New Year’s Resolution

Happy New Year everyone!  The stats are in according to a wide range of articles, twitter accounts and other blogs:

  • 40 – 45% of all Americans make at least 1 New Year’s resolution on Jan. 1
  • Within 7 days, 25% of those resolvers have abandoned their resolutions
  • Weight loss focusing on getting more exercise, quitting smoking and money management top the resolution lists in the US consistently
  • Finding love usually tops the resolution list in Japan and Australia while meeting career goals win in India
  • The ancient Babylonians made the first resolutions to keep their gods happy
  • Jan. 1st is a 1st century Roman tradition; resolutions were made to Janus, the god of endings, beginnings, and the New Year as a grand gesture to keep him happy
  • A popularized contemporary resolution crossing cultures around the globe is a quest for a life filled with peace; how that peace is achieved is reflected in the values of the individual or people group

What can we learn from this list? Happiness and peace are found in grand gestures of intended change and often these intentions throughout the centuries have had some kind of spiritual significance whether they are accomplished or not.

Great – now that we know that, let’s ask the most important question – DO RESOLUTIONS WORK?  Simply, YES…..well, maybe. Here’s the key – if you don’t keep certain things in mind, you are almost certain to be part of the large group of humans who quit within the first week of January.  For your convenience, here’s the best Top 5 “keep in mind” ideas in order to change intention into action.

  1. Personality

Any resolutions made that fit your personality and the personality of your family work best.  Introverts – don’t make Extrovert goals; Extroverts – don’t make introvert goals.  Go with how God made you to be. (Fun Fact: It is easier to change your personality than your IQ.)

  1. Time

The resolution has to fit in your current calendar of events.  Your schedule today will help you meet your resolution tomorrow.  Gradually change what you normally do – wade in from the shallow end; don’t dive in head first into the deep end.

  1. Team Work

You are more successful when you work within a team.  Your family, church small group, friends….you choose.  But you can’t make and keep your intended change alone. You need others to support you and give you feedback; and oh yes, they need you!

  1. Patience

Reaching a goal takes time; don’t get discouraged when your path to accomplishment looks more like a winding path than a straight shot to the top.  Work, sacrifice and risk all take time and are all required to be successful in making good on your New Year’s Resolution.

  1. Don’t start on Jan. 1 (and if you did, feel free to reboot the resolution if you fail within the first few days)

Pick a date farther afield.  Putting extra pressure on yourself to start Jan. 1 is too much for most people.  By delaying your start date, you also give yourself plenty of time to make a plan that will more than likely help you succeed.

Putting all 5 Tips Into Practice

Here at Teachable Moments, we want to practice what we preach.  We’re taking up the gauntlet to work toward the newest and most widely embraced New Year’s Resolution – pursuing a life characterized by peace.  Starting Jan. 14 (NOT Jan. 1), we will provide a 28-day challenge entitled “Pursuing Peace” and keep our top 5 list in mind. With an intentional 5-minutes a day, we’ll take time in unique and varied ways to “set our minds on things above” (Col. 3:2) in order to discover “a peace that passes understanding” (Phil. 4:7).

Dear Reader, “You are never too late to be what you might have been.”  This anonymous 1881 author is correct – we still have time to do or be what we have wanted to do or be; it’s never too late to have a life where peace is at the core and is also the result of a life well-lived in Christ.  CS Lewis in Mere Christianity said, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”   Here’s to 2019 and finding our happiness and peace in all the Teachable Moments He provides.

Can’t wait to live this next year with you and take up the challenge of Pursuing Peace! Blessings Abundant dear T.M. Reader and much love to you and yours.

Always His and Yours, Elizabeth

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