Making Every Day Resolutions

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONSI love creating lists. “To do” lists of what I need to complete during the day. Lists of things I want to do before I die. Shopping lists of clothes I really need to buy to fill up my closet. Lists of what to bring to my next camping trip… And my ultimate favorite list that I get to create every end of December? My New Year’s Resolution list. Now, I have no problem fulfilling most of the things I write down on all of my other lists, but for some reason my New Year’s Resolution list is pretty special – because it usually takes me a month to forget that I ever even created one.

This year I came up with a solution. I heard that posting your list up somewhere where you will have to see it every day will help you remember to accomplish all those resolutions that you made. So that’s exactly what I did.  I hung my list on the door in my room as a reminder that I need to work on my resolutions. Well, that list definitely serves as a good reminder… that at one point last December I came up with it. I even printed pictures next to each resolution- in case I was too busy to read what I wrote I could just glance at the picture and be reminded of what it stood for. That didn’t really do too much for me either. It’s been a good five months since December…and all that my resolutions are good for is somewhat decorating the door in my room…

This problem doesn’t only happen when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions.  It happens during youth summer camps when after a very powerful church service I promise myself that from that moment on I would change and become a perfect little angel. I would pray for two hours a day and read my bible for five. Being a perfect little angel typically lasted a week or so… if I was lucky. It also happens after I read an inspirational book and am motivated to become that person I was encouraged to be in the book. But sadly, most of that inspiration leaves along with the book the second I place it back on my bookshelf…

Recently, after yet again coming up with an awesome new resolution of a change I need to make in my personal life, I was contemplating about how this resolution would be any different from those long forgotten New Year’s Resolutions hanging on the door in my room – and two words came to my mind  – “daily decisions”. Resolutions should not be something created during a moment of inspiration, never to be remembered until the next moment comes along. They need to be resolutions that we choose to make every single day – over and over again. Resolutions sound nice in our head the moment we make them but it’s a different story when it comes to actually fulfilling them because keeping those resolutions is a day to day process. Instead of making a decision once a year, we need to make daily decisions that will bring us closer to fulfilling those resolutions.

If I want to work on growing in my relationship with God I need to make daily decisions to set aside time to read the bible and pray. If I need to work on my purity then I need to make daily decisions to stay away from things that may be tempting to me. If I need to work on managing my finances better then I need to make daily decisions to not waste money on extra things I don’t need. At the end what makes a difference is the daily decisions that I make, not that decision I made one day back in December.

If you need tips on how to create attainable goals with advice on how to reach those goals I would recommend reading the book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. The book may be longer than you prefer but it’s VERY helpful. 🙂 And it has a chapter specifically on goals…

Next winter when December rolls around I will most likely sit down and once again create my favorite list out of habit of doing so for so many years… and maybe I’ll even post it on the door in my room. And that list will continue to be my reminder…that unless I make daily decisions to work on my resolutions- it will just be a useless piece of paper hanging on my door.

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