(Photo courtesy of OAWRS Zoom)
Resolve To Be A New You
By Jasmin Patterson
My favorite way to decompress is to watch interviews with different artists, actors and cultural influencers. I recently came across an interesting take on New Year’s resolutions while watching a YouTube conversation between Ryan Seacrest and Hollywood film producer, Devon Franklin, who is a follower of Jesus.
In addition to producing well-known films like “Miracles from Heaven,” Devon loves to empower people in the areas of faith, personal development, career success and relationships through his writing and speaking. His perspective on new year’s resolutions was a game-changer for Ryan Seacrest and his co-hosts; I think it’s just the word of encouragement you and I need to start off 2021 right as well.
In the interview, Devon challenges us to make a “new you resolution” instead of just a “new year resolution.” He shifts our focus onto who we want to become instead of on what we want to accomplish only.
I listened to him share these thoughts and was reminded that I’ve learned something similar in my own life. In my faith, in my ministry, in my creativity, I tend to focus so much on how I’m performing and what I want to accomplish. As a result, I lose sight of what’s most important: the type of person God is shaping me into, and the values and habits He wants to define how I live, work, create, do relationships etc.
We follow a God who’s not only interested in getting us to destinations. He’s interested in the journey. He’s interested in shaping our stories and growing our hearts in the process. As we launch the year, focused on the theme getting “back to basics,” I don’t know about you, but I constantly need God to reset my definition of success and growth.
The reality is you and I can–and often should–set goals and resolutions. There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes life changes and we have to adjust. Sometimes, we make mistakes or fall short of our intentions because we’re human. As Devon insightfully points out, if we’re only focused on the external goals, it’s easy to become discouraged when we have to pivot what reaching that goal looks like or the timing in which it happens, or we fall short of our expectations.
You might set out to read the Bible every day this year but start to miss a few days here and there within the first month. If that happens, you’re not failing. You’re still becoming a person who seeks God in His Word with greater focus than you have before, even if you slip and have to get back on track. That makes you successful.
You have might have a plan for eating healthy or working out or resting well that doesn’t pan out exactly as you hoped. If that happens, you’re not failing. You started implementing practices to help you to become a more healthy and whole person long-term. That makes you successful.
Who are you becoming? How are you growing? What are you learning? What habits and values are you allowing to shape your life? I want to encourage you–and myself as well–to make those types of questions your main focus, and let the external goals serve as a secondary expression of that focus.
This way, whether your New Year’s resolution is related to spiritual growth, honing your craft, pursuing relational or emotional health— or something else—you’ll have a solid foundation to carry you forward in life, this year and for years to come.