The Hoax of New Year’s Resolutions
If I had to confess my true gifting in life, it would be writing lists.
Writing lists is my forte, my jam, my favourite thing. If I could create a list that starts with, “write a list”, then cross it off, my life would be complete.
Every year, as far back as I can remember, I write a New Year, New Me-style list that exceeds all hopes and expectations. It’s the usual suspects; every year I aim to be thinner, more fit, more organised, speak a new language, stick to a budget, read 145 literature books, travel to 27 countries, drink 30L of green smoothie every day and teach my dog how to speak Spanish.
What I don’t love, and is not my gifting, is the hard work that it takes to make those resolutions…resolute.
I love being thin, but mate, I love doughnuts. I want to stick to a budget, but Kitchen Warehouse is having a sale. I want to get fit, but it’s too hot to walk today. I want to travel, but I just spent all of my money at Kitchen Warehouse.
But this year, for the first time ever, I’ve invested a lot of time and thought into my resolutions.
(Thirty-second time lucky.)
You see, I’ve realised that you actually have to value and honour the area where you want to see change. ‘Resolute’ literally means ‘purposeful, fixed, determined.’ Resolutions without purpose or determination are just wonderful dreams.
If I’m creating a list just for the sake of crossing a line through words and chinking together our champagne glasses at the end of the year, all I actually need is a shopping list and a trip to the liquor store.
But if I’m writing a list that has purposeful intent, with goals and vision, written out of a heart of determination to see true, lasting change in my life, then my list is going to have to look different.
So I picked new things to be resolute about this year.
This year, I’m spending one part of my son’s awake time doing something just for him, every day. Whether it’s going to the park, making a tent, cooking together, reading, building, going out to see his little mates… my investment is in him.
This year, I’m aiming to read more. I spend a lot of time watching Netflix (and maybe still will, if I’m honest), but I know that while my son naps, I just need to put that remote down for one or two easy chapters every day. There is so much to learn from reading, and I really want to put more of the good stuff into my brain this year… my investment is in me.
This year, I’m going to keep hydrated, because my whole body benefits from it.
This year, I’m going to stand up and step out of conversations I don’t value and step back into life-giving friendships. This year, I’m going to drop the weight I want, because carrying it is not feasible any longer.
This year, I’m going to stop saying sorry for things I’m not sorry about, and start caring for things I left by the wayside.
This year, I’ll stop throwing away my finances into the minor pleasures (like coffee, dear Lord, please help me) because I want to invest in the bigger picture of our future.
This year, I’m going to focus less on crossing off lists and more on placing value and purpose back into my life, my son’s life and the lives around me.
Each resolution has a set purpose, long-term vision and realistic goals to help it have its best chance at succeeding. Even if I don’t get to cross every item off the list, it’s not failing – the point is that I have not let another year go past living in the same place I was 365 days ago.
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Kat lives in Perth, Western Australia and is pretty happy with her dandy life of 30 years. She is married to Andrew, who is a freelance graphic designer, all-around cool guy and now dad to their ridiculously adorable little boy.
Kat is a manager of a cafe, with a background that looks like a bag of assorted mixed lollies – administration, finance, selling yoghurt, image consulting, making coffee, and account managing. She loves Jesus, reading, drinking a decent cup of coffee, writing and cooking.