What to Do When You Regret Your New Years Resolutions

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Sometimes we make New Years resolutions, and then as the hours, days, or months drag on, we convince ourselves that the resolutions don’t matter very much.

And then we quit.

I spent a lot of time, effort, and energy making most of my resolutions this year.

Some of the ones that I didn’t share on this blog are really important things that I’m going to keep up.

But, since I shared my 3 BIG goals on this website, I want to let you know that I’m already having serious doubts and am deciding I made the worst possible resolutions regarding this blog.

So what are the bad resolutions?

New Years Resolution Regret #1: Make a Full-Time Living Online by the End of This Year

Don’t get me wrong. I’d LOVE for this to happen.  However, right now I’m feeling like Pete who was complaining to Jesus.

“Lord, what about him?” “Why do they get to make a full-time living online, but possibly not me?”

I want to make a living online.  I want to write for a living.

But, I just don’t want to get into situations where I feel like I need to exploit, manipulate, or twist anyone to make that living.  I don’t want money to be my motive for writing articles.

Thus, here’s the problem with my resolution.  I’d be disappointed if I accomplished it (full-time income) without making some other priorities first.  Priorities that are unspoken.

As a result, I’m officially revising my resolutions.

  1. I want to honor God with every word I write on the blog. When working on this blog, I want to seek first his kingdom.
  2. I want to help my readers. I’ve got several emails with reader’s questions in my inbox.  As I was evaluating my goals, it seemed like I should ignore those emails because they don’t contribute to my bottom line.  However, that’s not the person I want to be.  I want to help people first, and make income a secondary priority.  Then trust God to make up the slack :).
  3. If God chooses to bless those efforts and allows me to make a fulltime living online, rejoice with a holy party in honor of God.

New Years Resolution  Regret #2: Do it All in 15 Hours a Week

The clock is a horrendous slave driver.

I’m all into time management and prioritization, but nothing gets your stress glands pumping like a deadline.  I actually like that pressure because it forces me to perform well.

HOWEVER, I have MASSIVE disadvantages living in a third world country.

Specifically, my internet goes really, really, really slow.  At times, it can take a full minute or two for a page to load.  I was trying to open a PDF that had some important papers that was 6 MBS.  In two seperate attempts to get the document, I waited 30 minutes, and it still didn’t completely download.

Did I ever tell you that I also pay $3.50 per hour to use my slow internet?

ANYWAY, all that has been driving me crazy, putting pressure on my life, and worst of all, that makes me anxious to move somewhere with fast internet.

I don’t like that.

I’d rather take 20 hours a week and enjoy those 20 hours than hate the 15 hours where the clock is commanding me to hurry up.  I hated my first week of 2011 (online) because nothing was fast enough to meet my self-imposed deadline.

So I’m dropping that goal.  Here’s what I’m aiming for:

  1. Make family and ministry needs a priority.
  2. Don’t work (online) in the evenings – spend time with my wife and kids or do Bible studies.
  3. In the moments in between, recognize my limitations and do as much as possible.

The moral of the story is simply this – if you make a terrible New Years resolution (even if you’ve told over 1,800 readers), if it’s a bad resolution, change it.  There is no gain for stubbornly keeping a resolution.  There is no value in accomplishing anything that will make you miserable.

Recognize that life ebbs, flows, changes, and goes through stages of metamorphosis.  Be willing to change  any time you see the hand of God in a decision.

Photo by smemon87


  1. Marie says

    Good for you! I have talked with some friends about New Year’s resolutions and have encouraged them (and myself!) to be flexible with them. I think rigid expectations are one of the reasons so many people hate New Year’s resolutions; it is all-or-nothing on some big idea. I think resolutions are so helpful to prompt reflection and establish goals, but by all means change them if necessary!

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