Are you faithful to your resolutions?
In my early 20s, I made a very bold declaration of what I was going to do and be by 2020. It was my Wawasan 2020, or Vision 2020, a phrase that many Malaysians are familiar with. I wrote it on a piece of paper together with a colleague to keep ourselves accountable. At the time, we were both giddy with excitement talking about our respective dreams.
Needless to say, I am nowhere near the starting point today – let alone having achieved any of the objectives. On hindsight, I see that it lacked a concrete plan, with no practical steps on how I was going to achieve them. Rather, it was fluffy, vague and inspirational. It was enough to make me feel good, but not enough for me to take action nor stay the course.
The Malays have a saying that goes “hangat hangat tahi ayam”. Literally translated, it means “hot hot chicken dung”. In Hokkien, my mother used to say, “tau hang hang, boey leng leng”. It means “hot at the start, but cold in the end.” Doesn’t that sound like our New Year resolutions? Most resolutions don’t even make it past February for many, according to statistics. So why do we bother making resolutions every year, only to break them within the first few months? Why can’t we motivate ourselves to keep going? The key is to stay faithful.
I recently completed an online writing course targeted at Christian writers of fiction. It was a “mindset success” course to challenge our way of thinking, instead of the usual ones that teach writing techniques. But the most important thing that I learned was that God uses faithful people. My job is to stay faithful and keep writing despite the busyness of work or the discouragement of not yet securing a book deal, no matter how long it’s going to take or hard it’s going to be.
Faithfulness, therefore, is a quality that can drive our consistency and discipline. Christians often think of faithfulness within the context of religion and spouse only. But how about being faithful to your New Year’s resolution? To be faithful is to be devoted, dedicated, and committed – especially in the face of difficulties or temptation to give up. To make resolutions, or to be resolute, is also to be unwavering. Sounds like the same thing to me!
Even if it’s something as small as “I will read my Bible for 10 minutes every day”, or “I will walk for 20 minutes in the park every Saturday and Sunday”, whatever it is we’ve set out our minds to do, let’s first make sure it’s realistic and measurable. Then, stay faithful, be firm and resolute, in order that we may be called “good and faithful” (Matthew 25:21), the ultimate praise from our Maker. – W.P.Lim
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