(Adela Just) “See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being, I announce them to you.” – Isaiah 42:9 (NIV)

I must confess, I love the new year. The more I learn about process, cycles, and seasons, the more I love things that symbolize fresh starts and new beginnings. Each Monday, when I open my planner to a new week, or each month, as I turn my calendar to a new page, it is like a breath of fresh air. When the natural seasons change, I celebrate, teaching my kids fun little rituals to mark the transition.

But the new year? That’s my favorite fresh start of all. No matter how hard the previous year was or how weary I am, my heart cannot help but experience a surge of hope on January 1.

Our culture seems a little confused about what to do with the new year. On one hand, there’s a tremendous push to “start things off right,” or commit to a “new you.” Surely, it’s the health and fitness industry’s favorite time of year! There is a lot of pressure to make changes and choices, to do a better job this time.

On the other hand, there will be a barrage of articles and statistics about all the reasons resolutions are pointless and why you’ll certainly fail. There might be a few attempts at helpful tips, offering better ways to manage your goals, but in the end, it kind of feels like one colossal gimmick, the next marketing surge on the path to Valentine’s and Easter. (Do you realize that one month the advertisers are trying to make us buy health products and gym memberships, and the next month, they push us to buy chocolate? It’s just not right!) CONTINUE