So, did you keep last year’s resolutions?
Can you even remember what they were? Perhaps they were too ambitious, too unrealistic – more wishful thinking than practical reality.
I’ve never been big on resolutions – maybe because I rarely keep them. I don’t know if anyone keeps statistics on this type of thing, but my observation is that a New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.
Resolutions appear to be something we say to make ourselves feel better. Last year, I resolved to stay up to watch the ball drop in Times Square. I didn’t make it. This year, I got DVR so I can record it and watch it in the morning.
I have a feeling that 2009 is going to be different. I think this will be the “Year of the Resolution!”
As a result, here are my top 10 resolutions:
10. Gain street “cred.” (If you don’t know that “cred” stands for “credibility,” you probably don’t have any either.)
9. Begin my own space program.
8. Stop buying useless things. (That DVD rewinder doesn’t seem like such a good purchase now.)
7. Bring back the “popped” collar.
6. Sleep like I’ve never slept before.
5. Find out why the correspondence course on “Mail Fraud” I purchased never showed up.
4. Make break dancing popular again.
3. Stop going to the ATM and screaming, “I WON!” when my cash is dispensed. (I will limit myself to doing this only at the drive-up window.)
2. Think of a password for my computer other than “password.”
1. Star in a one-man play called “Stevielicious.”
Seriously, I was thinking about how resolutions are rarely kept, and I think it’s because they’re not rooted in our faith. What if instead of making the standard resolutions, we searched the Scriptures for God-honoring resolutions? I read through the book of Proverbs and found the following resolutions based on Scripture. These resolutions are easy to keep – and they’re bound to bless your life.
1. Read Proverbs.
Proverbs 1:5–6– Let those who are wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser. And let those who understand receive guidance by exploring the depth of meaning in these proverbs, parables, wise sayings and riddles.
2. Smile more often.
Proverbs 17:22– A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
Proverbs 15:13– A glad heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit.
3. Seek God above everything else.
Proverbs 3:5–6– Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.
4. Be generous.
Proverbs 3:9–10– Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with the finest wine.
Proverbs 11:25– The generous prosper and are satisfied; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
Proverbs 22:9– Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.
5. Seek out wisdom.
Proverbs 4:7– Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And whatever else you do, get good judgment.
Proverbs 23:23– Get the truth, and don’t ever sell it; also get wisdom, discipline and discernment.
6. Take initiative.
Proverbs 6:9–11– But you, lazybones, how long will you sleep? When will you wake up? I want you to learn this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.
Proverbs 13:4– Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper and be satisfied.
7. Get out of debt.
Proverbs 22:7– Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender.
Proverbs 22:27– If you can’t pay it, even your bed will be snatched from under you.
8. Be humble.
Proverbs 11:2– Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.
Proverbs 16:19– It is better to live humbly with the poor than to share plunder with the proud.
9. Save some money.
Proverbs 21:20– The wise have wealth and luxury, but fools spend whatever they get.
Proverbs 6:6–8– Take a lesson from the ants, you lazybones. Learn from their ways and be wise! Even though they have no prince, governor or ruler to make them work, they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
10. Stop pretending.
Proverbs 13:7– Some who are poor pretend to be rich; others who are rich pretend to be poor.
Proverbs 14:5– A truthful witness does not lie; a false witness breathes lies.
Proverbs 28:13– People who cover over their sins will not prosper. But if they confess and forsake them, they will receive mercy.
As the New Year approaches, I would like to encourage you to pick one or all of these God-honoring resolutions, and make them your goals for this year. Keeping these resolutions will take work and sacrifice, but keeping them will enrich your life and the lives of those around you.
Steve Scalici is a Certified Financial PlannerTM with Treasure Coast Financial. You can contact Steve at [email protected].