The start of a new year always means that people are talking about resolutions. They're resolving to lose weight, save money, work harder, or whatever. That's never made a lot of sense to me. If there's something that needs to be changed, why wait until January 1st?
The word goals doesn't bother me so much. Things like financial goals seem to make sense in January. The government considers it the start of a new fiscal year for us tax-wise, and we've just gotten over the gluttony of Christmas, so January always seems a good place to start with new financial goals. And every women's magazine is all about organization come January, so cleaning up the house makes some sense, too. All that new stuff from Christmas has to go somewhere.
But isn't it all just one giant realization that we don't have it all together? (surprise, surprise) If we were all perfect, no one would bother with these January resolutions. It's good to have goals, but it seems like we'd serve ourselves better by tackling big things one at a time, or at least taking baby steps to achieve them, rather than making lofty statements about life changes, then falling hard a few weeks later when they're not accomplished.
I can say that I do have goals for my life, but I don't like to think that January is the only time to start them. We set some new financial goals last year around the start of summer, and I'm pleased to say that we're still on track. My desire to clean out and organize my house started back in November (although admittedly, it did get sidetracked during the holidays). Exercise? Well, I think about it a lot but often do nothing. Receiving a Wii Fit for my birthday and a new DDR game for Christmas is helping me to change that, though. They're actually fun forms of exercise, which makes a huge difference for me when it comes to motivation.
Will I fail? At times, yes. I was all excited about my Fit when I first got it, but holiday activities kept me so busy that I didn't have time for it. Then I got sick, went out of town... Our financial goals experienced a short derailment last year when our cat got sick and had a lot of accompanying vet bills. The house is an ongoing thing. I clean and organize, and a little while later, it's a mess and needs it all again. My multiple posts about my craft room are a prime example of that! (And if you're wondering about the awful picture at the start of this post, that would be my guest room in all its current glory.)
I guess all that to say that January 1st, in my opinion, shouldn't be the make-it-or-break-it date for all things new. Resolve to make changes when you realize you need to make a change, regardless of the calendar date. And if you screw it up, you can always start over again.
Funny how that can lead to a spiritual application. (I've found that most things in life do.) As Christians we often get so excited about our relationship with God, then life happens, sin creeps in, and suddenly, we realize we're still our same old messy selves. Thankfully, God is a graceful God who loves us in spite of it all and is willing to forgive us when we fall. He is the God of fresh starts.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.