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Breaking My New Year's Promise on Day 1

Tuesday January 3, 2023
Julia Van Huizen
2 min read

Every year, I pick a word. One word that will govern how I want to live that year. I’ve been doing this for the past few years, because I got sick of breaking my new years resolutions a few weeks into January. When something is so specific—like working out 4x a week—I found I couldn’t live up to it. But living by a general word… that seemed doable.

Last year, I picked the word “Inspire.” I wanted to live a life that was more inspiring to others. I wanted to be inspired and to be an inspiration.

This year, however, I picked the word “promise.” I don’t know about you, but I find it really hard to keep my promises to myself and really easy to break them. Keeping promises to anyone else? No problem. But to myself? Not so much….

But not this year! No, this year, if I said I would do something, by hook or by crook, I would follow-through.

So, yesterday, when we decided to order pizza for my son’s birthday, I was fine with that. Because I had promised myself I would eat only two pieces. Easy peasy.

But somewhere between picking up the pizza and my drive home, my resolve began to wane. I was really hungry! And the smell of bacon, melted cheese and pepperoni was infiltrating my nostrils and niggling at my tummy and will power.

I ate three pieces.

I can’t believe how quickly I broke my promise. How quickly my “word of the year” wasn't even a “word of the day”! And you better believe I beat myself up for it. I mean, how could I be so weak, so undisciplined, so unworthy already on Day 1?

I found myself in a slump. But then I thought of Jesus. How he is strong where I am weak. Where He speaks worthiness when I feel unworthy. Where He always keeps His promises even when I don’t.

“Promise” is a hard word to keep for the year. I mean, in many ways, it’s just like setting a new year’s resolution: because of my humanness, I WILL break them sometimes. But maybe this year, instead of beating up on myself, perhaps I can think of the One who always keeps His promises. The One who will be with me when I mess up. The One who was perfect, so I don’t have to be.

As the saying goes, “My hope is not in the new year, but in the ONE who makes all things new….”

I may not always keep my promises. But there is Someone Who will love me even if I don’t. And that’s one promise I can certainly count on.

~ Julia Van Huizen

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