I love the anticipation of a new year. When the clock strikes twelve on the 1st of January each year, it’s always exciting to imagine what things are going to happen in the next 365 days. What new friends am I going to make? What opportunities are going to come my way? What if this is the year I will meet ‘the one’? What new places will I travel to?
There are a lot of people who see the 1st of January as a good excuse for ‘New Year, New Me’. The beginning of a new year is a great opportunity to wipe the slate clean, as it were, and make some decisions to change unwanted traits or behaviours that will ultimately result in becoming a ‘better person’ by the end of the year. In previous years I have made new year’s resolutions, only to find myself in December feeling guilty for not following through with most of them. We often give ourselves unrealistic benchmarks of what we aim to achieve by the 31st of December – lose weight, eat healthier, save money, sleep more, spend less time on social media – to name a few.
Many people make resolutions and come into January thinking, ‘New Year, New Me’, only to find themselves a few days into the year having broken several of them already. The reality is, we’re exactly the same person on the 1st of January that we were on the 31st of December. As much as I agree that making choices for personal change is a good idea, transformation only comes with great determination. It is important to have a vision behind each decision for change, otherwise it’s tempting to give up when we don’t meet our desired goals.
Of course I want to make changes to the person I am now, but above all, I want to seek Jesus first. Matthew 6:33 (NLT) instructs us to, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” When we make the Kingdom of God a priority in our life, it’s only natural that the changes we want to see will follow as a byproduct. We will be motivated to honour him in our lives by putting him first in our finances, our health, and our relationships.
I’m determined to put God first in my life this year and seek to be more like Him each day. He’s blessed me with this beautiful life, and I want to live it to the full. As Colossians 3:23 says, I’m going to work at everything with all my heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. And if I fall short here and there, that’s okay! After all, I’m in the pursuit of holiness, not perfection.
Here’s to 2017, the best year yet.