Have you had the conversation yet? You know, the one that comes around every New Year. If you have, chances are it was in passing or as a buffer to juicier chit-chat because let’s be honest, no one is really interested in your New Year’s resolutions. Or anyone’s New Year’s resolutions for that matter. Not anymore. At least not the same predictable ones that are on your and everyone else’s lists every year – the same ones that vanish from our minds until 360 days or so later when the next new year is approaching.
Take myself, for example. Last year I told people that I was going to read more, cook more and yes, hit the gym more. These are not even real resolutions, they’re just generic, backup ones in case the conversation tries to catch me off guard. I also have write more, lose a precious 3 pounds and run a 5K in my rotation. For fake, half-baked resolutions, they actually are things that I want to accomplish and they’re not even all that difficult to do so. Most of them are really very simple and completely viable, yet as soon as February 1st hits, I act as if I’m allergic, like deathly allergic to books, produce and my runners. The closest I came to achieving any of these resolutions was when I lost the 3 pounds, albeit by accident. But then I treated myself to Korean BBQ one or five times and gained it all back. Such is life, am I right?
The point is, the concept of New Year’s resolutions has lost its meaning and significance. Or maybe New Year’s resolutions never carried the meaning and significance it was meant to. Resolutions, by definition, are supposed to be carefully thought out ‘decisions’ and ‘determinations.’ At best, we use them as loose guidelines for what we hope to one day accomplish. We act as if January 1st is symbolic for the day we all get a special splash of Holy Water that cleanses us from all that went wrong the year before and gives us a fresh start to do all we couldn’t. But then most of us go right back to the same bad habits and the same ineffectual lives.The idea of a New Year’s resolution just seems to hold little weight in our lives, totally unbinding and absolutely forgettable. And if they do happen to be important and heavy resolutions, chances are they’re not just resolutions but life changes that should’ve been made long before the deep cleanse of January 1st.
So this year, I’m doing better. I’ve given back meaning to my resolutions and am taking them as seriously as we were forced to take them in elementary school. And I’m not just hype from that January, fresh new year high. I want better for my life whether it’s January 1st or September 1st or any other day of the year; I want to know that I at least tried to make my life and this world better. So I’ve written down my resolutions, made copies and posted them in every open space and crevice of my home. I’m starting with the 6 I’ve had in my rotation for the last 7 years and I’ve also added some bigger ones like go on a Missions trip, learn how to code and get a short story published.
Today I challenge you to do the same. Demand more of yourself. Go beyond what is required from you at school, work, or in your community. Do more. Treat yourself like you’re capable of doing more. Don’t just make predictable resolutions for yourself, make some unpredictable ones, without reservation or hesitation. Funnel your energy into great things. Be brave and make revolutionary changes in your life so that one day you can change other lives. Be a resolutionary.