I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions years ago. I recognised the pattern: start the year with big dreams and a surge of energy, only to be left disappointed with myself a couple of weeks later. I couldn’t follow through. The ‘New Year, New You’ mantra always let me down. It’s a myth. The old me follows the new me into every January.
I think that February is a better time for a fresh start. February is the perfect time to set resolutions. Hear me out…
December is a weird month. It is so full of end-of-year events and Christmas commitments it doesn’t resemble our usual routine. Then, January is the summer holidays (here, Down Under) and getting the kids ready to go back to school. We take time off work to go to the beach, watch the cricket and do jigsaw puzzles on the living room table. December and January do not resemble our normal routine.
When we set resolutions in the middle of the holiday months, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We have more energy and creativity than normal. We look forward to the New Year through our optimistic heart-shaped sunglasses and make plans that just don’t fit with our real lives.
This is why I think February is the perfect time for resolutions. Christmas is finished. Summer holidays have come to an end. The kids are back at school and work has begun. Our days are full of the mundane to-dos of keeping the family fed, clothed and in the right place by the right time. We spend our evenings tiredly ignoring the ironing pile in the corner. It’s real life. This is the time to realistically set New Year’s resolutions.
Setting realistic goals in the midst of real life is the key to successful resolutions. We can commit to going for a walk twice a week, rather than running 5 km a day. We commit to reading a book every two months, rather than one a week. We plan to declutter one room a month, rather than one room every weekend.
February dampens our enthusiasm and sets us up for success!
Every Day is a Fresh Start
Of course, the true power of resolutions is not to hang them all on the beginning of the year, but to regularly and systematically revisit and re-evaluate them regularly throughout the year. Because every day is a new beginning.
“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.” Lamentations 3:22–23
Every morning. Every single morning is an opportunity for a fresh start. Don’t ever let the disappointment or regret of yesterday hold you back from all the blessings of today. Don’t let yesterday’s failure stop you from having another go today.
You Are Loved, Regardless
Whether you achieve all your goals and all your dreams come true, or none of them, God loves you just as much, and you should too. You are already enough. You don’t need to achieve more, earn more, perform more or do better to be worthy of love this year. God loves you just the way you are.
“But God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
Christ loved us, and died for us, before we fixed ourselves up to be good enough. We don’t have to earn his love. That takes the pressure off to perform! Nothing we can do can take God’s love away from us. As the Apostle Paul reminds us:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38–39
There is nothing that can separate you from God’s love. You can’t earn more of it. God won’t remove His love for you when you fail. His love is absolute and unconditional.
Keep Moving Forward
Don’t let anything stop you from taking one more little step toward the life you are creating. Take care of your body, have fun with your family, bake the sourdough, read and write and paint and sing. Do the things you are passionate about. Be brave and learn new things, go to new places, make new friends and gaze at sunsets. Don’t give up.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
You may have broken your New Year’s resolutions already. Don’t be discouraged. Tomorrow is another fresh start. You are loved, regardless of how much you succeed or fail. Keep moving forward. Don’t give up on creating a life you love to live.
The post A Fresh Start: Why February is the Perfect Time for Resolutions appeared first on Living With Margins and has been reproduced with permission.