I used to always make New Year’s resolutions–I think I assumed it was as much a tradition as hanging ornaments on the Christmas tree. My success in sticking with the resolutions was a mixed bag. Sometimes I stuck with them for a while, but more often I had given up in a matter of weeks. I can’t point to any developments in my life or character that are a result of a resolution made at the beginning of a New Year.
Because of that I went through a phase where I was adamantly (and I’m sure to others annoyingly) against New Year’s resolutions. I was sure there was no point in anyone making them and even assumed they were naive if they thought it would work.
As I’ve continued to move through life and become (a little) less cynical, I’m reconsidering the benefit of resolutions at the beginning of a new year. On one hand, if something is worth changing there’s no reason to wait for a new year to get going on it (other than being able to enjoy vices for “just a few more days”). On the other hand, there is something about the beginning of a new year that is a natural time to take stock of your life and see the places where some things need to change. In a life of discipleship it is essential to continue to resolve to change things as the Holy Spirit asks us to. So resolutions are not bad and the New Year is as good a time as any to make them.
So that said, I didn’t make any resolutions this year. I imagine I’ll make some during the year, and maybe by next year I’ll be ready to take the plunge again.