The Heart of New Years Resolutions

It's that time of year again, time for New Year's Resolutions. It's time for gyms to put their full force in advertising. It's time for notepads to fill up with goals and optimism to plant itself in full force in our minds. And this year, we're convinced that we can do it. We've got a plan. We've set our minds to our goals, and this is it- time to leap into a new year. 

But we know, in the back of our minds, that these goals never turn out quite as planned. 

Imagine you're sailing on a boat that has a leak in it, slowly letting the water fill up the vessel, constantly making the crew work to keep the boat afloat. What would be a better goal, to do a better job getting the water out or to fix the hole?

It seems obvious here to choose the later.

Now I ask you, do your New Year’s Resolutions represent option one or option two? Are you trying to get the water out of your life by grunting and trying harder, or are you fighting the heart of the problem, the leak? 

One of the biggest resolutions today centers on health and fitness. We want to be fitter, skinnier, healthier, and happier. We want to have a six-pack or a certain number on the scale. And these are great things. I want them too.

I was thinking this past week about my health and fitness goals for 2017. This is something I’ve struggled with in the past and still struggle with today. It’s so tempting for me to make a goal and put my full force into meeting that goal, putting my identity into getting clear skin, going that mile, eating that salad. And when I meet that goal, I still don’t feel satisfied. I still feel insecure, discontent, and not enough.

That’s the trouble with many of our New Year’s Resolutions. Even when we meet them, we don’t feel satisfied. Why? Because we got better at getting the water out of the boat, but we didn’t address the leak in the boat.

Instead of dealing with our insecurities, we diet.

Instead of facing our fears, we build walls.

Instead of humbling ourselves for others, we find ways to make our friendships look better on the surface.

Instead of really letting Christ change us, grow us, weed out the sin in our lives, we resolve to read more books about Him.

But stop for a moment and envision with me a different way of going into the New Year. What if we made goals that reflected what our heart really needs? What if we worked on stopping the leak instead of simply getting the water out of the boat?

The girl who really wants to be able to post a transformation Tuesday picture by 2018 could have an even greater transformation: her soul could find greater beauty in Christ. She could find a security in Jesus’ love for her and His work in her, which is beautiful. She couldn’t have to bow down to the latest pressure of beauty in the 21st Century. She could stand taller than comparison and lift others up to see beauty more clearly instead of bringing them down into insecurity.

The girl who wants to manage time better and get such-and-such done by 2018 could have a greater peace in God than in any complete to-do list. She could embrace the freedom of grace and hold her plans in open hands. She could let God interrupt her plan for a greater mission. She could take hold of every opportunity and also rest in the sovereignty of the Father.

The girl who seeks to find community, friendship, or romance by 2018 could start viewing relationships as a way to truly love others and not simply be loved. She could shower the love of Christ upon others, whether they can give her what she wants or not. She could learn the wisdom and work of relationships and how God works in them.

Whether you relate to these situations or not, I challenge you to rethink your New Year’s resolutions. Make sure that you don’t forget the heart of the matter, the leak in the boat. Once that’s in order, the other, smaller things like working out, lessening social media, or having better friendships will make more sense. These things aren’t bad at all, but they won’t fix the problem until we fix the hole. After that, they will be changes that satisfy, resolutions that will do more than meet a goal. They will lead our hearts to look more like Jesus.

In all of these changes, these little steps towards holiness, we are not alone, though. In fact, we cannot do it alone, not matter how hard we try or how many resolutions we make.

But God can.

God is with us, every little step, every humbling falter. He wants us to grow in Him even more than we want to grow in Him, have you considered that? Let us ask Him for wisdom, for He loves to give it. Let us seek Him, for He will show us Himself.

“Being confident of this, that He who began the good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Have a Happy New Year, may 2017 be a year of overflowing joy and unexplainable peace!

Princess Hannah
Hannah P


  1. This was so inspirational! I feel like I am re thinking how I want this year to turn out for myself. I don't have set goals but I have ones that are more wide range with allowing more wiggle room. I am wishing you the best to come this year.

    1. That's something I've been thinking a lot about lately, how I should let myself have some "wiggle room." And that's a great way of putting it, Vanessa!

  2. This was beautiful, Hannah! I always make way too many New Year's Resolutions to work, and this was a great reminder that it's not entirely about the goals. Happy New Year!


    1. ME TOO!!! I actually finally had time to make my goals this year, and I made myself hold back. Thank you bunches for the comment, and have a splendid year!

  3. I make so many New Year's Resolutions, but often times I keep these to myself. The trouble that we see the end goal, but not how to get there, so our progress there isn't necessarily set in stone and when we wallow in the waters we get lost. I'm hoping that whether I'll reach those goals or not, 2017 will be a great year.I hope you have a wonderful New Year's, Hannah!

    xoxo Morning

    1. Yes, I agree. Goals help us see where we want to go, but without plans we don't know how to get there. Small steps. Little things. Focused gaze on Jesus. Have a fantastic year, Morning!

  4. "And when I meet that goal, I still don’t feel satisfied. I still feel insecure, discontent, and not enough."

    You're so right! Have I ever been there!

    I love this post, especially the water in the boat illustration. It's so true! It reminds me of a book I'm reading, "So Long, Insecurity" by Beth Moore. I still need to finish the book (it's quite good so far), but one of the things Beth writes about is how we can have false positives, aka things that make us think
    we'll be more secure people. This could be a fit body or a boyfriend or money; it's different for everyone. But this post really reminded me of that, and how we can't ever find true security or joy outside of the Lord!

    Lately I've been learning how I have to come to the Word to find truth. It sounds simple enough, but so often I believe the lies. I pray that we both would have a Bible-saturated 2017! Reading (and believing) what God says about us and Himself in the Word is the best way to combat the lies that the world wants us to believe so blindly.

    This was wonderful and full of wisdom! Happy New Year! :-)


      You know, I just started reading that very book.

      And I feel you on everything you said.

      Word-saturated year. Believing the truth. YES, YES, YES!!!! I feel so encouraged after reading your comments.

      Let's keep our eyes firmly on Jesus!

  5. Wow, Hannah. You always seem to write EXACTLY what I need to hear.

    I've actually been working really hard on this this year. Because, as you can probably guess, I get REALLY into New Year's resolutions. I love having those goals to work towards, those lists of how I want to better myself. But those resolutions don't mean anything if I'm not getting to the heart of the issue. The other things can come.

    I love you and your wise heart so much, Hannah. <3

    1. Grace, you are why I blog! (No, really) Because I relate SO MUCH. Lists are comforting. Resolutions make us feel like we can do it all. Except, we can't. Not really. We need Jesus. We need heart surgery sometimes.

      You are such a dear, Grace, and I pray a joyful year over you!

  6. Wow. Beautiful, and insanely true. Thank you so much for this post <3

  7. That was so pretty and inspirational. <3

    1. Why thank you, Emma! I'm glad Jesus used my words for good!