Tuesday, February 1, 2011
New Year's Resolutions: What Happens to Them?
It's almost the end of January, so I am wondering how are you doing on your new year's resolution? First of all, did you make a resolution? If so, at the end of 30 days, the length of time that it takes to establish a new habit, how are you doing?
I found the survey by George Barna re: New Year's Resolutions to be very englightening. (www.barna.org/culture-articles/465-american-resolutions-for-2011)
See what you think:
He found out that 19% of people actually make a resolution. Of that 19%, only 23% found that they experienced significant, long term change to their behaviors and attitudes. One of the reasons for this limited success is that most approach their resolutions by themselves and don't incorporate a support system of friends, family or support groups. In other words, we seek to do our resolutions alone because if we don't acheive them, we don't have any accountability attached to the failure.
Signficantly, the majority of the resolutions focus on self-oriented changes: weight, diet, health, money, debt and finances, personal improvement, addiction, job and career, spiritual or church related and educational.
What's missing from these resolutions is the decision to improve relationships with others.
There is also only a very small percent that wants to volunteer or serve others, as well as marriage and parenting. There is almost no response for wanting to be a better frined, or even smaller, to improve our relationship with God. Actually, it was only 9 out of more than a 1,000 surveys: less than 1%.
They write, "Even in the rare instance when people mention spiritual goals, it is often about an activity undertaken for God, rather than a personal pursuit of God or an experience with God."
What does this say to us?
We've bit the apple.
We have bought into the lie that it is better to improve ourselves to find acceptance, rather than to become an accepting people that look for ways to embrace others.
We find ourselves trying to better ourselves to "fit in" rather than providing an attractive alternative to the ever elusive changing bar of acceptance.
When God created us, he created us for meaningful relationship with himself and one another and meaningful partnership to the world. He told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply.
So, how do we live into his command?
Matthew 6:33 tells us to "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you."
This is the pursuit of the kingdom that leads us into all life. When we prioritize our relationship with the God who Created us, (not doing something for him, but living in the moment to moment relationship) we find life. This life leads us into the "all things" of life. That means our weight, our job success, our familial relationships, our finances, all of it is the "all things promise."
I am testing this theme in 2011. I am seeking to "seek first his kingdom and his right living/right relationship (righteousness), and waiting to see "how the all things comes about!"
Will you join me? It's only 11 months now; you get a pass for a free month!