Curb my swearing.
Attempt to be a better woman; you know freshly manicured, perfectly accessorised. Ok I at least vowed to shower once a day.
But as January 2014 loomed before me, I began to wonder how much I could change in one year. Was I capable of or deserving of renewal, of fresh beginnings?
As I discussed these very points with my friends, and one of the fellows paused before asking me "Why do we wait for a moment, a very specific moment, to seek change and chances?" He made a valid point.
Why couldn't I resolve to change my life, to renew myself, every day, every moment? These changes were not bound to a particular time or space. I was capable of changing in an instant! And this year I wanted that more than anything!
I yearned desperately to regenerate myself. And this time it wasn't the desire to lose weight that I craved. This time I resolved to start over with God.
So as the New Year approached, I rejected resolutions. I didn't vow to lose weight, submit assignments on time, or to even live more simply. I didn't desire for any of these popular New Year pledges. I suppose I was simply content to see 2013 pass me by, never to return again.
It was a year that I never wanted to see again; I didn't want to live the same mistakes and I didn't want to separate myself from God as I had done repeatedly throughout that year. I was resolved to see it go... and swiftly.
But January didn't bring about the dramatic or instantaneous changes that I had desired. I was still swearing from time to time, lusting, harbouring jealous thoughts, gossiping. I was not renewing myself as I had hoped; there were no dramatic transformations in my behaviour, thoughts and actions. I craved spiritual change, and yet here I was…
The 2014 version of myself, didn't seem a whole lot different to that girl I left behind in 2013; the girl that I resented, the one that disappointed me.
I don't think I liked her very much, but I wanted to. And so I hoped miraculously that I would...all I needed was one little tick tock into the New Year clock and then there she would be! But it wasn't like that...
Even though I had desired spiritual renewal over superficial pledges this New Year, I discovered that just like any other resolution I still had to work at this one.
The way I acted, the words that I spoke, and the thoughts that passed through my head could not immediately change unless I was living in an intimate relationship with Christ, whilst actively sowing into the relationship; spending time with God through the word and talking with Him.
We cannot simply resolve to lose weight or to be more organised and expect outcomes. We actually have to implement specific structures and efforts to achieve these ends.
So why should our relationship with God, which should be our most significant relationship and fundamental source of direction and wisdom, be any different?
In Colossians 3 verses 16-17 it says "Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts".
If we do this, then we are actively seeking to deepen and enrich our relationship with Christ. Which should be a resolution for us; not once a year, but every day!
Alison Barkley recently relocated to the Philippines for work, study and a whole lot of adventure. She is currently studying her Masters of International and Community Development at Deakin University.
Alison Barkley's archive of articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/alison-barkley.html