Personally, I loathe resolutions. Why? I can’t think of one I would keep or would have the resources/stamina/desire to keep! I think the main reason people break resolutions lies with the resolution being more of a wish—that something about them will magically change.
I read Mark Zuckerberg made a resolution to code his own personal assistant in 2016. That aim flies beyond the average person’s capabilities. Yet, we all could set a goal to achieve, which would require considerable work. My ice-skating teacher has a short-term goal of teaching me to spin. That scares me! But I do want to master backwards crossovers.
Last year, Zuckerberg strove to read a new book every two weeks. Apparently, he did read 23 books on a wide variety of topics. Reading a book every other week is a fantastic goal! That sounds achievable. In fact, I do read portions of more than two books in a week for my research. But two books cover to cover? No. And, I fear, the pressure would hold me back.
I strive to be the best I can be in all endeavors. Still, that does not mean my best even approaches mediocrity. I certainly have not achieved greatness, but I continue the struggle to improve. I face the new year trusting God will guide me through each test and trial, and I choose to follow His leading.
Below are my 7 anti-resolutions which help me to develop a bright outlook on the coming year without the frustration of resolutions. Maybe they would work for you too.
1. I choose to trust God.
I don’t know the future, but I know who holds the future. He promises good. Even when something rough occurs, in the end, I can often see it happened for a purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
2. I choose to believe God will take care of me.
I don’t know what my finances or provisions will be in 2016, but God will meet my needs.
Matthew 6:26 (ESV) Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
3. I choose to follow the paths where my Shepherd leads.
I don’t know what treacherous paths I will face this year, but I know the Good Shepherd. Psalm 23 (ESV)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
5. I choose to ask God for strength.
I know whose strength will grant me strength.
Philippians 4:13 (ESV) I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
6. I choose to give God my worries.
When my inner peace is disturbed by circumstances, I know I have nothing to fear.
Philippians 4:7 (ESV) And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
7. I choose to be loving under all circumstances.
This last point, thought not an “assurance,” teaches a lesson which has the potential of changing our lives! Learning to love is a gift. We all know people who do not know how to love. They may say they love, yet they are not patient or kind. They are arrogant, rude, and insist their way is the right way. Read and absorb how love behaves. I Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV) Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Read the last sentence again. LOVE NEVER ENDS!!! True love does NOT STOP loving! Love does not stop because you are no longer nice to me. True love endures. Learning to love this way could change your and my worlds! Let’s try it!
One final admonition: Micah 6:8 (ESV)
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God.