A Vital Question If Your New Year’s Resolution Is Going to Matter

watch reallyNew year, new you? Or maybe just a new-and-improved-you?

Your soul feels like a tape deck and you want to be an iPod.

I think that lurking behind most New Year’s Resolutions is a yearning for better.

A few years ago I made this resolution: “Do less, better.” By that I meant that I wanted to stop doing a bunch of things I was doing (things I wasn’t necessarily gifted at and that were making me too busy) so that I could be better at the few things I wanted to focus on. From there I made some concrete measurable objectives to help me do that. Yes, I’m just like that.

This year I have another resolution. But I’m not going to tell you what it is.

But as you think about yours, here’s something to keep in mind as you flip the calendar and dream about the year that could be:

In a book called After Virtue, philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre talks about how you know whether something is good or bad. You can only know whether it’s good or bad based on what it’s purpose is. For example…

If you hammer a nail with a watch and the watch shatters to pieces and stops keeping time, do you say, “Hey, that watch was bad!” Of course not. Hammering nails is not the purpose of a watch.

So with people.

So the vital question if your new year’s resolution is going to matter is this: Does it help you in your purpose as a person?

Personally, I try to live in a way that honours God. The biggest part of my purpose is to amplify him and continually grow as a follower of Jesus. There are ups and downs. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail. You win some, you lose some. When I’m sincere I think God honours this twisting journey which never really has a fixed arrival point this side of the soil.

But if my new year’s resolution isn’t in sync with that purpose, I’m hammering nails with my watch.

What’s your purpose?

Will you be hammering nails with your watch in 2014? Or will you sing one note closer to the harmony and song you aspire to be?


  1. I never make resolutions, buuuuut, you made me think. To work at bettering myself is an ongoing thing, so maybe I need to choose one area and work on that. Hmmm, what to do?


    1. Hi Corry, that sounds good. I also like to think that we’re always in the process of growth. But a new calendar year does seem to give us a bit more of a nudge in a healthy direction, I think. I hope it goes well!


  2. I have given up on New Year’s resolutions. I now try to get up in the morning, all fresh for the new day, sins forgiven, and ready to do whatever the Lord has in mind for me in the hours to come, trying to be receptive to the promptings of the Spirit.


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