Why New Years' Resolutions don't work...

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart

~Matthew 15:18

Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits.

~Author Unknown

New Years is a time to reflect on the old and look forward to the new. It's a time to take stock of the goals we've reached, and those we've let fall by the wayside. It's a time where everyone makes those infamous "resolutions", ones that never seem to make it to the end of the year. As the weeks wane on, we lose our newfound motivation to drop those pounds, read that book, pray more fervently, learn to love exercise, memorize more scripture, or whatever else is on our bucket list.

Diets for me were the big ones. For years it frustrated me. I just couldn't seem to find the motivation to make it through the year. Work would be busy, life would get in the way, and just like that those resolutions were out of sight, out of mind. I felt condemned and unworthy each time I failed.

My heaviest weight peaked well over 300 lbs and that was after years of dieting and striving and failed resolutions. I felt awful, ugly, and sick. During a ministry exercise I pleaded for God, for Him to help show me what my problem was. It was then I heard it.

What do you crave most?

I balked, thinking, well duh God, you! And then I cringed, because I immediately knew that wasn't true. On my worst days, I didn't crave God's peace or presence, I craved peanut butter M&M's, cheesecake, and pasta. When I was sad, I looked for food to fill me. When I was happy, I looked to food to celebrate with me. When I was angry, I used food to satiate my rage. But never was I looking to God to fill all those needs.

Resolutions weren't working for me because they never got to the very root of my problem. They were only a band-aid. My problem wasn't the food so much as what I was using the food for. Instead of looking to food to feed my physical body, I was looking for it to also feed the spiritual and emotional parts as well. The latter part of 2010 has taught me that my weight is an outside symptom of an inner heart problem, one that can't be fixed by willing myself to do so.

Slowly, but surely, those pounds are coming off. Inch by inch and chain by chain, I'm becoming freer. In hindsight, sixty five pounds down from my highest weight (whoot!), this struggle is a blessing. It's forced me to daily go to God with my needs and learn to lean on Him. I wouldn't trade the intimacy I know now with Jesus for anything.

This January 1st, I hope that those who read here will not buy into the lie that if you only tried harder, you'd reach your goal. That's works, and works leave you exhausted and no better off that before. Effort of course on our part is necessary, but not without God's help to get to the very root of our issues. Without Him, we're all hopeless. Without Him, without the freedom He can give, we're all in chains.

This New Years, commit to a deeper relationship with Him and leave the resolutions out of it.


  1. Thank you for your honest testimony. I too struggle with putting food before my relationship with Him. Thank you for sharing this.


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