Happiness Is Not A Resolution


The new year has begun. Full of hope and wonder.

I flat out refuse to pick a word to define my year. There are too  many great possibilities of mental attitudes I want to work on.

So I won’t pick any.

Instead, I’d like to make it a point to live each day. Really live. Choosing life over time-wasting, people-ignoring attitudes.

Isn’t that the default? I wake up, and I’m alive. I get out of bed, and I’m doing life.

Too often, I gauge how I’m doing by my happiness level. If I’m enjoying life in the moment, all is good.

Happiness can’t be a resolution. It’s the result of positive temporal circumstances in my life. Those aren’t givens.

Often they’re the surprises.

Living is a great choice to pursue because none of us knows when our time here is over.

I lost my dear friend, Betty, two weeks ago. The morning of New Year’s Eve, I lost my cousin, Mary Jane.

Janie was a spitfire. Sassy. Her own person. Always had a fun comment; always had a kind word for others.577aab5ff020656630fc71ef

She was 53 when she died of cancer. She’d been fighting the disease for less than a year.


I hadn’t been around Janie as much as I would have liked over the past years. She lived in the Chicago area; I’m in Florida. But every family gathering when we were together, I was grateful for her quick smile, her ability to get along with anyone and everyone, her sweet spirit, her ability to laugh at herself and with others.

She had a joyful spirit. A crazy fun sense of humor.

That’s how I want to live this year. Joyfully. Gratefully. Not being so quick to be critical or judgmental–which is a bent I’m afraid I have. Choosing to see the good in people–a facet of Janie I enjoyed. Even when we hadn’t seen each other in years, she’d pick up where we’d ended. No awkwardness.

What would it take to adjust my perspective in the new year? Making up my mind to change sometimes works, but not consistently. Will power quickly becomes won’t power. Accountability is sometimes effective, but only if I follow through with being genuine. Short term rewards rarely works because I either don’t want to wait for them or I lose interest in what they are.

I’m living proof as to why resolutions don’t work. I lack resolve. Follow through is a challenge. I’m a responsible, hard-working adult, and I know how challenging it is for me to finish what I begin. Or intend to begin.

It’s why I need Jesus. His power in me is greater than what I can muster on my own.

It means learning from Him. Choosing to walk with Him. Recognizing that doing so makes me different from what the world says is valid strength. The world would have me pull up my bootstraps and muddle through. Be tough. Be smart.

I lack capacity to muddle. My toughness wanes in light of ongoing challenge. I know I don’t know everything.

My resolution for 2017? To choose to live daily with Jesus.

I’m happy with that choice.







4 responses to “Happiness Is Not A Resolution”

  1. I love your perspective and words of wisdom. To live each day, following Him, being in Him and loving people in His power. You influenced me as I enter 2017. Thanks Dayle


    1. Thanks, Marc. Your words of encouragement mean a lot–a whole lot. I appreciate you taking the time to read my stuff.


  2. Thanks for your kind words about Mary Jane aka Janie as you call her. I’ve lost a sister and the world has lost a wonderful person who brought joy to a lot of people!


    1. You’re so right, Laura. Janie was a force to be reckoned with–a positive, generous-hearted woman who cared deeply for others, She will be missed. I’m so sorry for your loss.


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