Archives For resolutions

2015 New Year celebrationWe have turned the calendar to begin another year. It’s 2015. Beginning another year is often a good time to pause and reflect on Moses’ prayer: “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12). One way to put feet on this is to consider areas for personal change in the new year. Things like resolutions can be a helpful way to take action along those lines. But it’s no secret that resolutions typically lose their glamour and allure quickly.


xxxxxx-food-hangoverHaving attempted to keep resolutions in the past, I’ve found a few things that have worked well for me. These are resolutions that have provided a launching pad for other resolutions; or, resolutions for resolutions. I have not perfectly implemented these resolutions, but when I have kept them, they provide the framework to build in other more specific resolutions. And some might put them all to work, while others one or two.

In either case, here are a few resolutions to consider for new year’s resolutions:

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In preparation for my yearly resolution to read through the Bible (which often runs out of fuel at points and needs fresh motivation), I have begun to carbo-load on motivation by researching reading plans and getting poised for a good year of actually doing what I set out to do.


I usually make ten resolutions with the hope of keeping about four. My theory is that’s better than making none or making four and keeping one.

Anyway, I came across this funny Frenchman who inspired me to keep nibbling at my old Bible reading plan until it is done. His name is Monsieur Mangetout (pronounced mun-jê-toot), which is a sobriquet meaning “Mr Eats it All.”

His real name is Michel Lotito (1950-2007). He made his living by entertaining people who were fascinated by what he could stomach. He could and did consume huge quantities of indigestible material, including metal, glass, and rubber. (Though he complained that eating hard-boiled eggs and bananas made him ill.)

In his illustrious career Mangetout downed (these figures might seem hard to swallow, but I’m really not making any of this up) …

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January 1I wish that my life was lived with such unthwartable intentionality and unbroken cadence that all my best intentions, hopes, dreams, strategies, and plans just scurried into their rank and file behind me like submissive infantrymen flanking their fearless general into battle as I marched unhindered through my schedule. However, if I don’t intermittently remind them who’s boss, my delinquent platoon of would-be accomplishments, attainments, and acquisitions abscond instead into obscurity, leaving me with a motley crew of foot shuffling “coulda-shoulda-woulda” excuses in their place.

That’s why I’m an annual advocate of making New Year’s resolutions.

Note that I didn’t say “keeping” said resolutions. To be overly transparent, I have to admit that my rate of keeping resolutions beyond the first three months of resolve is about a rate of 20%. I usually make ten resolutions, and end up keeping two of them until at least April. One one occasion I managed to stay on the raging rodeo bull of distraction long enough to actually accomplish a goal. That particular resolution, which tackled my love handles and other BMI eye-sores, saw a total loss of about 6kg (20 lbs?) by literally going to the gym every weekday for three months. When I realized the untapped power of an unbroken commitment, I renewed my allegiance to the hapless art of annual goal setting.

My reasoning follows this litigious track: If I didn’t make ten resolutions each year, then the 1.5 that reach the coveted status of being crossed off the list wouldn’t have a fighting chance. Yes, I fail eight or so out of ten times, every year; yes, it is accompanied with the semi-demoralizing reminder that I am a consummate loser; BUT if I didn’t make any resolutions at all, I would have no hope of attaining any of my goals.

I know it sounds a little like the lottery ticket purchaser’s argument that if you don’t buy a ticket, you don’t stand a chance at all, which is worse than the one-in-a-googleplex chance they have of winning. But there is a fundamental difference: I’m actually in (some) control of my resolutions. I can stack the deck in my favor with these five tips to help you actually keep a resolution or two in 2013… Continue Reading…