New Year’s Resolutions

Making New Year’s resolutions that we don’t intend to keep is the great American pastime. I say “American” pastime because people who live in countries who don’t have enough to eat and whose only thought is how to stay alive just one more day don’t have the luxury of resolving to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthy, make more money and quit smoking, which are the top resolutions everyone makes every year.

Making resolutions and keeping them are two different issues. Therefore websites like How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions are there to help. They suggest to aim low, don’t overload yourself, and wait until spring. I’m assuming these aren’t tips for the over achiever.

I have a better idea. Why not resolve to do something you really can do?

Be nicer! Be kinder! You might stop smoking. You might become a svelte size 4. You may eat tofu and wheat grass and live to be 100. You might even gain riches beyond your wildest dreams. But if you are a disagreeable, grumpy, self consumed, grudge holding, bigoted, humorless, back biting, angry, envious, unsupportive, cantankerous person, WHO CARES what you accomplish?

The Biblical principle is to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matthew 7:12) Would you like to see people happy, giving, sharing, forgiving, and caring? It all starts with one person and ripples out to thousands of others. Now I’m not saying you can accomplish it all in one year. In fact you have to take it one day at a time. You might start by smiling. Then you might do some random act of kindness. Then you might say, “Please” or “Thank you.” Then you might open the door for someone who has his hands full. It’s the type of resolution you can renew daily. (2 Corinthians 4:16) If you blow it, just start all over again. Hey, everyday is the beginning of a new year.

In the words of a card I once received, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Don’t blow it!” But if you do, resolve to start all over again because “Everyday is the first day of the rest of your life!”

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