“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
It feels like it’s been ages since my last post, and I really miss posting every other day. I’m not sure why, but as soon as I became seemingly less busy (i.e. as soon as first semester of uni finished and the Christmas break started), more and more stuff piled up (and honestly doing vlogmas on my YouTube channel also took up a lot of my free time… editing daily vlogs is very time consuming!) and unfortunately, add Christmas and studying and work on top of that, and I don’t have much time left for writing blog posts!
But today I’m back and I’m thinking a lot about New Year’s Resolutions! I know I’ve probably made resolutions every year since I’ve been old enough to understand the concept. However, I know that a lot of my friends and people that I’ve come across around this time of year have different opinions about the tradition. Some people even seem to think it’s not only pointless, but negative. I disagree.
Of course, there’s always the whole “but what makes January 1st any more special than any other day??” and “nobody ever sticks to New Year’s Resolutions anyway, so there really is no point in making them”. To be honest though, I don’t think that whether or not people stick to these resolutions that they make is the point of it.
The new year is a chance to evaluate where you’re at in life, and where you’re headed moving into the coming year. Nothing kills the human spirit more than remaining stagnant, and unfortunately, unless we have something major happen to us to shake us up a bit and force us to reevaluate our lives, we don’t really notice ourselves becoming stagnant.
We’re so used to being comfortable where we’re at, to just going through the motions and doing life exactly how we always have, that it’s so easy for a whole year (or five years, or ten…) to go by and we don’t ever go travel to that place we’ve always wanted to go, we didn’t put effort into our spiritual lives, we didn’t invest in our health or our future, we don’t start the family, pop the question, start that business, volunteer for that charity, start writing that novel… I think you get the idea.
I’m not so naive as to think that a New Year’s Resolution will automatically come true and be life changing just because it was a decision that we made on January 1st. That’s not the point at all. I just am of the mind that any opportunity to assess where you’re at in life and where you’re headed should be a welcomed one, and the New Year is a time that prompts us to do that. Any chance for us to better ourselves and create a happier, kinder, more generous atmosphere surrounding our lives should be embraced with open arms.
I know that a lot of people struggle with the fact that they end up making the same resolutions year after year and never managing to stick to them. I get it. Your resolution was to get rock hard abs and your dream job in 2016. Instead, Brexit happened, a reality TV star became the president of the US, you’re still working that job that’s not fulfilling and you still got those cute lil belly rolls. That’s okay, though. Because I think that there’s a difference between having some ideal goal in mind, and making decisions to improve your life and the lives of those around you.
If we’re making responsible resolutions, I truly think that we can all see our lives dramatically improved in 2017. For example, instead of making the resolution ‘get fit’, you could resolve to join a fitness class or start a weightlifting programme or sign up to a half (or full) marathon, etc. Instead of making the resolution to get your dream job, you can resolve to set aside time each week to think and brainstorm and work hard towards achieving that dream job!
I think a bit part of what I’m trying to get at with this post, is that I really don’t like the thought that we’re just going through the motions of life and forgetting to actually live. What tackles this mindset and forces us to reevaluate where we are and where we’re going, are things like the New Year, things that remind us that time is moving, life is happening, and if we get too caught up in the motions of life, in working, earning money, buying into consumerism and getting caught up in the superficialities of modern life, we find that life passes us by, we’re always saying “in a few years I’ll do this, and that, and I’ll be happy”
What we’re forgetting is that we can be happy right now. We can be happy as soon as we invest in that which sets our soul on fire, as soon as we prioritise God, and truly think about what a life filled with radical love and life actually looks like. If we need a reminder (like the New Year) to do this, then so be it.
So, yes, I’m all for New Year’s resolutions, because they’re an opportunity for us to stop and think and readjust our priorities, and that is always going to be a good thing. Taking a good, honest look at the year, at what brought us closer to truly living and what didn’t, at what we accomplished, and what we want to accomplish, these are all good things. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that making New Year’s Resolutions is dumb, or pointless. Keep growing, keep loving, keep finding ways to become more like Jesus, and use your New Year’s Resolutions to do this.
What are my resolutions for 2017?
I want to organise my time with university and extra curricular activities a lot better. So, realistically, that’s going to mean making full use of my planner, waking up earlier and going to sleep earlier, and scheduling time to chill out and do nothing but meditate on scripture and invest all that I have in that moment into God.
I want to have the best start to my marriage possible. This means making sure that God is at the centre of all that we do (I’m incredibly blessed to be in a relationship so full of God’s grace and love that bringing God into every decision that we make has become second nature to us now, but I want to continue this into this next stage of our relationship, really putting the effort into being the kind of wife that God wants me to be)
I want to spend every single day with God. This was my resolution last year too, and it’s going to be a resolution every year that comes. Because I can never spend too much time with God.
I want to start writing my first novel. Scary. Exciting. If we don’t set scary goals, how will we ever know if we can achieve them? You’ve gotta push yourself to grow, kids.
I want to travel more. I’m excited about this one, because three trips are already booked for the summer (and I’m planning two more for the winter, too!)
I want to start earning some kind of income through doing something I enjoy. I’ve tried to be broad with this one, because I honestly don’t even know what I want to do job-wise when I graduate in the summer. Ideally, I’d like to be doing something meaningful, that influences people for the better and shares positivity and light with lots of people. I don’t know what that will look like, but I’m putting it entirely into God’s (very capable, much more so than my) hands.
So, that’s me this year!! What are your New Year’s Resolutions? Do you make a habit of making them each year? I’d love to know your thoughts on this topic!! So many people tell me different things. Wherever you settle on the issue, I hope that this post at least prompts you to take a look at your current situation and ask God what He wants you to do with where you’re at and where He wants you to be growing into.
“We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”