How are your New Year's resolutions going? I've been thinking about New Year's resolutions for weeks now, since early December. In fact, I think about resolutions all year long. Some of the great leaders of the Church through history had lifelong resolutions - people like Jonathan Edwards.
Michelle and I were watching Good Morning America a few weeks ago, and a lady shared the impact that small changes in our diet can make over the course of a year. One of the suggestions was counter to what many of our parents have taught us - "Don't eat all the food on your plate." If we shaved 10% of each meal and didn't eat it, we would save ourselves the equivalent of a stack 300 candy bars in calories per YEAR!
Cognitive scientist Daniel T. Willingham echoes this idea stating, "A great deal of research shows that the most successful diets are not diets. Rather, they are lifestyle changes that the person believes he could live with every day for years - for example, switching from regular milk to skim milk, or walking the dog instead of just letting her out in the morning, or drinking black coffee instead of lattes. When thinking about helping slower students catch up, it may be smart to set interim goals that are achievable and concrete." (Why Students Don't Like School, p 186).
I have a theory I have been developing over the past year, that if we want to accomplish great things quickly, we will never get there. But if we are willing to plod and to make little changes slowly, we will eventually get there. Truly, it's the little things that can make the biggest difference.
This applies to Kingdom resolutions as well. Resolving to give more to missions, be more intentional about taking opportunities to share Christ with friends and co-workers when the opportunity arises, committing to spend time in God's Word each morning, etc.
Maybe it's time to make resolutions to our resolutions - changes that makes them small, measurable, bearable and the type of resolutions that we can live with, and thus actually become life changing?
After all, "How we spend our days, is indeed how we spend our lives." -Annie Dillard