No, Resolutions Aren’t Necessary

“New Year, New You”

I swear I’ve heard or read that phrase at least ten times a day since 2017 kicked off. It’s not a bad mantra, but it’s also not one I’ve really felt lately. Why do I need to be “new?” Is it bad that I kind of like how I already am? Am I setting myself up for a disastrous year because I haven’t taken the time to jot down a list of resolutions?

I will admit, I’ve rarely set New Year’s resolutions. Perhaps it’s the realist in me, but I can’t really see the point. Just because something is on a list doesn’t mean I’m going to get it done. Professionally, I’m a to-do list warrior, vehemently striking each action item with gusto. Personally, however, I think my organizational tank has run dry, and I’m satisfied if I can get through a day with all the bare necessities covered. (Bathing, eating, keeping my son alive.)

When I’ve discussed resolutions with others, I’ve gotten mixed reviews. Some people swear by them and devote tons of time to crafting the perfect list. Others are like me and decide that their efforts are better spent elsewhere. I’ve even had someone question whether or not resolutions are biblical (I found this article to share with them regarding that.).

This year, I’ve decided to open my mind up to resolutions. If you’re a fellow recovering anti-resolution-ite, perhaps you’d benefit from my pro/con list. (I’m a Type-A, I’m sorry.)

Why you should set New Year’s resolutions:

  1. You should never settle: While I am happy with where my life is, I also don’t want to become lackadaisical. I want to constantly be pushing myself to be better.
  2. It’s exciting: This might go back to my Type-A tendency, but there’s something thrilling about progress being made, no matter how “small” that progress might be. I think setting resolutions (realistically) is an exciting way to ensure that you don’t waste this brand-new set of 365 days.
  3. They can tether you to God’s will: God has plans for all of our lives, but He has not given us the turn-by-turn directions. Finding that next step in His will for your life might come as the result of a resolution.

Why you shouldn’t set New Year’s resolutions:

  1. Because everyone else is: Don’t give into peer pressure! Scrambling to pull together a list of resolutions because everyone you know is doing the same is not going to have a happy ending for you. If you truly want to resolve to do something this year, it needs to be because you genuinely want to.
  2. For attention: Put the pen down and step away from the list if the sole reason you’re coming up with resolutions is so you can parade them in front of others. Again, you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons. If you want to have some accountability, privately ask a few friends or family members to support and pray for you during this year. But broadcasting your resolutions to gain sympathy, admiration, or even jealousy is the absolute worst way to go about this.
  3. To “fix” yourself: Wanting to improve your life is a noble reason to set resolutions. Believing that a list of wishes and desires will miraculously bring you happiness and self-worth is not noble (or fair) at all. Words on a piece of paper or iPhone note are not the answer. God is. He alone holds the keys to your happiness. He is the main source of worth on which you should be drawing. Once you acknowledge that, you will see resolutions as a support, not a cure.

Are resolutions necessary? I don’t think so. Are they helpful? Potentially. Take a moment and examine your life. Will setting resolutions help or harm you? Do you think they will make you a better steward of your life, or bring unwanted stress and distraction? It’s entirely up to you and what you believe God wants for your life in 2017. If you end up setting resolutions for yourself, I pray you benefit from them! If you end up not setting resolutions, I completely get it. In the end, the most important thing is honoring God with all He has given you. Doing so is sure to guide you toward a rewarding year indeed.


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