By Kimberly Schluterman
Every year, thousands of professional and amateur writers and bloggers fill cyber space with their ideas about and commitments to their New Year Resolutions. Most are admirable, some are realistic, and a few are even achieved. Not this writer, though. I’ve made New Year Resolutions before, and I doubt that I’ve ever achieved any of them. The best resolutions are those made not because of a calendar marker, but by a major event of the heart. Below is my list of common resolutions and my reason for not resolving to do them this new year.
1. Lose weight. First off, I’m not overweight. I have resolved in this column before to achieve a life of better balance (see Project Balance) that includes exercise and improved diet. Well, I definitely eat more veggies now than I did then, but I still hate exercise. My lifestyle has become more active since then, however, and that will have to do for now. If your weight is a health concern for you, I do encourage you to begin a regimen that you can follow. But don’t do it just because the new year has begun; do it because you are committed to protecting God’s temple (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
2. Get organized. Well, I’m not disorganized, but I used to be. When I was in Jr. High, my teachers would tell my parents that I was very smart, but I was an organizational nightmare. If only I would get organized, they said, I’d be a great student. That went on for as long as it could, but when my grades began to suffer, I committed to a life of better organization. By college, my classmates were always asking me for assignments, dates, and details because they knew I would have it all. Somewhere along the way, I became an organization freak, but I didn’t do it because it was January 1; I did it because my life required it right then.
3. Spend less, save more. Who shouldn’t commit to this? This is a good one, and tough for me to deny. But again, I have to fall back on the part where that has been my resolve all along. Maybe if I had a lot more disposable income, it would be easier to cut back. But when all your money goes to tuition, there isn’t much left over to either spend or save throughout the year. So for me, I continue to be thrifty, saving as much and spending as little as I can.
4. Spend more time with friends and family. If your life is in a state where you have to resolve to this, then you probably need to make bigger changes than you can make all at once. Do you work too much? Watch too much TV or spend too much time on a computer alone? Play too many games on your phone? What are you doing that prevents you from spending time with those you love? Consider a different job or limiting the number of hours you spend interacting with technology. But make major life changes slowly and methodically, not on impulse or spur of the new year moment.
5. Fall in love. Really, I can’t even believe this one makes the top ten lists. It should go without saying that this is not something one should resolve to do. If anything, you can resolve to wait for God’s timing or to prepare yourself for being the best wife you can be. But resolving to fall in love is dangerous.
I hope I don’t sound like a miser because I reject all these resolutions, but the common theme throughout is that these should be done throughout the year, as a lifestyle, and not because of peer or media pressures to make a resolution. If you are not motivated for any other reason than the date, I doubt your resolution will take. Let God, life, and others inspire you—not a calendar.