When it comes to resolutions, I’ve always been a ‘go big or go home’ kind of person. Every year after all the Christmas presents have been unwrapped my mind starts to think about all the ways next year is going to be better because next year is going to be the year. The year I start working out more. The year I lose weight. The year I make all A’s. The year I finally do that thing I’ve always wanted to do but never have (i.e. jump in Herty Fountain). The year I get my life together and become the person I want to be.
I set the bar way too high. Many of us do. We think that there’s no point in making a resolution if it doesn’t change something, or make us better in some way. So we aim high. And we try for a couple of days, or a week, or maybe even make it all the way through Whole 30, but then we inevitably slip up.
Some people recover, and are able to keep a bad day from turning into dropping the resolution altogether. Not me. I’m a perfectionist by nature. The mantra of ‘do it right or don’t do it at all’ is one I constantly have to fight. So I usually wind up quitting. Every year I think it will be different, that maybe this year will finally be the year that I can push myself to be better, and so far it’s just been more of the same.
I’ve found myself looking back at years where I knew I hadn’t met my resolutions, and I only saw my failures. I started missing out on the growth that had occurred because it wasn’t what I wanted to see happen. This year, I’ve decided that I’ve lost too many years of my life to that disappointment.
Rather than fighting my perfectionism this year, I’m going to work on growing myself in contentment. For most of my life contentment has been a bad word for me. How can I possibly be content when I know that I can be/do/live/look so much better if I just try a little harder? Then God sat me down and showed me that I had long been confusing contentment with complacency.
Complacency says “it won’t get better than this, so I might as well be happy where I am.” Contentment says, “Even if things stay the same, I will be happy.” Aside from the wording, the difference in what contentment and complacency say is in where our joy lies. Complacency tells us that our joy lies in our circumstances. Contentment tells us that our joy lies outside of our circumstances and in the Lord.
So this year, my resolution is to learn to be content where I am. Rather than pushing myself to be better, I want to spend this year focusing on the things already in my life that bring me joy. I am going to lean into the Lord, invest in my relationships, and be present in the moments I am given.
I’m tired of striving for happiness like it’s always something that’s around the next corner. Happiness is something that can be found here and now through the joy God brings to our life. So this year, I’m going to do the things I’ve always wanted to, because I don’t have to be perfect to be happy, I just have to start.
A list of what contentment will look like for me in 2019:
Listen to more music that I like
Going to the places I like whether someone is with me or not
Take notice of the beauty and joy around me
Don’t forget to go outside- it’s nice out there
Get on the Chick-fil-A A-List because I eat there three times a week anyway
Draw/Paint/Write more without worrying about if it is good
Stop apologizing for texting back late and just text back when I can
Author | Sarah Savoie