Belated New Year’s Resolutions and Lamentations 3:22-23

David Anderson

{Originally posted Jan. 15, 2016}

Did you make New Year’s resolutions? Are you still keeping them? I haven’t officially made my resolutions yet. I wonder if there might be a better term for it, like maybe goals for the New Year. But for now I won’t worry about that.

Ideally, I would have planned my resolutions in December so on January 1, I wouldn’t be saying, “Uh, let’s see, my resolution? Uh, I think I want to…” and then saying something off the top of my head that would just be wishful thinking that maybe I’d do for a week or two and then fall back into same-old-same-old.

I would have liked to start strategizing how to make my resolution happen this year, so on January 1 I could hit the ground running. But it didn’t work out that way. I got very busy with Christmas shopping, socializing, visiting family, and volunteering that I’m happy I did but left me with little time and energy for setting goals and strategizing. But I haven’t given up on the idea. I’ve decided I’m going to take the entire month to set goals for what I want to do. Here are some that come to mind:

  • Get on top of my finances
  • Learn to meditate and make it a habit
  • Get my novel published
  • Get my master’s thesis in the Duke library database
  • Make my lifestyle earth-friendly
  • Pay off debts
  • Make my biblical knowledge widely available

Some of these have been resolutions for years, but I had no idea how to make them happen. So I’m taking this time to prioritize these and create a plan for them. I don’t know if I’ll get all of them done, but I’ll accomplish some of the goals that are most important to me.

Now, maybe this sounds like a cop-out. New Year’s Day has past. I had good intentions but didn’t follow through, so I have to wait until next year. But who says New Year’s Day is the only time you can be optimistic? Who says you can only make resolutions – or goals if you prefer – on one day of the year?

What I love about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day is it’s a time of new beginnings, a time when the year ahead is a blank canvas. You can forget any regrets from the previous year. But with God, new beginnings are possible any day.

His mercies are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23)

Every time you wake up is a new day, and every new day is a blank canvas. Every new day is another chance to live the life you want or at least in some way get closer to it. So instead of having only one day of new beginnings, I’d like to see if I can welcome every day as a new beginning. Instead of one New Year’s Day, I’d like to have a year of New Days.

You know what? I think that will be my resolution.


Go deeper – Bible verses about new beginnings


Isaiah 40:30-31 – Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right1 spirit within me.

1John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jeremiah 29:11 – For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Psalm 108:1b-2 – Awake, my soul! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn.

Isaiah 43:18-19 – Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

Zephaniah 3:5 – The LORD within it is righteous; he does no wrong. Every morning he renders his judgment, each dawn without fail.

Revelation 21:5 – And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.”