New Year’s Resolutions

Resolution [rěz ǝ-looʹ shǝn] 1. a decision or determination; a resolve; 2. firmness of purpose; the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute.

Irresolution [ǐ- rěz ǝ-looʹ shǝn] 1. lack of resolution; lack of decision or purpose; vacillation.

The life of each of us is defined by one of those words.

A major snag in our resolutions is that they are often vague, blurry, out of focus. To make goals reachable, you have to hammer out a sharply-defined picture of your destination. You can’t get “there” if you don’t know where “there” is.

Remember the chitchat between Alice and Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland?

Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
Alice: “I don’t much care where—”
Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Where are you going? If your answer echoes Alice’s—“I don’t much care where”—you’re probably as close as you’re going to get. If you aim at nothing, you’re almost sure to hit it. There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. You must know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.

Do you still have dreams that you intend to awaken and transform into reality? When? “Someday,” you say. “Someday” won’t get you there—deferral digs the graves of ambition and achievement.

Maybe you see a giant step in your future. You’re going to play the piano like Rubinstein. Paint like Rembrandt. Write like Rushdie. Be a brain surgeon. Speak French. Lose 500 pounds.

A big goal is unreachable until it’s laid out in doable steps at a disciplined pace that you’ll stay with. I don’t know anyone who can run 1,000 miles, but I know quite a few people who can run three miles a day—which clocks over 1,000 miles if done for a year.

Jesus recruited a dozen ordinary men and told them to “Go into all the world and preach the good news.” Talk about a gigantic goal: all the world is as big as it gets. But he mapped that seemingly unachievable goal in achievable steps: start in Jerusalem, then advance to the rest of Judea, then move on to Samaria, and continue to the ends of the earth. The book of Acts tracks the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem, to Samaria, through Asia Minor, to Greece, and finally, all the way to Rome.

American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold with world-record performances in the 2014 Winter Olympics competition in Sochi, Russia. They didn’t get to the top center of that flag-draped podium in one giant leap—they climbed there one step at a time. They started practicing together when they were in elementary school and stayed with it every day for seventeen years.

Here are two cold hard facts: 1) You never finish what you never start; 2) You never finish what you start if you stop.

Most everyone I know has considered writing a book—and most everyone I know never has.

Most everyone I know plans to get serious about exercising—and most everyone I know has started, then stopped.

Most everyone I know is flawed—and most everyone I know is fabulous! They just need a little push and a lot of self-discipline.

Here’s a good place to start: say “Yes” to what you think God wants you to do and be. A year from now, what do you want to have done? And who do you want to be? Lay it out in small, doable steps. Get started. And stay with it.

You can do this!

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