5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Making (and Keeping)

Margaret —  December 30, 2013 — 25 Comments

5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Making (and Keeping)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always do the best with New Year’s Resolutions. I go strong… for about two weeks. By the time February rolls around, the goals I made in January are far gone from my mind.

Instead of making a resolution you won’t keep in 2014, resolve to lay hold of joy every day.

Resolve that every day will be marked with laughter and happiness and levity and winsomeness and mirth and gladness and gratefulness. No matter what adversity you are facing, will you choose to lay hold of joy each day?

Here are 5 resolutions worth making (and keeping) in 2014: [Tweet this]

  1. Reconcile Relationships. Choose to extend forgiveness and let it go. Make steps toward reconciling broken relationships with friends and family, even if it means having The Difficult Conversation. Go out of your way to remind them that they are loved and cared for. Make a meal, mow their lawn, call “just because.” Reach out and discover joy in relationships.
  2. Read More (Especially Your Bible). Pick up the copy of David and Goliath you’ve been wanting to read. Dust off the stack of books on your bedside table. More than your favorite memoir or mystery novel, choose to set aside time to read your Bible. Even if it’s just a couple of verses each day on your cell phone or you choose to read the entire New Testament with us during Lent, become more acquainted with God’s Word this year.
  3. Make a Dream List. Go ahead and start right now. Number a page 1 to 10. Open your mind and your heart and allow yourself to dream. Make ten recipes from the Joy of Cooking. Shake hands with N.T. Wright. Visit all Seven Wonders of the World. Watch the Star Wars movies chronologically all in one sitting. Eat maple syrup in Vermont. Throughout 2014, continue adding to your dream list and work toward checking things off.
  4. Plug into a Small Group or Bible Study. Get connected in your local church by joining a small group or starting your own. Wrestle over Scripture with the company of friends. Walk through the ups and downs of life together. Experience the joy that is found in doing life with others.
  5. Open Your Eyes to the Wonder. God is busting at the seams to display his power, glory, and might in your life. This year, will you choose to #LIVEWONDERSTRUCK, awake and aware to the wonder of God all around? Pick up a copy of Wonderstruck: Awaken to the Nearness of God or take part in the 21 Days of Wonder.

In 2014, may joy bubble over and wonder abound. May this year be one where you walk with your forehead glued to Jesus’ shoulder blades. Where every inhale will be of God’s presence and every exhale an extension of his love.

What’s your New Year’s Resolution this year? 

*Original Photo Source

25 responses to 5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Making (and Keeping)

  1. Well, this year I don’t have many resolutions, but you’ve hit the nail on the head with a small group Bible Study! That’s one goal.

    Another resolution is to send at least 5 hand-written letters a month of encouragement. I already send 2. I want to up it to 3. My #1 spiritual gift is Encouragement. It brings me great joy to encourage people.

    I’m going to try to reconcile the relationship with my sister.

    THat’s all. You see more than anything, I desire to have a closer walk with God, and be an example for Christ in both actions, and word!

    Happy New Year sweet Margaret!

    Alicia “I love me some Jesus” Roark

  2. I love all the advice on doing things in the new year. I have become very in active this year and I am going to force myself to walk more, spend more time reading my bible and taking more thought into what I plan on eating that is better for me.
    I also want to reach out to people who need some kind of encouragement
    Thank you, I really enjoy these posts.

  3. Something I did this morning is a good way to start the new year…I looked back over this last year. And I want to continue to do some of the same things because I saw their importance and how the affected my life and my walk with The Lord for the better. It is an encouraging way to start off the new year and not focus on so many the things I want to change about myself. Here are just a few of the things I accomplished this year in the midst of some real ups and downs: I read Wonderstruck, I read the ENTIRE bible for lent, I did a 30 day challenge to remember the goodness of God in my life, I Lived Loved, I went Kayaying for the first time, I pursued God’s Beauty, I went hiking in Maine and met some really awesome new people, I pursued God’s Love, I ran my 1st 5K…the list goes on. I LIVED in 2013 for the first time in years! And I don’t want to stop! I want to continue to experience the WONDER of this glorious life God has blessed me with, continue to grow in my relationship with Him and learn to embrace the person He has created me to be. Not so much a New Years resolution as much as a new life resolution!
    And as I reflect back I just want to say thank you for being such a HUGE part of that Margaret, the work The Lord does through you has spilled over to me, blessing and changing my life. New Years HUGS!! <3

  4. Hey one year, on my dream list was – Have dinner with Margaret Feinberg. Check and check. 2013 was beyond my wildest Wonderstruck dreams. Makes me a little terrified of 2014. Why do I always wait for the other shoe to drop? This is a phenomenal list. I’m taking the Empty Shelf Challenge ala Acuff this year, too. Looking forward to devouring many words. 🙂

  5. Margaret, The resolutions you listed are life-giving AND totally attainable especially with the Holy Spirit working in our lives. I wrote about this in our new monthly e-newsletter. You may already be familiar with where willpower comes from, but it was a revelation to me!

    How will you ring in the New Year? Watching the ball drop at Times Square? Eating some greens and black-eyed peas? Many traditions have continued throughout the ages. Take New Year’s resolutions for example. Did you know the earliest recorded examples of people making New Year’s resolutions date all the way back to Babylonian times 4000 years ago?

    But there’s a problem with making resolutions, and that’s keeping them. According to recent polls, 50% of Americans make New Year resolutions and 88% of them fail. That’s 156 million failed resolutions and disappointed people! Why such a high failure rate? Simply put, our brains can’t handle it, and here’s the scientific reason why. In order to keep our resolutions, we need willpower.

    The brain cells responsible for willpower are located in the prefrontal cortex which is located just behind the forehead. This same area of the brain is responsible for staying focused, remembering things in the short-term, and solving abstract tasks.

    New Year resolutions typically require a lot of willpower, and the brain has a hard time delivering it. It turns out that the prefrontal cortex is like a muscle that needs to be trained. When we make a resolution such as to stop smoking, lose weight or eat healthier, it’s the equivalent of a 300 lb. barbell you want to lift without any previous training. It’s no surprise our brains can’t do the heavy lifting! Hang in there now, here comes the really interesting part!

    Could it be that God fashioned us with a limited amount of willpower on purpose? All through Scripture we read how God created us for relationship and to glorify Him. One way we do this is by depending on Him for all of our needs. He knows we can’t keep our resolutions with such limited willpower, and so He waits. He waits for us to say, “I can’t do this, but I know You can.” He waits for us to give Him control over our lives. Giving up control is where some of us (me especially) really struggle.

    A while back, I realized that I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior, but I had not let Him be Lord of my life. The shows I watch on TV, how I spend my money and time, the tone of voice I use with my family, for example, were all areas that I needed to ask Christ to take control of so that God could show me a better way—His way. The following Scripture points to this dual role Jesus desires in us.

    Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 (CEV)

    The Greek word for Lord in this passage is kyrios, which means, “a person exercising absolute ownership rights”. Who has authority over your life? Who better than the One who created you? Through the power of the Holy Spirit living in you, God will help you succeed in keeping any resolution that glorifies Him and molds you into the image of His Son.

    To Him be all glory, honor and praise!


  6. I like your idea of lay hold of joy everyday. We just had a sermon on joy! Also I have one word for the coming year – perseverance. I like to start things, but find it difficult to keep going to the very finish – so that’s what I’m aiming for.

  7. Margaret,
    I challenged myself in 2013 to resolve family relationships – no matter what & it’s working! I have to say I’m kinda surprised, it was a commitment I made & actually kept.
    I think that’s what perhaps is what a new years resolution – a commitment

  8. Had I just penned my list for 2014,
    Yes. 3 areas: creativity: the art of new friends. Get in a new Bible study group. Confidence in my decisions:
    Trusting. & Col

  9. I meant New cil

  10. My computer is acting up:: new colors this year / aqua & yellow.
    And maybe God will send a fellow!!
    A major 2014 item. 🙂

  11. Thank you for posting Margaret. For the past 2 years, my resolutions have been simpler and shorter yet God proved Himself and gave me more. This year, I am going to add point #3, I am going to start writing down my dreams. I shared this to my children last night and instantly dreams started coming out. It’s amazing. We’ve been “afraid” to dream this past 2,5 years. But thank Jesus for healing our wounds.

    Anyway, I am also glad to hear about the good news! I know our God will never forsake us or leave us. Thank you for your ministry~

  12. Oh this made me smile! My One Word for 2014 is JOY!
    Thank you for this today.
    Happy New Year!!

  13. I didn’t make any resolutions last year… which does not mean I didn’t accomplish things…just harder to measure when you don’t state your goals. So I hope to state goals this year but I feel pretty committed to them so we will see how it goes.

    I would like to read through the bible in a year and memorize a verse per month. I am a little nervous about the memorization process! Not sure where to start with the memorization yet!!!
    I want to exercise more…I have a new stretching video that I have completed every day this year so far!

    I also want to make progress in learning German. My mom is from Germany along with her side of the family. I would like to surprise her on her 71st birthday by calling her up and having a meaningful conversation in German!

    Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” My first memory verse…..So God will determine my steps toward these goal…I just need to trust in Him!

    Wishing all a year of many blessings,good health and wonder!!!!
    Thank you Margaret for following Christ and in turn guiding others in the same way!

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