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Winter Snow

New Year’s Resolutions Defy Our Nature

What if the magical January 1 was actually the time to start planning, as opposed to actually executing on those barely-thought-out “New Year's Resolutions”  (that we don’t keep anyway)?

Let’s talk about how unrealistic the landscape is for a second from a 10,000 foot view. The holiday season begins in October, then another holiday in November, then the finale in December. For about 12 whole weeks, we socialize, celebrate, travel, shop, give, cook, entertain - we do it ALL because that’s what that season calls for. 

Let’s challenge that thought for a second. 

When do we honestly have the breathing room to lean into our goals for the new year? How can we expect ourselves to sincerely reflect and assess the next year as we are FLYING into it by the seat of our pants? Is this the way we were designed to determine the course of the next 365 (or 366 this year 😉) days? I see it as a recipe for a resolution not met, and the feelings of failure and inadequacy to creep in, year after year. I’ve lived that too, friend.

Might I suggest that perhaps it was not supposed to be quite this way… 

Winter, in its most natural state, is a time to hibernate. 

To go inward. 

To sit in the stillness of the Winter. 

And perhaps, the season to DISCOVER

Look at the farmer for example. During winter, he does not immediately begin planting for the next season of harvest. It’s too premature for that. Nature does not acquiesce to his demands, nor goals or intentions to begin. Nature does not skip a season. Winter must come. Winter is his time to sit, to strategize, to plan so that come the awaited Springtime, he is energized, equipped and fully prepared to move into the season of planting those new beginnings. 

I would propose that if we do the real work of resting, meditating, praying and listening to what's really on our hearts, taking some honest inventory - perhaps - we would actually keep our goals, maintain our resolutions, and execute on our intentions and visions. By doing this, I believe we would create the runway we are internally yearning for to make our dreams a reality. 

What I’m saying, in short, is we need to take a collective BREATH.

The next time someone asks you what your goals are for the New Year - don’t fret. I encourage you to not let it create the all-too-familiar anxiety of an unmet expectation in your heart. 

You don’t have to have it figured out. I certainly don’t. 

What do I have planned for 2024? Not a lot. Yet, I do have two things on my heart that I plan to discover, to sit with, to pray about. 1) I have a scripture that keeps coming to mind. Exodus 14:14 “God will fight for you. You need only to be still.” 2) The word “GAIN” continues to surface for me. 

That’s it.

I plan to do exactly what I am encouraging you to try. I want to discover what that means for me. It’s uncomfortable and not trendy. I feel that too. But for now, I will dance in the mystery. (more on that in my next blog).

I welcome your thoughts in a reply. Share with me where you’re at, and a word, if you chose one for the year!

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