Ah, a new year. It is a fresh start and involves confetti and sparkling cider. Today is the one day of the year that little children are allowed to stay up until midnight, drink too much sugary drink and throw shreds of paper every where. It is no wonder that they love this time of year. However they are not the only ones enjoying the day. Friends and family flock together to celebrate, after all, it only comes once a year! But wait, there is more! Millions of resolutions are made… and likewise are broken and forgotten before January is over.
Why is this? Lack of determination? Lack of self control? Possibly. As for me, the number one reason I usually fail in my resolutions is (insert drum roll here)…
…Accountability, or to be more correct, the lack of it. Possibly something that you might not have thought of. But, take a look at this scenario.
Here is Joe. Yes, Joe is a figment of my imagination, but I shall use him from now on to give scenarios for Holy Aspirations. So, here is Joe. Joe decided he wasn’t going to eat chocolate cake anymore. A little weird, I know, but Joe can be like that sometimes. Joe failed to ask people to hold himself accountable for this resolution, in fact, he didn’t tell anyone. So far, he is feeling good about his goal. Of course, it is only the beginning of January, but the rest of the year should go smooth as well.
Now, his niece’s birthday comes around. He attends, feeling it his duty to lighten up her party. So far his resolution has held firm, but then a giant slice of chocolate cake is offered to him. Did I mention that chocolate cake is Joe’s favorite? He decided to take it, and took a small bite. It was moist, it was sweet, and it was chocolate. What would another bite do? No one will know that he broke his resolution. Soon the cake was gone, Joe enjoying his sweet time devouring it. But, he goes home. That satisfying taste is no longer lingering in his mouth, and he realizes that he has broken his resolution. And to put the frosting on the cake (sorry for the pun) it is only January 12. Poor Joe felt like a failure.
The scary thing? This… Could… Be… YOU. Ok, so maybe the story of Joe isn’t the best, but it does have a point. What was lacking in the story? Accountability. Say Joe had rung up his sister, and told her that he was making this resolution. Two things could happen.
- Joe gets offered the piece of cake, but sees his sister looking at him. He doesn’t want anyone to see him break his resolution (especially his sister!) so he refuses the cake.
- He is offered the piece of cake. His sister comes and nudges him on the shoulder. “I thought you weren’t going to eat chocolate cake anymore.” He nods (rather sorrowfully) and refuses the cake, watching it go away with mourning eyes.
Ok, this might be rather overly dramatic, and it might not happen any of these ways, but certainly they are possibilities.
So, you want a real example, don’t you? Like the good blog keeper I am, I will give you one. Currently, I am reading the Bible in two weeks. You read that right, two weeks. (You can find more information on that here which is at my sister’s blog).
It is hard, goals are usually hard. Reading Genesis and Exodus in the same day takes a lot of work. There are days when I want to stop, after all isn’t a month a satisfactory goal. Can’t I read Psalms in two days, instead of one? However, I can’t stop. My family knows I am doing this, my friends know I am doing this, and my church knows that I am doing it. If I fail this goal, everyone will know. My friends who are doing it with me keep encouraging me, and I encourage them. So it is working. In a week and a half I have gone from Genesis 1:1 past Lamentations. It has been hard work, but since I am doing with it friends, it is also fun.
I have three resolutions this year. I am going to post them here, so that I can have accountability with all of you, my readers.
1. I have a tendency to snap at my brother. This is a heart issue I have, that I could try fixing a whole lot more then I already try to. So in this new year, I am going to treat him better then I have in the past.
2. While reading the Bible in two weeks, I have been convicted that I could be reading more then a chapter a day. I want to start getting up earlier to spend more time in God’s word.
3. I have decided that I also need to spend more time in prayer. A hurried prayer before I get up and before I go to sleep is too little. How can I put God off like that? It makes me ashamed to think of it. So I want to get up earlier for that also, so that I can have more time with the Lord.
Any prayers to help me succeed at these resolutions would be much appreciated.
So, this year, I recommend telling someone your resolutions, and next year, when this day comes around again, maybe we will finally reach that satisfaction of a job well done. There is nothing to lose, and much to gain.
Your sister in Christ,
P.s. If someone asks you to hold them accountable for something, by all means do it! Ask them how there goal is going every now and then. That way, they will reach their goal easier, knowing that there are people supporting them.