Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why I Hate New Year's Resolutions

Another guilt trip!

I didn’t keep my New Year’s resolution past March—if I got that far. In fact, in all my life, I remember only mostly keeping one New Year’s resolution all year long. A lousy record, considering I’m over fifty!

New Year’s resolutions are always noble. We want to improve something so much that we’re willing to make a commitment to someone. That commitment could be yourself, your mate, your family, your pastor (made by uplifted hand during a New Year’s Eve service), and even to God. Any promise we make is serious business.

And, all too often, we break our resolutions.

The Bible says, When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5). That verse is about vows to God.

I find it’s better not to make a set-in-stone promise to anyone, not even to myself.


I call it Goal Making. It’s not the same thing as a resolution, because it’s not a promise. Rather, it’s a purpose statement for the year. There are all kinds of things we could come up with, all worthy goals.

Here are some examples:
  • I want to read my Bible and pray daily and thoughtfully. I want to have a closer walk with God.       
  • I want to incorporate more praise in my daily attitude.
  • I want to find a new ministry in my church and use my spiritual gifts to edify others.
  • I want to share my faith with my friends, concretely “Susie, Bob, Heinrich, Edna, and Pablo” (or whomever). I will pray for them and seek the Holy Spirit’s leadership when I am with them, so I will recognize God’s leading for sharing Jesus with them.
  • I want to be a light to those in my family that don’t yet know Christ as Savior.
  • I want to help children in my neighborhood know the Lord. I think I could do two (or any number you choose) neighborhood Bible clubs over this next year.
  • I want to better this (whatever) talent so that I can serve God more effectively in the future.

Why not pray and ask the Lord what He wants you to strive for this year?

Pick out one or two that I suggested above, or come up with your own. Write it/them down on a card. Maybe weekly, evaluate how you are doing towards your goal. This is a goal. It isn’t an obligation. It isn’t a vow. It isn’t a promise. It’s a goal. Work towards your goal and pray about reaching your goal. Do your part, and pray for the Lord to give you strength and wisdom.

No guilt trips. Just prayer and working toward something of real value.

I think Goal Making beats resolutions all to pieces!

What do you think? What do you do? I’d love to hear your ideas.       


  1. I feel much the same way: just turning the calendar page from one year to the next isn't really a reason to sit down and make a list of resolutions we're not going to keep for more than three months. But a new year is a good time to take stock and see what changes need to be made or what could be improved upon. I like the idea of goals better: that has inherent in it the idea of implementation.

    I used to be kind of anti-resolution until I did a short study on the words "I will" in Scripture ( There are definitely times for making a vow or resolution, but that's a different thing than the typical New Year's type.

    A practice I've noticed more and more in the blog world is prayerfully choosing a word for the year. At first I thought it was odd -- God certainly has more than one word to emphasize to me over the course of the year. But I have seen how it works for some people, so I can't really naysay it. I didn't choose a word per se last year, but one that kept coming up, at least the first part of the year, was "intentional." That seemed to incorporate making and implementing goals as well as being purposeful in everyday life rather than just floating or bouncing around.

    1. Great stuff, Barbara! I DO have a goal--to be shared tomorrow. :o) I like working towards goals.

      The I wills in Scripture are very interesting, as they are purposing to do right--so important in our Christian lives. I look forward to reading your post on the subject.

      Thank you so much for your input.

      God bless you, and Happy New Year!

  2. Great post! I'm reminded of James 4:15.

    1. Exactly! "If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." Thank you for this great verse.

      Happy New Year, Lauren!

  3. I don't mind resolutions, goal setting or one-word mission statements. Whatever works for each person to remind them to keep growing is okay with me. Even better if they take the time to pray before choosing something to aim at. I think the best goal of all is to cooperate with the Lord as He continues shape us into the image of Christ. When He nudges, to be swift to obey.

    Hope you all have a blessed New Year!

    Fellowship of Christian Bloggers

    1. Very well said: "cooperate with the Lord as He continues to shape us into the image of Christ." What a wonderful goal for all of us. Thank you for your input!

      You have a wonderful 2013, too!


Please share your thoughts.