It is January 12, 2011. That means most people who have set resolutions for the New Year are starting to feel the rundown a little. If it has not happened yet, it is coming. The resolution rundown is simply when our old habits and ways begin to rundown the new ones we are trying to embrace. It is when the first smell of freshly baked pizza hits the nose of the newly disciplined healthy eater. Or when the alarm clock goes off entirely too early after a late night ball game for the newly committed early morning Bible reader. Or when the temperature is below freezing and the bed is toasty when it is time to go for the run. Our old ways like to run down our new ones.
It is in that exact moment that the defining word for resolution must be true of us. That word is, of course, resolve. Resolve means “to come to a definite or earnest decision about.” The decision seemed definite and earnest when you wrote it down on January 1. You were definite about and earnest in your desire, but reality is writing down a New Year’s resolution requires zero resolve. It requires desire and hope, but not resolve. It is on January 12 or 13 or 29 or February 8 that the resolution one wrote down on January 1 requires resolve.
So, I want to share a little Scripture passage I like about resolve. It is found in Daniel 1:6-20. Verse 8 really stands out to me. First you need to know these young men were in bondage and exile in a foreign country that had completely different standards, beliefs, and customs than theirs. Also, as Jews much of their standards, customs, and beliefs were not simply a cultural thing, they were religious convictions. Daniel also had to have a plan. His resolve was not enough. Living out a standard that was different than the culture and setting he found himself in required him to do more than just commit. Daniel had to have a plan to live it out.
So here are a few principles for beating the resolution rundown…
1. Resolve what you believe instead of believe what you resolve.
Resolutions are rundown, not by a lack of desire for change, but because of a lack of conviction behind the change. Conviction causes change.
2. Plan what you will do instead of what you will not do.
Daniel had a plan in mind concerning what he would eat not just what he would not eat. Life is not lived in the “I will nots” it is lived in the “I wills.”
3. Don’t expect the world to change because you are changing.
The most difficult moments in change are when we have to do what is different and out of the norm…like ordering a salad at a burger joint.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
You will be surprised how often other people want to see you reach your resolution even if they do not share the same conviction.
I hope these principles help you…now I better get home and run or my resolution will officially be rundown.