I don’t do resolutions.
I used to make them every year, but in almost the same amount of time that I took to make them, I broke them. I don’t know why I’m so bad at following through with them, but in my thirty one years of life, I’ve never actually fulfilled a new year’s resolution. Is that horrible? Maybe. But I don’t even feel bad about it, which might speak even more than the inability to keep them. Who knows. Statistics show that about 77% of people break their resolutions so at least I’m not alone.
The truth is that cancer has drastically changed my perspective on time and the way I make commitments.
When life was threatened in a very real way, I started to value a day as much as I value a year, and now, if something needs to become a priority in my life, I don’t see the point in waiting until the next year to make that happen. Time has become the greatest gift of my life, a lesson that I most definitely have learned the hard way. So often we are waiting on money when in fact, we’ve already been given the greatest commodity for free: time.
Like so many, I spent a long time chasing performance and accolade. Even back in high school, I was a leader in almost every school club & organization around. If I didn’t get one of the highest grades in class or if I made even the smallest of mistakes, my self-worth suffered dramatically. I went to college and for my first semester, these unhealthy patterns continued. I found out every organization I could join and joined it, most often becoming one of its leaders in just a few weeks. I slept only a few hours each night, studying until my brain could take no more. I was determined to ace every class…and I did. From the surface, I was just a determined young adult, passionate and destined to excel. What I really was was a mess, searching after meaning and worth that would never and could never be found in earthly reward.
When I found Jesus in a very real way, my commitments changed drastically. While I still wanted to succeed in school, I no longer felt the need to constantly be at the top. I was satisfied with an A instead of suffering for an A+ (I know that sounds ridiculous) and left organizations that I really didn’t care about. I started investing my time and money in places where I received spiritual benefit, an idea that was foreign to my former self.
Sounds great, right? Well, not really. Despite the fact that my heart was pure in motive, my ability to productively and efficiently invest my time wasn’t always the most fruitful. What followed were years trying to figure it all out, a process much too complicated and caused way too much drama to explain in this post. What I will say is that it took me a really long time to get to healthy place of balance, productivity and most of all, peace.
Here’s what I think:
You are not what you do. However, what you do does reflect what you believe about yourself.
Here’s an example. I am a writer. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. Since I could use a pencil, I was writing stories and filling notebooks. However, there have been [many] seasons when I haven’t written a word. Maybe I was too busy or maybe I just didn’t know what to write but for some reason or another, I wasn’t writing. Was I still a writer even though I wasn’t writing? Who knows and really, who cares. What’s the point or reason in giving yourself a title if it actually yields nothing? Probably because we’re stuck in this world chasing title & accolade instead of focusing on simple tasks which often [or always] yield more fruit. What I do know is that those ‘dead’ seasons of writing were usually when I was feeling distracted, unfocused, and unsure of my own value.
Unless we first deal with the way we think about ourselves, behavior modification just doesn’t work. It might change something short term but over time, the root will continue to bear the same fruit. Despite what we want to believe, a change in the natural doesn’t always a reflect a change in the spiritual (or emotional).
Although I don’t really believe in resolutions, I have, however, found something that works for me.
Read about it here: What’s In A Day? EVERYTHING.