Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Have you made a resolution for 2013?  Have you...already broken it?

This week, I'm writing about change.  How to make it and how to make it stick.  It starts with redefining resolution, which ironically, is something we've already done.  It's time to take the word back.

Today, we talk about resolutions.  A resolution.  A thing...that we do.  Or at least aim to do.  When we talk about it in this way, the verbs we have to bring to bear are those of tremendous willpower and discipline.  Words of our strength.  What we bring into the new year with our resolutions is our resolute attitude of resolve.

We are resolute.  Determined.  Unmoving.  Hungry, even.  We're going after it.  We've made our choice, decided what we're going to do, decided what matters, and we are unchanging on that principle.  That's what resolute it.  It is standing firm.  It is refusing to change your mind.  It is having decided, having committed, and not turning back.

To our resolute attitude, we bring resolve.  A slight distinction, but an important one nonetheless.  Our resolve is our drawing not on our intentions, but on our strength.  It is putting our nose to the grindstone, putting our money where our mouth is.  It is our determination.  It is refusing to be moved.  It is refusing to give in.  It is refusing to be turned back.  Nothing is going to stop us, firm in our resolve, from achieving our resolution.

Is it any wonder we so often fail?

We storm into these things unhumbled.  We tear into a new year riding the backs of our own will and strength...and we don't get very far.  We don't have enough to carry us through.  Not in and of ourselves.  Not in this attitude.

Remember what resolution is.  Not a resolution, but simply resolution.  It isn't a wholesale change of all that is.  It isn't even the small change of some thing that is.  It isn't "change" at all.  Resolution is the reconciliation of a broken area.  It is the healing of a torn path.  It is repentance and remission and...well...resolution.

We've kind of forgotten that as we promise ourselves anew every year.  We've forgotten what it's supposed to be.  We've forgotten that this tradition, this opportunity we embrace every year to seize one seemingly perfect moment for change, isn't mean to bully ourselves into being better.  It isn't meant to rally our troops and mount our horses and drag ourselves kicking and screaming and falling and failing to higher ground.

When we started the resolution, it was intended to face some broken area in our lives.  Something we weren't happy with.  Not something we were failing at, but something that was failing us.  Now we're failing ourselves.

Is that what the new year is about for you?  Failing yourself again?

It's going to happen if the only promise you made yourself this week is to be unmoving and unchanging, refusing to turn back and refusing to be turned back, in the days to come.  It's going to happen if your resolution depends upon your resolute resolve to make it happen for you.  We're just not that resolved as a people.

And let's say you make it.  Let's say you're one of the few who manages to keep a resolution.  Let's say you make a change.

Have you changed one seemingly important thing only to discover that nothing's really different?

Do you find any resolution in that?

Tomorrow, I'm going to talk about the way to make it.  The way to come up not failing yourself this year.  But it starts today with remembering resolution.  Remembering what it means to seek resolution. Not a resolution, not a thing; pure resolution.  Reconciliation and the healing of the broken.  Seeking firmness in a place that has failed you.

Forget about what you want to do better this year.  Forget about what you want to do different.  Forget about your high dreams and lofty goals.  Forget about simple change.

What is it you want resolved this year?  Where has your broken life failed you?  Where are you hungry for resolution?

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