Friday, January 12, 2024

How are your New Year resolutions?

All photos courtesy of Unsplash 

It was in 1994 when Take That had a hit with ‘Everything changes but you’ which starts with… 
Girl, come on over here.
Let me hold you for a little while
And remember I'll always love you
Forever, everything changes but you. 
At the start of a new year, many resolutions or important decisions are made. For 2023, research from Go.Compare revealed that 48% of the UK’s population made New Year’s resolutions. Within the top 10 were decisions about weight loss, taking care of mental health and improving finances.  

More of us will be making important choices for 2024…allegedly. It is estimated that more than two thirds of UK adults plan to make a New Year’s Resolution for 2024. I am part of the 32% of people who maintain that we have no plans to set such resolutions.  
On average, research has shown that it takes more than two months before a new behaviour becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. That is a lot of gym visits and over 9 weeks of sticking to any new diet that you may be interested in following or keeping!  
As an aside, there are 66 books in the Bible. Why not aim to read those this year as it is a very do-able target and there are many guides available. 
Have you ever heard anybody say “New Year, New Me”? What will change and how? 66 days in, will that person be a new person? Here comes the psychology and science bits…what makes you you? You have unique DNA and free-will. You are not a robot or a remote-controlled individual. 

Here is another aside, given my age…how many of you remember Christmas Day with a new remote-controlled car or Scalextric set? You, like me, determined what happened when…until the batteries ran out and then the agonizing wait for the shops to open. 
Please do not think that I am against making any New Year’s Resolutions because I am not. What I struggle with is why people wait for a particular date before making what could, potentially be, life-changing decisions. 
Jesus, in His Sermon on the Mount, said: “…do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Now if you are a person of faith or not, you can not argue with that truth. 
Towards the end of the New Testament is the epistle or letter of James. He has some sound advice about ‘tomorrow’: 
“Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” 
How are you doing in terms of doing good? The word ‘sin’ is not heard much these days. It is wrongdoing. It is doing bad or evil. Although the Bible states that we are all guilty of sin, the good news to share this year, like last year, is that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”, to help sinners get back on the right track and do “the Lord’s will”. To truly have a “New Year, New You” approach, you need to be doing good today and every day.



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