I’ve really never done new year’s resolutions. I think in general the whole thing just sets you up to fail with the pressure of the season and the pressure to muster up the inner strength to make lifelong deep personal changes to mark the flipping of a calendar page.

On the other hand, the prospect of a new year or a new season always gives a sense of freshness, newness, and hope for the future. Oddly enough, this happens twice a year for most people — in January and September. Although I’m not necessarily resolving anything, there are a few things that I hope for the coming year. The hopes in my list are all things over which I have some control; I omitted the things that I “hope” fall into place this year but over which I have limited or no control… and I expect this is only a partial list anyway.

Beginning during 2006, I hope:

  • to read more;
  • to study more, and to take on some longer or more in-depth writing projects;
  • to get more rest and consider my health more;
  • to find more time for contemplation;
  • to spend one-on-one time with each of my daughters;
  • to become more endearing to my wife, and get in the occasional date night (hey, hope big!); and
  • to comment more on other blogs I enjoy.

Why hope and not resolve? Mostly because any of my good intentions will only come to fruition by the grace of God, no matter what I resolve. I would be tempted to make resolutions on all these points if I thought the act would have a positive effect, but in the end, a crisis-resolution doesn’t provide the change, it simply gives you a point of condemnation when you fail. Once the mark is missed, there can almost be a disincentive to continue. This is why I don’t resolve to read the Bible in a year (or some such similarly measurable goal). Either you pass or you fail, and once you fall behind in the goal you can tend to want to give up altogether. Rather, I hope to try and read the Bible more in the coming year than I did in the past year. In this way, pursuit of these hopes is intended to breathe life, rather than resolutions becoming sources of angst.

A further thing about resolutions is that most involve time committments… and the more you make, the harder they are to keep as each is pitched against the other, forcing an often unnatural prioritization. Something’s gotta give. Overall, I suppose this reveals the primary aspect of any resolution… it’s a search for better balance, and we could all use better balance.

Wishing you all a better-balanced year…

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