We are six weeks into the New Year and many of us made New Year’s resolutions, so how’s that going for you? A New Years’ resolution is a tradition many people adhere to at the beginning of each new year. Each person resolves to do something good, change an undesired trait or behavior in a way to improve their life and the lives of others. There is always plenty of talk and hype about what your New Year’s resolution will be but there is also plenty of wonder as to how successful everyone will be in achieving their goals.
New Year’s resolutions can be something like promising yourself that you will live in the moment, that you will start each day with gratitude, that you will laugh more, make more meaningful connections, focus on the positive, be generous, be happy. Other resolutions like giving up sweets, losing weight are things so many people promise but fail to achieve.
A study was done involving 3,000 people showed that 88 percent of people who made New Year resolutions failed to keep them. Why is that? Is it because of one’s character that we fail or did we simply set an impossible goal for ourselves? “Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” Cavett Robert. Working on one’s character and setting reasonable goals is the key to success.
Right after we make our New Year’s resolution Lent is just around the corner. In Lent, many Christians commit to fasting and to giving up certain things in order to duplicate the account of the sacrifice Jesus made during his 40 day journey through the desert. Ideas on what to give up for lent include things like giving up soda, giving up chocolate, work out daily, throw 40 things away for 40 days, don’t buy anything you don’t need and there are so many more ideas online just in case you can’t come up with something on your own. Sound familiar? Many New Year resolutions and plans for lent have similar traits. However, I do believe that more people stick to their commitments during lent simply because they are made on a more limited basis and shortened span of time. The same principle reigns and following through on your commitments can be challenging.
“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” Carl Bard. With this being said, I no longer believe in New Year’s resolutions or giving up something for Lent. I believe in daily resolutions and making life changes to improve my life and the lives of those around me. Your kindness challenge for the week is to reevaluate your New Year’s resolution and what you plan on doing or giving up for lent and make them more of a life change. For example, losing weight is a good thing but in order to be truly successful, I believe it needs to be more of a life change in the way and the things that you feed your body. Giving up something that is harmful to you like smoking is a life change commitment that you should do for yourself and for those who love you. Joey Adams once said, “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s Resolutions.” Let’s work on proving him wrong and make those resolutions, those promises to ourselves a lifelong commitment. As we begin this season of Lent may we see this as a time of spiritual renewal rather than a time of giving up something. It comes as a good time when maybe our New Year resolutions are lagging and we need to recommit to those commitments. During this season of lent, I suggest that we pray, fast, and remember to give to others and renew our resolutions to make life better for ourselves and for those around us by making an even bigger commitment, we are making life commitments.