First off, I’ve never believed in “New Years resolutions” I think they’re silly, a half hearted attempt to convince yourself that this new year isn’t going to result in the same outcome as last year. Generally this outcome being one of disappointment with yourself over something, either the flab is still hanging around, or that project list has more unfinished items than completed items.
So what is it about that 1/1/+1 date that makes people believe they can suddenly be a different person? Because honestly, if it meant that much to you, you’d already be doing it.
Or so I thought.
I’ll go ahead and admit, I’m a hypocrite, I’ve been considering some new resolves for this year. To appease my ego about my opinion on resolutions, I will say I’ve been very introspective this past year, resulting in a completely new career path half way through the year. So I can sort of say this thinking about resolves to change for the better isn’t directly tied to the changing of the calendar. But then, as this new year is just beginning, I feel a renewed sense of desire to be better, and to lessen my shortcomings.
So from this non-resolution believer, here it is,
My New Years resolution:
To finish everything I do, to the best of my abilities, and even beyond that, learning new abilities to finish even better.
My skeptical self reads that and says, “what does that even mean, finishing well?” And to my skeptical self I have an story to tell.
I once knew a guy who shared a lot of my tendencies, always excited and ready to get going on the latest project. Because at the beginning the idea is fresh, new, and exciting. You can wrap yourself up in it and things move fast, progress is easy and rewarding. And it’s easy to get others exited to help with this great new thing. But eventually, all the fast easy progress is over, and what’s left is the hard discipline of working out and refining all the little details. It’s tedious, time consuming, and often boring work. So myself and this guy would generally do one of two things; either rush through the end, call it good enough, send it out. Or let it fall to the back burner to simmer away to nothing while we moved on to the next new project.
The result: lots of incomplete, or just plain poorly executed projects.
I’ve thought through this character flaw of mine many times, and the root of the problem is this, as a child I was never forced to learn the art of being diciplined, whenever things got hard, or boring. I just wouldn’t do them, and then I’d work out some solution where I didn’t have to finish them. Skating by on natural ability and intellect.
But it turns out natural ability and intellect are like rough diamonds, without time and dicipline to shape and polish the stones they can never live up to their potential.
So that’s why my resolution is just that, to not focus on the easy rough work where progress comes in hugely apparent steps, but to focus on the fine finishing, polishing out each scratch and blemish till the finished result shines. Something to be proud of. Something truly finished well.
“So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it…
…Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way…
…don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God…Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.”
Colossians 3:1-25 MSG