New years resolutions

The old calender is almost empty, time to celebrate we can take a new calender. This is a grand event at which we open bottles of bubbles, light bonfires and produce loud bangs as a precaution for nasty beings not to touch our new calenders.

With the remains of the old calender in our hands, we look back on the last year. There is much to be grateful for. Here in the Netherlands we all have a roof over our heads. We have enough to eat and can choose what to wear. There is no risk a bomb is being dropped on our house or shooting people run through our street. We have people in our surroundings who know us, understand us and can help us when needed. We also can do things for other people; some small talk, lend a hand, give a smile. And if we want to, we can join any kind of gathering, religious, political or ideological.

With the new calender coming, we are thinking about what the new year could bring. Even if we have a lot to be grateful for, improvement is always possible, standing still is going backwards and this just is thé moment to change something because …

And the ‘because’ is exactly where things often go wrong

There is something you want to do for a long time, but you haven’t been able to achieve. You want a healthier life, drop weight, get fit, quite smoking, you want less stress, more relaxation, more time for your family and friends and in the field of religion, you maybe want more quite time, go to church more often, read the whole bible, etc.

Why it would work this time while previous attempts failed, we do not really ask ourselves. Do we think the new year gives us sufficient power? That our perseverance is large enough now?

As long as it solely depends on our discipline it probably won’t work again. Your motivation, the ‘because is essential. On average it takes 30 days for a new habit to wear-in, people say. But if this isn’t accompanied with an internal change, then before you know it you are back on the old familiar track again.

Only plan on having good intentions when you are truly convinced of usefulness and necessity. If you are not, be nice to yourself and embrace your way of living. I think you have a better quality of life when you live not so healthy but are happy, than when you constantly live with the feeling of failing, while you try to live a healthy life.

This certainly applies to religious good intentions. The feeling of failure is exactly the opposite of the acceptance you should experience. You can’t fail in your relationship with God, you can only grow. All failure has been taken care of by Jesus. Accept the acceptance completely, even if you think your religious life is not what it should be. Maybe this is the best resolution you can have: accept you don’t have to do anything, that everything is accomplished, that you don’t have to ad anything to it.

Happy and unwind 2017!