Last night a few members of my church family gathered together to ring in the New Year. As several shared testimonies of God’s grace and goodness, I made up my mind about one thing I was NOT going to be doing this year. I am not going to be making any resolutions. Instead of resolutions, I want to make commitments.
I know that this may not seem like a big difference. But I think there are three reasons that there is, and I hope to at least argue for them even if you may not agree.
First, making a commitment does not put me on an artificial timetable. This has always been one of the reasons I hated making resolutions. I always felt so much pressure it left me feeling uninspired. However, for me, a commitment is more about pattern change. I want to change the way I do certain things. There are goals and tasks that need doing, but I need to find ways of doing them that don’t leave me frustrated. Frustration is the first step toward abandoning anything we want to do in our lives.
Second, making commitments forces me to evaluate what is truly important to me. There are a few things I have been thinking about for this year. Some of them are personal that I want to do. Others are related to my family and how I lead them. I will be sharing more over the course of the year as I work on these commitments.
Third, as a Christian, the language of commitment is more consistent with what I believe it means to express my faith in the world. The language of covenant and of faithfulness in our labors is closer to making commitments than resolutions. With this as a guiding principle, I felt that continuing to make resolutions was no longer how I wanted approach the start of this year.
If you like making resolutions, and it works for you, then go for it. I’ve just realized that it’s not for me. So, I’m not going to do it. And I already feel better about the start of the year!