The first of January is more than just a new year’s day. For a lot of us, it signifies a new start. The coming of a new year allows for new beginnings. We carefully plan our new year’s resolutions and embark on the road to success.
As I’m in the season of parenthood, my new year’s resolution revolved mainly around parenting. Sad to admit, not many weeks or days, or actually for me, merely hours, into the new year I struggle to keep my new year’s resolution.
Despite the new start and our determination to continue the good run, the new plan we have just begun, falls apart. In the early morning of New Year’s Day, my resolution to not shout at my children, was broken — I shouted at the top of my lungs when my older boy almost pushed his toddler brother off the couch.
According to a survey done in 2017, more than a quarter have already broken their new year’s resolution in the first week. By the end of the first month, 42% would have broken their resolution.
Key 1 — It’s okay
It can be awfully frustrating when our resolution goes wrong. We blame circumstances or ourselves when things don’t go as planned. We throw a pity party and lament by ourselves for not being more steadfast in our resolution. We huddle up in shame and often try to hush the whole ordeal so people won’t know of our failure.
It’s alright to fail and feel terrible about it. I would find it much weirder if people are unaffected when plans go wrong. All these emotions are part and parcel of life. It’s painful when we fall and it’s totally understandable to cry.
Instead of putting on a brave facade and pretending that nothing’s wrong, it’s better for us to face the failure and deal with our emotions by crying out to God. By God’s mercy, we can nip the bud of blooming negativity before it grows roots and overwhelms us.
This is an important key to remember when our resolution goes wrong because we are modelling for our children that we don’t expect their lives to be perfect — it’s okay, though things go wrong. It also sets an example that teaches our children to be transparent with God and how to express their feelings, be it anger, disappointment or sadness when things go wrong.
Key 2 — Keep trying
Once we’ve come to terms with the idea that it’s okay for our resolutions to go wrong, don’t be afraid to try again. It’s important to stand up after a fall and keep moving forward.
Failure isn’t final but giving up is. The reason we don’t succeed in keeping our resolutions is because we give up too easily. We stop in our tracks the moment things go awry thinking it’s the end, when in fact it’s only the beginning.
This key is a great reminder that as long as we keep trying we will have a chance to realise our resolutions. It sends a message to our children that things aren’t over till we throw in the towel. It also shows them that we should not give up on ourselves or others.
Key 3 — New opportunity
Just because we break our new year’s resolution on January 1st doesn’t mean the second, third, fourth and subsequent days of the year will be the same. No two days are the same. We should not assume we will continue to break our resolution just because it happened once.
In fact, every day not just every year is a new start for us. Even better, every minute and every second provides us a new opportunity. We need not wait for another new year to start afresh. We don’t even have to wait for tomorrow to begin again.
This key enables us to live in the now moment. It instils immediate repentance and forgiveness too. Our children alike will understand that with each breath comes the opportunity to do the right thing as they repent of the past and receive forgiveness for the second before.
Setting a good example
Keeping resolutions as a parent has made me more responsible, especially with the little eyes observing me. I am even more diligent to get it right after each failure.
1st Peter chapter 5, verse 2–3 urges those of us who have people under our authority to care for the flock that God has assigned to us by leading them by our own good example. Our children have been entrusted to us by God. Who else but us, parents, should set a good example for them?
Knowing it’s okay even if resolutions do go wrong, I can keep trying with the new opportunity that comes with every new breath, thus setting a pattern for my children to follow in their every endeavour. I hope it will be the same for everyone whose resolutions have somehow already gone wrong this year.
Esther Koh is a stay-at-home mum living in Wellington with her husband and two sons. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
Esther Koh’s previous articles may be viewed at
Esther Koh is a primary school teacher living in Wellington with her husband and two sons. She loves people and has a passion for helping others find their purpose for living.
Esther Koh’s previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/esther-koh.html