Posted by: donnatallman | December 31, 2012

Ditching New Year’s Resolutions

So, here we go again. It’s December 31, 2012 and it’s time to make some resolutions for the New Year that starts tomorrow. Here are the top ten resolutions people make every year: lose weight, drink less alcohol, stop smoking, eat healthier food, get a new job, get out of debt, save money, take a trip they’ve always wanted to take, go back to school, and make more money.

I’m already overwhelmed. Why do we put ourselves through this annual obligatory agony in the first place?

I can’t speak for you, but I know why I do it – it’s my proclamation of dissatisfaction. I’m not happy with something about myself or about my life and I determine to change it. I’ve heard the old, worn-out adage: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results,” so I decide every year that THIS is the year when I will NOT do the same thing over and over again expecting the same results.

This year I will conquer my weaknesses!

This year I will take control over that which has been controlling me!

This year I will change!

This year I WILL be different!

Only problem is: three weeks from now when I’m sitting on the couch eating a massive bowl of popcorn and watching The Biggest Loser crying about how much weight I’ve gained, I probably won’t even remember that I set out to lose twenty pounds at the beginning of the year. Despite all my vows and promises to myself, three weeks later I’ve drowned my good intentions in a vat of butter-coated laziness and can’t figure out why I’m not losing any weight.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions and the failure I’ve endured at the hand of them over the years. This year I’m following a hunch. I have no proof for what I’m about to say, and as far as I know there’s been no study on my idea, so consider this simply an ignorant, untested opinion.

I think the problem with resolutions and why we’ll continue to fail is that they are self-focused.

Just look at some of the ones I’ve written over the years…and I quote from some of my own journals:

This year I will lose twenty pounds by Easter

This year I will run a half marathon

This year I will stop complaining

This year I will go to Spain for Semana Santa

This year I will learn to drive a stick shift car

This year I will read four books a month

This year I…

On the surface these things look like improvements, like good things. In and of themselves they are good things, positive things. I love change, growth, and improving myself, but underneath each New Year’s resolution I have written over the years is the dry rot of self-absorption.

Every resolution starts with me: I will lose twenty pounds by Easter”

And each resolution ends with an unspoken me: “So that I will be thinner”

It’s all about me. Resolutions are about ourselves.

I’m tired of everything being about me, so this year I’m going to try an experiment. I’m not going to set the three goals I had intended to set this year. Instead, I’m going to change the focus of my resolutions and I’m going to consider something else instead…

Hebrews 12:3 says, “For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

“Consider Him,” the verse says, “consider Jesus.”

Do I consider Jesus when making changes in my life or setting resolutions for the New Year? Or, as is often the situation with me, do I only consider me?

So, here’s my personal challenge that I am starting bright and early tomorrow morning, January 1, 2013:

For the next 30 days I’m going to “consider Jesus” instead of myself. I’m going to get up with a new verse in mind each day and pursue him as I meditate on it in the morning and as I go about my day. I’m going to ask Jesus what he wants to show me about himself, what he wants me to see in his world, and what he wants me to do because of what he’s shown me.

I’ll try to keep you up to speed on what I’m discovering about Jesus as I “consider” him the next 30 days.  If you want join me in this challenge, I’ll post the day’s verse on my blog to give you a head’s up on what I’m considering for the next day. On the right hand side of the blog is a picture of Jesus. Simply click on the picture or hover your cursor over it to find out the next day’s meditation verse/passage.

If you have a passage you’d like to consider this month, just send it to me in the comments below or to my e-mail address below and we can use your verse too. Let’s discover what Jesus wants to show all of us in 2013. I can’t remember a time when I was more excited to take on a New Year’s challenge!

So, I’m starting easy. Tomorrow I’m going to be focusing on Philippians 3:10. It’s a verse that has meant so much to me over the past few years. Tomorrow I’ll go before the Lord with this verse and simply ask him to teach me what he wants me to know:

Philippians 3:10 “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.”

I’m anticipating a life-changing 30 days ahead…hope you join me.

Happy New Year everybody!

© Copyright, 2012 by Donna Tallman.




  1. I’m in

    • Awesome! Let us know how it goes!

  2. Did we attend the same church service yesterday? 🙂 Great post and sounds just like yesterday’s sermon at my church. Wow!

    • unless you’re in Colorado I don’t think we did…but I would have loved to have heard the message you heard!

  3. I don’t usually make resolutions on New Year’s…I make them all year long, and still I can’t keep them. I would like to join you.

  4. donna, i’ve often wondered how my life would change if I truly knew “the power of His resurrection” , how would that power be displayed in my life, what things would be different? what would my spiritual walk be like? what kind of power would be available to me ? (the resurrection power!- wow!)
    what kind of experiences/adventures could I experience b/c of that power? awesome thot to begin the new year! that power is available to us, any time of day or night, in any circumstance, throughout the coming year. we do not know what 2013 holds for us as individuals, but we know who holds our future, and we know what kind of power he has! …i think we can march confidently into the unknown…and trust Him…and know that if we are in Him, we too can be victorious in 2013 b’c of the resurrection power available to us!

    • My friend, Jessica, and I were having that same conversation this morning at breakfast. What does the resurrection power of Jesus Christ look like when it manifests in my life or in the lives of people around me? It’s something I’m going to be on the lookout for this year – I want to know Jesus in all of his many facets. Knowing the power of His resurrection is not something people talk about much, but I’m eager to learn more about! Yes, 2013 a year of victory! I’m with you, Nancy!

  5. Wonderful idea. Will follow along.

    • Great to have you, Sue! I just posted a new one for today.

  6. The passage i like..
    John 14;10
    Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works.
    @ the end (The father in me he does the work.) When We lay hands & people are healed or A miracle comes from or out of us to some one.
    It is our Father in us who does the work. I like this

    • Thanks, Dale. Yes, we are conduits of the Father – It’s not us, but God in and through us to others!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: