Resolutions for a new year

Opinions vary about new year's resolutions. Yet, according to some sources, a little more than half of us make them each year.

There are no surprises about the most popular ones, based on the Statistic Brain site:

  • Weight loss
  • Self Improvement
  • Better Financial decisions

Weight loss in fact makes up more than 20 percent, which is no surprise judging on the food consumed in the Christmas/NY period!

But are they a waste of time? A recent article of The Huffington Post Australia, Why New Year's Resolutions Can Actually Work, says some interesting things. It quotes Lisa Williams, Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales School of Psychology, who talks "temporal landmarks". She explains these are, "the effect ... that certain dates in the calendar can serve as a time-based landmark in our lives, that, just like physical landmarks, can mark a significant place." Such landmarks can in fact "allow us to have a fresh start and make new commitments to old goals or create new ones." The article continues with some useful thoughts about how these landmarks are important markers for reflection and decision-making and give some helpful advice about making your resolutions stick.

Yet, how does the idea of New Year's resolutions stand up against the idea that Christians live by faith in the grace of God, not our own efforts?

It's interesting to note that more than 250 years ago a young man by the name of Jonathan Edwards compiled a list of 70 resolutions in his desire to serve God. You can read them in full here. Yet no-one could accuse Edwards of trusting his own efforts to secure God's love and forgiveness based on his life and writings. Considering his example, resolutions can be an important means of reviewing our lives and making necessary re-adjustments in our desire to serve God.

Here are some helpful blogs if you want to read some more about resolutions for the new year and how they can help you live a fuller life in Christ:

Signposts: Should Christians Make New Year's Resolutions

4 Christian Principles for Making New Year's Resolutions

5 Reasons to Read the Bible in 2017

Every blessing for 2017!