How to see your New Year’s resolution through

Toyota Prius III

Toyota Prius III (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning I noticed a Toyota Prius trying to get up a small hill that is very gradual.  It’s a small car that does wonders with gas mileage . . . normally.

Northeast Ohio, where I live, was hit by a load of snow yesterday (Yes, the day after Christmas. Bummer.).  We used to live in Rochester, NY, where there was an abundance of snow removal equipment. That was because there was quite a bit of snow up there on a regular basis. In fact, our first winter there it was the snowiest city in the United States (except for Alaska).  After the first major snow storm that year I was amazed to see a small snow plow being driven by an employee of our town. It was just the right size for the sidewalk! Pretty cool.

We don’t get that much snow where we live now.  When it does snow a ton the plows don’t get around as quickly because we aren’t equipped to remove so much at one shot.

The New Year is right around the corner.  It’s the time when we take a look at ourselves with constructive criticism. What is it that I need to change about myself? Boy, I really let myself go last year!  I like to think that the Holy Spirit capitalizes on this time of year. We could help him out by listening to his prodding about how he’d like to transform us a little more. Maybe a lot more. Sometimes that voice you hear isn’t you trying to improve yourself. Often times it’s God.

Identifying the goal is the first step. Then you must agree to try to accomplish it. After agreeing to accomplish it, we need to use the right tools to make it happen. We fail at our New Year’s Resolutions at this final step more often than the rest. Zechariah 4:6 says “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. (NIV)”

And so the little Prius struggled in the depths, spinning and whirring to get the job done. He’d back up ten feet and charge forward to plow his way through, but to no avail.  I wonder what kind of mileage that guy got today.  From the looks of it, he had about six feet to the gallon in the minute that I watched. Eventually, he gave up. He had struggled valiantly, but he just wasn’t equipped for the task.

What hill is it that God wants you to conquer this year? Don’t take a Prius to an SUV party. God has the power you’ll need.  Stop depending on your own, because you’re just spinning your wheels.

Happy New Year!

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88 thoughts on “How to see your New Year’s resolution through

  1. I think spending time with God and finding out what He wants my priorities to be in 2013 is the only way to be successful in sticking with them. His plans are always so much better than mine and He uses His Holy Spirit to help keep me on track, if I am willing to yield to it.

  2. Really interesting analogy between the Prius and New Year’s resolutions. I think sometimes we try really hard to go where we want to go, but for some reason or another we’re just not getting anywhere….Sorta makes you think if perhaps that’s our cue that we need to change course… Congrats on getting FP! :)

    • It’s a really tough call because we honor people like William Wilberforce, who must have felt like he was spinning his wheels with the issue of slavery in England, because they stay the course. It’s part of what make faith both difficult and exciting. And, it’s another reason why having the Holy Spirit is a major plus for Christians: we don’t have to depend on just our reasoning or feelings.

      For me though, it’s more often than not a situation as you’ve described it. Changing course is hard because it so often involves admitting failure.

      Thanks for the thought, and for the congrats.

    • Cute in a manly way, right? I don’t want to lose my man card, after all. It is a nice compliment from someone who has some nice pics from all over the world on her blog. (Although it makes me feel even less manly when I visit your blog and see a picture of fierce lion consuming the home page).

      That’s it. I’ll have to find some pictures of fierce sheep now. I’d be grateful if you would let me know if you ever come across any in your travels.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, Kimbernator.

    • Right on. Throughout the whole year is tough because it’s hard to remember this at, say, around February – just about the time our resolutions fall through. Faith is an all year journey. Thanks for reading my blog, James.

  3. The life-change that the Holy Spirit brings is a daily, moment-to-moment occurrence. The new year is almost liturgical to me, as it serves as a large reminder of the small repentance and sanctification that happens in the still seconds of ordinary days.

    • Having grown up without a background of liturgy I think I’m just beginning to understand it. And so your point is not missed on me, my friend. What a great thought! Sounds like a great blog idea, though I have a feeling that the topic of your blog may draw more interest.

      Thanks for the great thought.

  4. A great reminder. I’ve done all sorts of New Years reprioritizing…turns out I only need one resolution: stop trying to do it all in my own strength. You’d think I’d have learned by now lol!
    Congrats on the Freshly Pressed!

  5. Very nicely said. We need the Spirit every step of the way. My constant prayer is for the willingness to be willing!
    Glad you were “chosen” – unconditional love from WordPress! Congrats.
    Have a blessed New Year.
    Melanie

      • I had the privilege of a freshly pressed post last year, it was indeed a very cool moment. :D
        You get points for the vivid imagery, well done.
        And be prepared for haters, I had plenty.

      • JS, I didn’t even know you had been freshly pressed before I started following your blog! It makes me more confident that being chosen by the WordPress Gang isn’t just a lottery for bloggers who hang in there.

        Is there a secret handshake or something? I’d like to be prepared in case we meet the next time I’m in Tampa.

    • There’s some giving up here though, Rachel. It’s giving up sole dependence on our own (Prius-sized) power when so much more is required. God makes us able to do what he wants us to do. That’s the real motivation. Thanks for dropping by, and good luck with your blog. Not too many “Blogger” people taking a look at WordPress stuff (at least mine). Thanks for giving my blog a look.

  6. Well done on being freshly pressed. It’s a great start for the New Year! After the year I had last year, I’ve found it very difficult to set too many goals or expectations. Most of the goals I set at the start of last year really under-estimated what actually transpired. For example my daughter took up the violin and I sat in on lessons and I ended up performing well at the end of year concert and have well and truly taken it up now.
    I think it’s important to consider the importance of habit…good habits and bad habits. It takes something like 3 weeks to change a habit. When I don’t reach a goal, it’s often because I don’t think about how I’m going to get there. How is really important.
    I have also become a fan of making small changes, which then add up in time and you can conquer mountains slowly but surely.
    I see this as team work with God. Sometimes, he takes me places I never considered and other times he just allows me to get where I want to go.
    Best wishes & God Bless,
    Rowena

    • Hi Hena. Your blog says you like being the best you can be. So, we’re obviously on the same page with the whole Prius thing. Good luck with your blog. My wife grew up in Maidstone, Kent, but we haven’t had a chance to get back in a few years. Keep London nice for us!

    • We almost agree here, Edward. God wants us to apply logic and reason to his self-revelation: the Bible. That’s the whole point of wisdom, a subject that is highly valued in the Bible. Following Jesus is an exciting journey that’s mixed with faith in Jesus Christ and trusting in the Holy Spirit, who lives in every Christian, to give that journey direction and the ability to reach its potential. Too much of my input (i.e. attempt to create God in my image, the God I’d like him to be) veers the journey off course. The outcome of my life is based on far more than my wishes, which is a good thing because I think so much smaller than God does.

      Thanks for the comment.

  7. I’m A Christian Living In Japan and I think spending time with God is one of the most important yet enjoyable thing I can do. Playing guitar is fun too :p

    • We just had a team from our church travel to Japan to spend some time helping to rebuild from the affects of the Tsunami. They had a wonderful yet exhausting time. Still lots to be done.

      Enjoy playing your guitar. I have a hunch it’s one more way you spend time with God.

  8. My resolution for the year is basically as follows – I’m a brand new blogger and undergraduate history student. I’m writing about history in many forms of history and general things that take my fancy and hope to be published in a few areas soon. Any help sharing and subscribing to get the word about would be fantastic, many thanks!

    • Good luck with your new blog. I’ve been published with a few Christian articles, but have yet to get my book published. For what it’s worth, keep writing! From what I’ve seen, it’s the best way to make things happen.

  9. I am reminded more and more of the brevity of life, so with this New Year I want to focus on deligence and discipline towards eternal purpose. For me, that means launching my blog and Bible Studies. As time goes on, I know that this year will also involve a lot more care for my elderly parents. I will need the Lord’s strength for every bit.

  10. I would gladly swap the mileage that my f250 gets with that of a prius. But in all honesty every time we get a snow storm on the east coast here, I’m the first one out in it! I am all around healthy including my wife while being in a loving relationship for 29 years with 3 children who are all doing well. I’m extremely blessed their BUT, the one thing that I need to pursue, is getting back on my feet after losing my business a few years ago. That’s my resolution. EXCELLENT post Dave!

    • Well, it looks like you have the right tool to get the job done (the f250). Sorry about your loss of business. But, it sounds like you’re in for the long haul (no pun intended). Hang in there, brother, and enjoy your family. It sounds like you are better off in many ways than than most people are.

  11. Great blog post! I am from the NE, OH area as well. Not far from Boardman actually (Warren)! We have since moved to NC in obedience to God and what an adventure it has been!! Looking forward to following Pasture-ized. Blessings – Kellie

    • Kellie, I’ve been to Warren many times. We go through there at least every year for an indoor soccer tournament at the Niles Wellness Center. I hope you’re enjoying NC. You’d have no problem getting around in a Prius there all year round, I’m sure.

      BTW, the link to your site isn’t accurate. In the link you’ve missed out the “y” so it comes up as an error.

      • Ah, the weather is precisely what I am enjoying most about NC.

        Thanks for letting me know about the link. I thought I had that problem fixed. Will give it another try.

        Blessings – Kellie

  12. Pingback: How to see your New Year’s resolution through | The Scarletredish Rack

  13. Reblogged this on Pasture-ized and commented:

    Okay, so I got it wrong on Friday’s post. THIS is my most viewed blog post. I’m on vacation and will be posting the most popular blogs since starting this blog in February of ’12. I took the liberty of correcting my comment from Friday so that nobody will ever know. Anyway, this post was featured by WordPress in their “Freshly Pressed” thingy. Enjoy!
    (BTW, this is my 200th post!)

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