There is just something about New Years that entices people to make resolutions. Perhaps it is a bandwagon trap, or perhaps it is the feeling of a new chance, a beginning to something. Deep down, we all want second chances at things in life, and we take New Years as an opportunity to make changes. It isn’t that we have any more of a chance to change than any other day, but by that one second between 11:59:59 pm 2013 and 12:00:00am 2014, the old becomes new. I have found myself on many occasions thinking, “I need to make a change. I’ll just wait until next year.” Every year I make a resolution, but I don’t change, or so it seems from my internal perspective. And perhaps that perspective is largely influenced by my deep rooted perfectionism. So, this year, I am not going to.
The New Year may seem like an opportunity for change times 365, but I am so thankful that every day is an opportunity to change. In that one second between 11:59:59 pm and 12:00:00 am, a new day is born. As I sit here, I am reminded that “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is [His] faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV) Even as I set goals for myself, it is comforting to know that on the days that I fail God and myself, his mercies and love still go on. It is infinite. If the infinite God of the universe who deserves all glory can, out of his abundance, love me each day, surely I can give myself a fighting chance and let each day be a new day, a new opportunity to change.
So, this year, I am not just going to make a “New Year’s Resolution.” I’m making a life change resolution. I am not satisfied with the disconnected, stumbling crawl of a commitment I’ve been living with God. I’m not satisfied with the lifestyle I’m living. I want this year to be a year of breaking free from the bad habits and snares that so often entangle me. I want it to be a year of deep intimacy with my Jesus. I want to know Him more, to hear His voice, and be a lover of His presence. I want to break the patterns of laziness and gluttony. I want to replace my bad habits with healthy habits that go beyond 2014. Sure, I hope to look back in 2015 and see the progress I have made, but this isn’t just a one year deal. It’s now or never because it needs to be.
1.) Bad Habit–Staying up as late as my mind can take, and then trying to get up early enough for my devos. Usually my devos go out the window and so the snowball rolls. New Habit–I will strive to go to bed early enough to maintain 8 hours of sleep and still have time in the morning for God. This is the only way that I will truly enjoy and build the intimacy with God that I deeply desire. And in that, I will trust that God will bless the time and help grow my hunger!
2.) Bad Habit–Watching hours of TV and movies. It is true, I love them. I tend to waste my day away. I am not saying they are bad. It is all in moderation, and moderation, I lack. New Habit–Replace some of those hours in front of the rectangular time warp, with more reading, exercising, and writing. There is a time to relax with movies and such, and there is a time to grow and develop my mind, talents, and health.
3.) Bad Habit–Going to bed with a cluttered house. Now, I realize I first need to get a house and give myself time to give everything a place. Once that happens, I will be set up to change what I feel was a bad habit. I am ok with a layer of dust (for now… baby steps here) from day to day, but what I want to break is the constant clutter. Yes, I realize there will be other things that sometimes take priority (like the first habit!), but if I am honest with myself, I’m lazy. New Habit— I wills strive to do dishes as they are dirtied (give or take), do a load of laundry as soon as the load is available, and spend 30 minutes (or less if possible!) picking up the clutter before bed.
I know this may sound like just another resolution list that will dwindle to nothing in a few months, but I want these to be life changes, not just 2014 changes. And it starts by recognizing that EACH day is new and EACH day is an opportunity to change.