Every year around this time, people decide which habits or behaviors in their life they are going to try to change. These changes are called resolutions. We resolve that things will be different if only I change this, or add that, or take that other thing out of my life. And the odds aren’t really in our favor when it comes to resolutions. University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals.
This year, I’m proposing a different approach. It’s not that resolutions are bad; I just don’t think they’re sufficient. What if we all had a shift of perspective rather than just a temporary shift of behavior?
What if our lives are actually centered around the wrong focal points altogether? As humans, it seems that our nature is to be selfish and untrusting. And so many of our decisions echo that reality whether we like it or not. What I’m suggesting this year is a complete paradigm shift. A New Year’s Revolution. Imagine if we changed our focus from maintenance-mode-living to giving everything we are in pursuit of something bigger than ourselves. My hypothesis is that all of those unwanted behaviors that end up on our list of resolutions would eventually and magically excuse themselves from our lives without us having to entertain them with too much of our energy. Here are some basic examples of this type of shift:
1) If we really understood the fact that we are created in God’s image, we would likely want to take care of our bodies by exercising regularly and not smoking cigarettes in excess (two common New Year’s resolutions). We would love ourselves better.
2) If we really understood that other people are created in God’s image, we would naturally have to drastically change the way we relate to them. We would love others better.
3) If we really learned to trust God, if we understood the fact that He ALWAYS has our best interest in mind, we would naturally worry less, find peace, and take chances in pursuing the desires He’s placed in our hearts. We would love God better.
This is obviously much easier said than done, but I think we spend far too much time focusing on the fruit that is more easily visible rather than the roots underneath it all. This year, I want us to deeply scrutinize the way we see our own worlds. Let’s focus on changing our entire view, not just the outcomes. The results will follow.
And that is what I’m calling a New Year’s Revolution.