I can become better friends. All of these things I stubbornly, with deep, sincere determination, plan to do with my hand and heart saluting to the stars, and it all penciled in my Godly google calendar. And let me tell you that it’s January 6th, and I’ve already failed every New Year resolution I’ve set…every single one!
You might think, well, duh, Nora. Who sets off trying to conquer the world in 10 days? You’ve set too many goals and trying to change too many things at once. Slow down, girlfriend! And ok, so you’re right. But the problem is deeper than this. The problem lies with the fact that I hate the word: commitment!
Commitment is my problem, not my goals. I’m not too fond of commitment because I hate not being in control. If you commit to something, you must follow through. There’s no modifying. There are no breaks. There are no shortcuts. There are no excuses. There’s no way out of it. You have to do what you’ve committed to. Control says I can change my mind because I’m leading this crazy parade. But commitment says, “No, you don’t! Remember, you’ve committed to this!” And here’s where I struggle! I struggle with commitment because I struggle with control, particularly self-control.
One thing I’m realizing is that the heart drives everything. Desire dictates behavior. I can’t commit to losing weight if I don’t desire to do so. It’s the same with commitment and self-control. None of it is possible without my heart in the right place and with the right One. Who I’m committed to matters more than what I’m committed to.
In 1 Kings 8:56-61, after the ark of the covenant is brought back into the temple of God, King Solomon prays a prayer of dedication. He prays explicitly that God would turn the people of God hearts back to Him so that they would walk in obedience and keep the commands of God (v. 58). At the same time, King Solomon charges the people of Israel to become fully committed to the Lord. “And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time” (1 Kings 8:61). For the people of Israel to live for God and obey all God’s commands, King Solomon knew that they had to check their hearts, first. The effort, obedience, and commitment they made to the Lord were meaningless without a heart that was dedicated to Him. First and foremost, they needed to be committed to Him.
If you fail in your commitment, whether it is reading your Bible daily, praying more, eating healthily, taking a sabbath, going to bed early, exercising three times a week, or whatever it is, maybe your heart might be failing as well. Commitment comes from the heart! If you are making new year’s resolutions, you might need to turn your mind away from them, pray, and turn your heart to the One who is your motivation. Commitment is good. Having self-control isn’t a bad thing. But if God isn’t leading your heart and He isn’t your primary motivation for what you’ve set out to do, you will continue to find yourself failing again and again!
Sister friend, keep those New Year’s resolutions you’ve made. Keep pursuing the goals you’ve set. Use all the self-control you’ve got, and don’t let that last cookie or piece of cake get the best of you (hey, it’s only been one week. You can do this!). However, before you begin the journey of doing all God has called you to do in 2023, be sure that He is your driving force. He has to be your motivation. He has to be your only reason. It has to be all about Him! And just as He promised, He will establish your plans (Proverbs 16:3).