Exchanging New Resolutions for New Routines

(a guest post from frequent commenter Joe Ruiz.)

I have a love/hate relationship with New Year’s resolutions.

I love the idea of a fresh start, an opportunity to reflect–to plan to do things differently.

I hate the process (or lack thereof). Most of my resolutions don’t even survive the first quarter.

Earlier this year, I felt like Charlie Brown, about to make one more vain attempt to come up with New Year’s resolutions; but then I read Jon’s Routine post. I was immediately captivated.

I’ve really wanted to change, but it’s been hard to break out of this pattern.

Previously my resolutions have lacked a clear path forward, but this year I am beginning to cultivate new routines. As I reflect on what’s helping to level my path, I see this clear pathway forging me ahead is based on Biblical inspiration.

I have longed for greater intimacy, a deeper awareness of God’s presence. Like resolutions, I seldom follow through; to combat that tendency this time around, I have enrolled in a class at church called Seven Sacred Pauses, which involves setting alarms at seven times throughout the day, then pausing to reflect and pray at each specific time. This new routine is transforming my mindset.

My church tradition doesn’t include celebrating Lent. A “first” for me this year, and another catalyst in my clear path forward is practicing Lent, a way to prepare for Easter. I am using Jon’s Lenten e-book each day as a guide to think about behaviors. Often these behaviors are in the form of habits. These readings are challenging me to be still in God’s presence–to reflect and listen.

I’ll admit we haven’t reached the end of the first quarter; however, I feel something very different, traction.

Creating new routines is making all the difference in my walk with Jesus.

5 thoughts on “Exchanging New Resolutions for New Routines

  1. Becky McCray

    Joe, congratulations on your steps forward, and thank you for sharing.

    Jon, thank you for allowing us to hear from another reader in this way. It was helpful to me.


  2. Paul Merrill

    Joe, thanks for sharing. I enjoy your perspective!

    Having alarms like you’ve used with the “Seven Sacred Pauses” has also been helpful to me. I have one alarm that always goes off every day at 9 am. Then I’m reminded to pray for a friend who has insomnia. (He’s on the other side of the world, so that’s about the time he’s winding down in the evening.)


  3. Pingback: What’s up with your New Year Resolutions? | Fairy Godsister's Blog

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