I’m going to get fit this year! I’m going to spend more time with my family! I’m going to get out of debt! I’m going to quit smoking!
These are some of the top ten resolutions that are usually made for New Year’s.
Noble intentions—but statistics prove that the majority of those who make resolutions will not keep them for long into the New Year.
This means that many of you may have already broken any resolution that you made on New Year’s Day.
What is a resolution any way? One definition is:
"A New Year’s resolution is a commitment that an individual makes to a project or the reforming of a habit, often a lifestyle change that is generally interpreted as advantageous."
On the success rate of achieving resolutions, "Recent research shows that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals." That means 88% failed to achieve their resolution.
Another study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology reported that fewer than 50% of those making a New Year’s resolution succeed in keeping it for six months. Many will give up sooner. It does not enhance our character when we don’t follow through with our resolutions.
What’s the problem? Usually a New Year’s resolution is a hasty decision and not well thought out. In addition, no plan to accomplish the resolution is usually put in place. And lifestyle changes are not easy to make. So, we "wing" it for a while and then give up.
Life-changing resolutions take thought, planning and action to accomplish.
The Apostle Peter made a spur of the moment resolution when he resolved to Jesus Christ, "Even if I have to die with you, I will not deny you"(Matthew:26:35). Later that evening, Peter denied His Master three times! He could not keep that resolution for one day as Christ predicted he wouldn’t.
The great leader Joshua made a resolution found in Joshua:24:15, "But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Now that’s a general resolution we all need to make and keep—to serve the LORD our God.
If you are still keeping your New Year’s resolutions—good for you! If not, resolve the next time to set a realistic goal, plan your course of action and expend the willpower and energy to fulfill your resolutions.
>> GARY ANTION is a contributer writer. Reprint with permission from Vertical Thought Magazine, published by United Church of God.