Same Old New Year’s Resolution

popular new year goals or resolutions - colorful sticky notes on a blackboard

I love ringing in the New Year and the promise of a fresh start! Out with the chips and queso and in with the carrot sticks and hummus (at least for a week or two)!

The concept of resolutions is great because they’re so hopeful. Generated with the purest of motives (to better ourselves) and filled with optimism (hey, I’m really going to do this, this time), the commitment to change self-sabotaging habits is noble, even if we don’t always succeed.

Each year, I make a physical note of my New Year’s commitment(s). I write them down to ensure I stay accountable to my promise to myself. Some of my self-improvements, I ace; others I fail, only to have to re-up them the following year—which is why, at my age, I now keep them in a spreadsheet. (Color coded by year. Embarrassing.)

Here’s one 2017 resolution that carried over from last year: To be the blessing in every encounter, rather than be the blessed. It sounds straightforward, right? Not so. This is way harder than giving up burgers and fries.

To be the blessing (rather than expect one) requires a shift in expectation, replacing an attitude of entitlement with a spirit of grace and gratitude. UGH. Another challenge with pulling this off is the daily requirement to give others’ needs precedence over my own. REALLY? EVERY DAY? And hauling that suitcase of humility around with me everywhere is almost impossible. Some days it is way too heavy for this prideful chick!

So you can see why To be a blessing, rather than be blessed made its way back to my 2017 list. But there’s another reason I brought this resolution back: The few times I actually pulled it off last year, guess who was blessed? Yes, me! I found on those days that I prayed for both the opportunity to see a need and the grace to act on it—I had joy unimaginable. Likewise, when I prayed that God would convict me on those days I was looking for the favor (instead of searching for ways to extend one) that prayer was answered, too. The good news: God answered. The bad news: Now I was locked in to doing something about it! Oh, but on those occasions when I did—it was if I could hear the angels sing! How does this happen that when I focus on blessing others, I end up blessed? I’m not sure we’ll know on this side of heaven, but a glorious state of abundance settles in when I choose to serve others.

I hate to confess this (especially since my trainer subscribes to my blog), but I already broke down today and had a burger and fries and I know any day now I will fail to act selflessly; I’m afraid I’ll do so more times than not. But I’m not giving up on the desire for either a healthier diet or holier living. Both are sure to be repeats in 2018.

Which of your resolutions are worth revisiting?

Wishing you a blessed 2017!