Why is it that most New Year's resolutions fail? Think about the ones you have made in the past-to lose weight, stop smoking, find a mate, make more money, achieve lasting peace and harmony-whatever you might have resolved to do or change. Did it work? Did you keep any of your past resolutions?
Don't worry, most people are unable to make lasting changes simply by resolving to do so. After all, the things we resolve to do-or not do-generally involve the most difficult, unsolvable problems in our lives, or bad habits that have taken years to develop. It is unrealistic to think that suddenly we will have the power to erase our conflicts and negative behaviors just because it is the beginning of the New Year.
I could never keep any New Year's resolutions, except one, which I made 15 years ago. I resolved to stop making New Years resolutions! I just gave up and as a last resort looked to God for help. I had resolved for many years to lose weight, stop smoking, improve my health, and find peace and happiness. I had again gained lots of weight after many failed attempts at dieting (at one point I tipped the scales at 400 pounds). I was smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. My marriage was difficult. I could not find a job and had not worked in almost a year. I had tried and tried to solve my problems myself-by dieting, joining exercise clubs and gyms, taking pills and wearing nicotine patches, reading self-help books, sending out proposals and resumes-nothing was working and I had reached the end of my patience and energy. I felt like I was dying. I was so desperate for a little joy in my life, but nothing I resolved to do through will power worked.
After letting go of my resolutions I began to see things more clearly than ever before. Behind all of my self-destructive behaviors, diet deprivations, and self-help remedies was the desire for joy and happiness.
After reaching a dead end, after giving up on my own ability to find healthful joy and happiness, I reached out to God. I got down on my knees and prayed for God to help me. I had always believed in God, or a Higher Power. I just had not put my faith into action and actually asked God for help.
Somehow, I thought it was improper or rude to ask directly for spiritual help. I had always believed that I was supposed to pray specific prayers I learned from Sunday school or to meditate without saying anything. God was always too big and powerful for "little me" to get His attention. Only as a last resort through the process of surrender was I able to truly release all of my failed attempts. I just could not do it all myself. So I gave my life to God and asked for help.