By Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
Joy Junction Inc.
With Thanksgiving, Christmas and now even the new year behind us, are you still thinking about new year’s resolutions?
You know, stuff like resolving to be a better person, changing jobs, quitting smoking, eating less and exercising more, or some other personal goal you hope to achieve in the upcoming year. While we all know that usually these well-intentioned resolutions don’t last past the first few days of January, we keep on making them all the same.
It’s no secret that intending to eat less and exercise more are probably two of the most popular resolutions. Sometimes the resolve to exercise more is motivated by a well-meaning relative or friend giving a gym membership, or perhaps a gift of a half dozen lessons with a trainer.
I was talking some time ago with people at a gym about how the first two or three weeks of January are always bustling with new members, and then as the month wears on the number of “newbies” plummets.
And as that resolution to exercise more falls by the wayside, many times so do those lessons with the trainer. The new year quickly turns into just another year, with all those good intentions put off till next year.
Have you made any new year’s resolutions, and are you still sticking to them?
I was curious about our guests at Joy Junction and the state of the their resolutions, so we asked them, “It’s the New Year and that sometimes means resolutions. Do you make resolutions and stick by them? What was the funniest one? If not, why don’t you make them? ”
As always, the responses were enlightening – funny, serious and poignant.
Martin said he has made so many resolutions over the years that he is unable to think of any more. He’s done the usual ones like quitting smoking and lifting weights, but he has also tried saving money and being debt free, which he has done intermittently as an adult.
He recalled, “The funniest one was a resolution I made to be more organized in my daily life, which I failed almost instantly.”
Laverne is resolving to stay sober, continue to read the Bible and put God’s Word in her heart. She is believing that this year will be the best one yet.
David said his resolution is to be faithful to the Lord and become the sort of person that Jesus is shaping him to be.
He added, “I want to leave that old person behind and move on, because I am not that old person anymore. This coming year will bring much blessing if I keep to my word.”
Kathryn had ambitious but practical resolutions, which included getting her own house. So doing would alleviate the need to pay storage. In addition, she also wants to get her teeth replaced, have her health checkup “and get a new inner tube for my bike. After that, go to school to get my masters in public speaking and get creative, which is my favorite occupation, and get me a dog for company.”
Cassandra said she wants to change everything in her life that has put her on the wrong path and get back on the right track.
Edith said her goal is to successfully finish her life recovery program at Joy Junction, no matter what obstacles she encounters.
“I could not have made it through without God … Joy Junction saved my life from the streets.”
When Kimberly was younger she made resolutions that she soon forgot. However, she’s hoping to change that.
“This year I am determined to keep this resolution and (it’s) is to lose weight.”
Andrew said he doesn’t make resolutions. “The way I was raised, resolutions take away faith from believing in God and trying to control what God already has planned for me. It might sound a little extreme, but I have found out that when I try to change His will for me by setting my own path it usually does not turn out very well.”
Drew doesn’t make resolutions either. “Mainly because I know I cannot stick with them. However, the one thing I try to do is to lose weight. I am very self conscious with my weight.”
Someone else said she used to make resolutions for the new year because it was a tradition.
However, she added, “I do not like saying empty promises for the sake of … tradition. After many trials, I am just going to take it one day at a time and do it better than yesterday and that’s all I can do.”
Richard said Jan. 1 is just another day to him. He added, “I do not stay up late to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I never did. Even when I was drinking I didn’t celebrate it. I always thought it was foolish.”
Sergio said his goal is to continue strong in the way of the Lord. Then he wants to find a good job with more hours, spend more time with his kids, find his own house and marry his girlfriend.
Adam’s was one of my favorite. “I do make resolutions for the new years, but then later on down the line I forget about them.”
So whether you make new year’s resolutions or not, please resolve to say a prayer for those whose story you’ve read about here. They are dealing with some very special challenges, but with God’s help and your prayers they will be successful.