It is January 2nd. Are you already tired of the New Year’s resolution pitch? It feels like everything you see between December 26th and January 1st screams of new starts, new promises you must make, and the hope for a better new year.
Before we quickly cross off the idea as a failed tradition, I think it is important for some honest self-evaluation. As much as resolutions can become cliches, they actually can provide a much needed starting line to change our paths. If it were not for a new year, how many negative patterns would we simply continue to overlook or justify?
My problem is seldom the resolution. Usually my resolution is something that, if implemented, would benefit my life. The problem is me. Why don’t I always make it past month one or two? Typically, it is because I only add expectations rather than reprioritizing. If we are not intentional, New Years resolutions are only about adding more pressure to our lives.
For 2014, what if you first resolve to STOP doing something? Consider taking something off of your To Do list for 2014. We all have disciplines we need to add to our lives, but we will fail to sustain them if we don’t first decide to say no to lesser things.
If you need to be healthier, great… Me too. The only way I will make time for working out is to evaluate where I am spending time doing less important things. Where are you wasting time? Money? Energy?
We must ask “What truly matters?” We must decide to stop doing those things that do not have eternal value. For every discipline you need to add to your life, I encourage you to say no to an equal number of things. We must consider where in our lives we are doing things simply to live up to the spoken or unspoken expectations of others. What are you doing out of mere obligation?
We are each given an equal amount of time every day. Don’t fool yourself and think that you can just stuff more into your day and night. Instead, remove the waste. In some cases, you may even need to remove what is good to make time for God’s best.
Here’s the bottom line: Add what adds value to your life by first subtracting what does not make you better.